Monday, July 31, 2023

Letter to our Friends - July 28, 2023

Leonard V. Johnson
Pastor and Founder

Dear Friends and Associates in Christ Jesus:

Greetings from West Central Florida.

We’ve been continuing to work on AI-generated audio articles, books, and booklets. We are continuing this most important work of God in what we believe to be the “short work upon the earth” spoken of by the Apostle Paul – cf. Romans 9:27-28. We are continuing to take steps related to what our Lord Jesus commissioned for us! This great Work undertaken by Jesus Christ is yet to be finished. And, perhaps more than ever should be shouted to Jesus Christ's spiritual ‘lost sheep’ of Israel, in which Jesus admonished us when He said, “’ FEED MY SHEEP!’” We are small in number, however, our desire to feed the sheep of Jesus Christ is huge and ambitious. We strive to teach the Word of God, the Truth of God, and the ultimate Plan of God!

COJCOM Soundcloud Radio Channel

Greetings Everyone,

Big News to share today: We are proud and honored to announce our Soundcloud Radio channel, our new AI-generator partner Narakeet! The easy creation of AI voiceovers for our audio articles, books, and booklets!

As of July 28th, the analytics for our channel shows a growing demand for audio sermons, articles, books, and booklets! Our top listening city – Ashburn, Virginia! Our top listening country – Ireland!

Sadly, a great majority of worldly churches are labeling AI as evil! This is subjective. A great many things in this world can be used for evil purposes. Fabrice Jotterand, professor of bioethics stated in a 2018 interview with the incorrectly named The Christian Post, “We shouldn't say all technology, all AI, is necessarily, inherently bad, … My advice would be to be aware that this technology exists and know how it works, but use it to promote the human good and put boundaries [around it].” 1

What is AI-generated content?

AI-generated content is copy such as blogs, marketing materials, articles, and product descriptions written by a machine. The AI content creator generates the content after a person inputs information such as keywords, phrases, and topics. AI-generated content can help speed up the writing process.

To produce content, users enter the text format needed, a topic, and keywords. AI-generated content can be valuable in several ways. AI can create content much faster than people, which is probably the biggest benefit. An AI tool can produce an article in minutes. … AI also helps with language localization for various geographic areas and can create social media with personalization for various sites. … The pricing typically runs about $100 for tens of thousands of words. 2 Karen Hao wrote in MIT Technology Review, “Not too long ago, such deep fake voices had something of a lousy reputation for their use in scam calls and internet trickery. But their improving quality has since piqued the interest of a growing number of companies. … You can spot the trick if they speak for too long, but in short audio clips, some have become indistinguishable from humans. 3

Revelation Series

Friends, if you could know the future, would you want to know!? And, what would you do with that information!? Where would you go – and who would you believe to tell you the truth about the future!? How would you know if you were being told the truth!? Listen TODAY to this series of audio articles about the truth concerning the Book of Revelation!

We’ve launched an audio series: Revelation – A Book of the Past and the Future. Over 1 hour and fifty minutes of FREE audio listening! A continuing work which will go on for some time.

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
• Opening prayer.
• Announcements – from the deacon or pastor.
• Sermon – from the pastor or guest speaker. The one suggested for this week is “Overcoming Is Important” delivered by Minister Leonard V. Johnson.
• 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 Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ website, as well as our additional YouTube channels –

Some World News In Relation To Biblical Prophecy

The United States of America and several allied nations held a large military exercise in Australia (See: ‘The Wall Street Journal - U.S., Allies Hold Record-Setting Military Exercise in Australia in Message Aimed at China’). The joint drills involving 13 nations are the most expansive in the Talisman Sabre exercise’s history, officials say.

Our brethren, the Australians, can hope to deter the Chinese dragon, but she is going to one day discover that her allies will have abandoned her, and her “friends” such as Germany shows her their back – cf. Lamentations 1:1-2. Let us also consider the Book of Jeremiah.
“All your lovers have forgotten you; They do not seek you; For I have wounded you with the wound of an enemy, With the chastisement of a cruel one, For the multitude of your iniquities, Because your sins have increased” – Jeremiah 30:14.
Sadly, Australia’s sins have been increasing! Her allies will one day forsake her.

Australia hopes to defend itself but realizes that it cannot defeat China on its own.

Carnally speaking, reliance on the military of the United States of America certainly makes sense, yet, God’s living word prophetically tells us that it soon will not be possible to rely on the USA. The prophetic reality is that the US military will not be able to protect Australia, let alone itself.

Also in world news – the European Union is leaning more towards South America and less towards the United Kingdom in regards to the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands. (See: ‘ZeroHedge - EU Signs Deal With Argentina Calling Falklands “Malvinas Islands”’).

God’s living word speaks about land blessings –
“And they blessed Rebekah [the mother to Jacob and Esau] and said to her: ‘Our sister, may you become The mother of thousands of ten thousands; And may your descendants possess The gates of those who hate them’” – Genesis 24:60.

“And of Joseph he said: ‘Blessed of the LORD is his land, With the precious things of heaven, with the dew, And the deep lying beneath, 14) With the precious fruits of the sun, With the precious produce of the months, 15) With the best things of the ancient mountains, With the precious things of the everlasting hills, 16) With the precious things of the earth and its fullness, And the favor of Him who dwelt in the bush. Let the blessing come ‘on the head of Joseph, And on the crown of the head of him who was separate from his brothers.’ 17) His glory is like a firstborn bull, And his horns like the horns of the wild ox; Together with them He shall push the peoples To the ends of the earth; They are the ten thousands of Ephraim, And they are the thousands of Manasseh’” – Deuteronomy 33:13-17.
But, our LORD God also speaks of land loss –
“’ If you do not carefully observe all the words of this law that are written in this Book, that you may fear this glorious and awesome name, THE LORD YOUR GOD, 59) Then the LORD will bring upon you and your descendants extraordinary plagues ─ great and prolonged plagues ─ and serious and prolonged sicknesses. 63) And it shall be, that just as the LORD rejoiced over you to do good and multiply you, so the LORD will rejoice over you to destroy you and bring you to nothing; and you shall be plucked from off the land which you go to possess’” – Deuteronomy 28:58-59, 63.
For many years, Argentina has made it clear that it wants the Falkland Islands back. And, the people who live on the Falkland Islands flat-out want to remain a part of the United Kingdom. They have consistently made this known. But, many in Argentina feel they are entitled to that land. Sadly, a greater number in Latin America are seeing the presence of the United Kingdom in that region as evil colonialists.

We in our Lord Jesus’ Church have been knowing and teaching for decades that the UK along with the USA would ultimately lose the majority of their sea gates. And, we believe that our great nations possessed the majority of the sea gates around the world because of the blessings of the LORD God. Yet, they would lose them because of their growing iniquity and their blatantly turning their back on the LORD God!

The losses of the majority of the sea gates around the world by the Anglo-Saxon nations show us that Bible prophecies are being fulfilled. For nearly two centuries, the United States and Britain (along with our allies) have controlled nearly all of these important sea gates. In fact, the possession of these strategic sea gates was directly responsible for the emergence of America and Britain as world powers. Sadly, this world’s news media appears oblivious to this important fact.

Also in Australian news – a former Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard, recently stated, “I do hold the view that the luckiest thing that happened to this country was being colonized by the British.” (See: ‘BBC News - Colonisation by British 'luckiest thing' to happen to Australia - John Howard’). Well, luck had NOTHING to do with it!


Because of various biblical prophecies.

God’s living word shows us that the Patriarch Jacob, whose name was changed by the Lord God to Israel, had 12 sons (Genesis 35:22). And, even though he was not the oldest child, God’s living word shows us that Joseph received the birthright –
“Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel ─ he was indeed the firstborn, but because he defiled his father’s bed, his birthright was given to the sons of Joseph, the son of Israel, so that the genealogy is not listed according to the birthright; 2) yet Judah prevailed over his brothers, and from him came a ruler, although the birthright was Joseph’s ─ ” – 1 Chronicles 5:1-2.
Here the birthright had to do with NATIONAL GREATNESS – consistent with what was first promised to Patriarch Abraham, which was passed down to his son Isaac, and then to Isaac’s son Jacob. And before the death of Jacob, Joseph took his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh to visit his elderly father.

In Genesis 48 – now, this is after Joseph had been taken into captivity and risen now to a powerful position in the government of Egypt – like a Vice Pharaoh. And now his family is returning unto him. And lo and behold he finds out that Jacob (Israel) his father was still alive, and it says in verse 1 – “Now it came to pass after these things that Joseph was told, ‘Indeed your father is sick’; and he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. … 3) Then Jacob said to Joseph: ‘God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me, 4) and said to me, ‘Behold, I will make you fruitful and multiply you, and I will make of you a multitude of people, and give this land to your descendants after you as an everlasting possession.’” And then we have this situation where they were actually blessed. Verse 8 – “Then Israel [Jacob] saw Joseph’s sons, and said, ‘Who are these?’ 9) Joseph said to his father, ‘They are my sons, whom God has given me in this place.’ And he said, ‘Please bring them to me, and I will bless them.’”

And then we find out that there was a crossing of the hands. Verse 15 – “And he blessed Joseph, and said: ‘God, before whom my father’s Abraham and Isaac walked, The God who has fed me all my life long to this day, 16) The angel who has redeemed me from all evil, Bless the lads; Let my name be named upon them, And the name of my father’s Abraham and Isaac; And let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.’” – and so a nation and a company of nations were to come from these two young boys and their progeny. And again, I think we understand how that came about and who they are. And what a blessing it is that we get to share in those blessings.

Ephraim represents the British-descended peoples. And, we see them in the British Isles (where my descendants came from, 60% located in Channel Islands, England), Australia, Canada, New Zealand, along with some also in the likes of South Africa. The descendants of Manasseh would end up in what has become known as the founding stock of the United States of America – which was prophesied to be “a nation.”

This line or group of people would become known both historically and prophetically as ISRAEL. Or, the people of Israel, or the House of Israel.

Concluding Comments

The Apostle Paul wrote:

“But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14) For IF we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. 15) For this we say to you by the Word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16) For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven [the atmosphere] with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with THE TRUMPET OF GOD. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17) Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18) Therefore comfort one another with these words.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.

Friends, we know that the Bible talks about the resurrection from the dead. We know in 2 Timothy we hear the phrase, ‘at His appearing.’ Not this immediately ‘off to Heaven.’ We notice in Titus 2 – “looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” 1 John 2:28 – “And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.” Over and over and over, nothing happens until Jesus Christ Returns! That’s what the Bible says! And if that be true, then what is all of this immortality of the soul and going off to Heaven!? It just doesn’t agree with the Bible. The resurrected saints of God are not going off to Heaven, but rather Heaven – the throne of God, the Kingdom of God – is coming to the Earth!

With love and gratitude, in Jesus' Name,

2 Hetler, A., Pros, and cons of AI-generated content,, 29 March 2023.
3 Hao, K., AI voice actors sound more human than ever—and they’re ready to hire, MIT Technology Review, 9 July 2021.

Thursday, July 27, 2023

Christmas - Chapter Three (Sermon)

John the Baptist in the Jordan River

You can also listen to this article. lick the orange play button below.

by Michael C Garrett

At the end of the last chapter, we were in the first chapter of the Book of Luke. Which gave another take on the human birth of Jesus Christ. And in verse 13 we’re told that Zacharias, who was a priest in the temple, and his wife Elizabeth, who are both older in age – basically beyond childbearing age is the implication – and they were told by an angel from the LORD God, “your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.” And this is referring to John the Baptist, not the writer of the “gospel” account.

Verse 14 – “And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth.”

Verse 15 – “For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. …”

This is why he is called a Nazarite.

“ … He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.”

As we pointed out in the last chapter – there are people in this world that say, ‘you can’t receive the gift of the Holy Spirit unless you repent, baptized, and the laying on of hands!’ Well, for the majority of people that is true. But, the LORD God is the great power, They can do whatever They want! And if They wish to impart a part of Their mind into a human fetus inside a mother’s womb, then it will be done. And, here is an example of John the Baptist, when he is just an unborn child in his mother’s womb, being granted the Spirit of God.

Verse 16 – “And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God.”

Now, verse 17 is where we began to zero in at the end of the last chapter – “He [John the Baptist] will also go before Him [meaning, Jesus Christ] in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.’”

A Perfect Storm Developing

So, we need to turn back to the end of the Old Testament – which kind of introduces us to the return of Jesus Christ as a human baby. And this is where we were at the end of the last chapter. At the end of the Book of Malachi. This book – as does nine of the so-called minor prophets – mention in some form or another the Day of the Lord. Chapter 4 only contains six verses – but there is so much packed into these verses!

Now, if you follow along with your Bible, then you will know that we’re not trying to mislead you.

Malachi 4 – the last page in the New King James Version of the Old Testament, before you turn to the New Testament.

Verse 1 – “’ For behold, the day is coming, …’”

Now, “the day” – that phrase, “the day,” “that day,” the majority of the time it is referring to a future prophetic event which is called in the Bible – the Day of the Lord. It is a multi-year period – it’s not just one day – of about 3½ years, in which God Almighty and Jesus Christ place upon the people of this earth a horrible ordeal. And this is still the future. Is it five years away!? We don’t know. Is it ten years away!? We don’t know. Is it thirty or fifty years away!? We don’t know. The only thing we can tell you is that it will happen! Because the living word of God says that it will. And, it’s in our future. There is a really good chance that this will occur in the lifetime of most of the people like you who are reading, watching, or listening to this.


Now, understand – there is a Way to escape these horrors that will descend upon the earth. There is a Way you can protect yourself and your family members – if they will cooperate with you.

We have met people that are Doomsday Preppers, or rather survivalists. People who are preparing to survive the various circumstances that may cause the end of civilization, including economic collapse, societal collapse, and electromagnetic pulse. Very nervous people! They will go out and buy in bulk such things as dehydrated foods, bug-out bags, survival kits, and self-defense and tactical equipment. They will store all this in their underground bunker or basement, and they will have it on hand in case everything breaks down!

Now, about a year ago, the concept of everything breaking down was a concept that most people could not begin to capsulize in their minds. And yet, here in this past year, we’ve seen the effects of the coronavirus – such as on businesses. As an example – mom-and-pop stores have shut down, most for eight or nine months! What are they doing for income!? How do they sustain themselves!? How do they pay their rent or electricity!? They are in a terrible fix! We empathize with them. And, for them – they have entered a time of tribulation. Certainly, a year ago they wouldn’t have thought that. But now they have a different viewpoint. Most of these troubles have been created by mostly Democratic governors of different states doing this to their own people! According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in June 2021, 6.2 million people did not work at all or worked fewer hours because their employers closed or lost business due to the coronavirus pandemic. This is down from 7.9 million in May 2021 and from 49.8 million in May 2020! 1 And, the majority of these Democratic governors have come across like dictators. And, we can’t come up with another way of saying it – they act like dictators.


Well, they claim that they’re going to stop the coronavirus! But, think about this – every governor who said, “We’re going to shut down to prevent coronavirus!” have had massive increases! According to a report by the American Experience, states that stayed open fared much better than states that shut down. And, when it comes to death rates from the coronavirus states that stayed open are among the best-performing states. 2 Along with the constant wearing of the face mask. And, wearing masks outside your home is mandatory in California! 3 Here in Kentucky, you can’t go into any business establishment, like a grocery store, without wearing a mask.

But, returning – “For behold, the day is coming, …” mentioned here in the Book of Malachi. An event that will affect the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and her Commonwealth Nations – the vast majority of which are or were territories of the British Empire. And eventually, it will overflow to all nations, countries, and provinces on the face of the earth! A terrible period of testing and trial, and divine punishment.

“ … ‘the day is coming, …’” – the Day of the Lord – “ … ‘Burning like an oven, And all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble. And the day which is coming shall burn them up,’ Says the LORD of hosts, ‘That will leave them neither root nor branch.’”

Meaning – their parents, their grandparents, will be destroyed. And their children and grandchildren will be destroyed.

Now, this is a powerful statement!

Again, nine of the so-called minor prophets – mention in some form or another the Day of the Lord.

Indeed, everybody wants to know the future. Everybody has a curiosity about the future. Well, here is some insight for all of you about what the future holds. The future of this world will not be a rainbow, flowers, happiness – and happiness and happiness. No. Somewhere over this supposed rainbow – like a gigantic perfect storm – this terrible horror looms. And, for the majority of people, they can’t see it! But if you look at this world through the lens of God’s living word, you can see this perfect storm developing.

And yes, you can make preparations right now to protect yourself and your family. If you’ll only listen to what God’s living word is trying to tell you!

A Time of Healing

Verse 2 – is much more optimistic. And, there are many places in Scripture where the negative is mentioned right next door to the positive. Where people who do things against the LORD God will be cursed, and yet next to it, those who obey the LORD God will be blessed. Life and death are often next door to each other in God’s living word. Here is one of those places.

“’ But to you who fear [and even respect] My name The Sun of Righteousness shall arise With healing in His wings; …’”

Now, to whom is that word “you” addressing!?

Well, we hope and pray that it’s addressing us, all of our associates, wherever they might be – in this nation or abroad – and we’re hoping and praying that this is addressing you. And, maybe in the future even more. Which is why we wish we had more subscriptions to our YouTube channels and our Soundcloud Radio channel. Through these messages, you’re being offered information that will make a Way of escape for you and your loved ones! Are you going to listen to this!? Are you going to become a part of this group called “you”!? We hope and pray that you become you!

Respect for the LORD God, respect for Their power and Their living word, and respect for Their messengers who are trying to explain this information to you. And, we do hope and pray that from the eyes of the LORD God the Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ and our affiliated churches is looked upon as those places which are indeed doing and saying the will of the LORD God.

“The Sun of Righteousness” – the living Jesus Christ! Which is His return and the establishment of the kingdom of God unto this earth!

“shall arise with healing in His wings; …”

We should ask every day for the healing power which is contained in God Almighty and Jesus Christ!

And, we think about this whole world and how very sick it is. We think about people who have ingrained in their minds a lifestyle that is not according to the living word of God. And we know from what we read in our Bible that there will come a time when those people will have their mental, emotional, and sexual issues healed. And sometime, they too in the future will be within the kingdom of God! We know all of this is true! We think about the pain and suffering in this world. We know that the inflated numbers of those people who had suffered and died of the coronavirus, we know from God’s living word, there will come a time when they will be resurrected back to physical life. And in an era when the Earth is under the authority and leadership of God Almighty and Jesus Christ, the holy angels and the resurrected saints – within the kingdom of God! Where in that era when they will be brought back to life and they will be healed. We pray for this era when our grandparents, our mother, and our father, will be resurrected back to physical life and will be healed. And, we can look forward to being a part of that process! Yes!

Continuing – “ … ‘and you shall go out And grow fat like stall-fed calves.’”

Now, this certainly isn’t the example most of us would have given. But, you get the point. Where a little baby calf is born in a stall, and then it grows up to some 1,390 pounds! So, we can heal, and we can grow! God Almighty and our Lord Jesus Christ are Healers! Many chapters of the living word of the Eternal One simply concentrate on the many miracles that Jesus Christ performed. And, that He will perform again! And that we – as servants of Jesus Christ – will have a hand in performing yet into the future. We look forward to that.

Verse 3 is speaking about a time after the resurrection of the saints. “’ You …’” speaking to the people of God and of Jesus Christ “ … ‘shall trample the wicked, For they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet On the day [the Day of the Lord] that I do this,’ Says the LORD of hosts.”

There is coming a time when all of the wicked institutions of this world – and we’re talking about wicked rulers and despots, governments, church philosophies, church organizations. All of it will be destroyed and trampled.

There is coming a time when those people who were human beings, and who had at one time access to the living Word of God, Truth of God, and Plan of God, and yet because of bitterness and jealousy, anger, and disappointment they turned their backs on the LORD God, and they allowed their mind and their spirit to be shriveled up into nothingness – those people will die. In what God’s living word calls, “the lake of fire.” And all that will be left of them are “ashes under the soles of [the saints’] feet.” And, these are people who could have been in the kingdom of God! They had the opportunity! It is a sad story.

Verse 4 – “’ Remember the Law of Moses, My servant, Which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel, With the statutes and judgments.’”

The LORD God is talking about the Ten Commandments.

And then verse 5 – and recall back in the Book of Luke chapter 1, we’re told that John the Baptist would “ ’turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.’”

These are the two verses to which our Lord Jesus was referring when He inspires verse 5 – “’ Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.’”

Here it spells out the whole phrase, the Day of the LORD.

The Day of the LORD is the single most prophesied event in God’s living word. Old Testament and New Testament. No other prophecy even comes close to it. And, most people have no idea what the phrase “the day of the LORD” means. But, again, it’s talking about that period of time, just before our Lord Jesus Christ returns to this earth – along with God the Father, the holy angels, and the resurrected saints. In which our Lord Jesus is going to punish a sin-saturated sick world. For their rebellion against the LORD God!

Again, you can escape all of this if you pay attention to what God’s living word is really saying! If you pay attention to what we are trying to tell you! As messengers from the LORD God.

And we say and stress this because there are remnants of a religious organization – in different forms – that actually believe. And, the leader of this religious organization believed that this verse was referring to him! And what he was doing. And, no it wasn’t. And this is but one of the many things which he taught which was biblically incorrect. And yet, if you were to meet one of those people today – even though it has been decades – you cannot get them to see the living truth of God as God’s living word portrays it!

The Birth of John the Baptist

Verse 6 – “’ And he …’”

Who is the “he”!?

Prophetically speaking, the “he” was John the Baptist. “ … ‘will turn The hearts of the fathers to the children, And the hearts of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.’”

John the Baptist and his preaching prepared the time when Jesus Christ would teach the true gospel.

And isn’t it interesting – here is a prophecy of John the Baptist, which introduces us to the New Testament. And the story of Jesus Christ. Here it is in black and white for us to see!

Now, let’s turn back to the Book of Luke chapter 1 as we continue to explore the true story of Christmas.

Verse 18 – “And Zacharias said to the angel, ‘How shall I know this? …’”

In other words, ‘You’re telling me that I’m gonna be a father and my wife a mother,’ – “ … ‘For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years.’”

She is well beyond the normal child-bearing years.

Verse 19 – “And the angel answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel, …’”

Now, God’s living word – the Holy Bible – mentions three archangels. Lucifer, Gabriel, and Michael.

Now, Lucifer is not called Lucifer anymore.

Back before human beings even existed, Lucifer had his heart turn to darkness. He was jealous of the One we now call Jesus Christ. He wanted to be called the Son of God. But, he wasn’t – he was the cherub originally assigned to guard the very throne of God. Yet, he had an extremely important mission. His job, and the angels which were assigned to him, were in charge of preparing the Earth for human habitation. And yet, Lucifer’s heart darkened. And he had his name changed from the LORD God to Sātān – a Greek name derived from the Aramaic, an adversary. A destroyer and accuser of the brethren. Well, his fate, and the fate of his angelic followers is to be locked into a spiritual prison for all eternity – to become totally and completely insane and miserable. 4

Now, Michael and Gabriel have stayed true to God Almighty and Jesus Christ.

Michael is the great warrior archangel. We read about him in Revelation chapter 12. How he leads the battle against Satan the devil to clear him out of the atmosphere where he is now allowed to reside. And Satan the devil is cast to the earth, and soon afterward cast into “the bottomless pit.” A spiritual prison.

Gabriel is often referred to in God’s living word as God’s messenger. As he is here. It was Gabriel who spoke to Mary to tell her that the life which is forming inside of her is from the Spirit of God. It is Gabriel, right here, who tells Zacharias, “’ I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings.’”

Verse 20 – “’ But behold, you will be mute and not be able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time.’”

So, when Zacharias brought this up – he was skeptical. It’s almost like the Patriarch Abraham and his wife Sarah. They too were skeptical.

Now, we suggest to all of you that if you ever encounter an archangel, and if he gives you a message, just believe it! Don’t fight it! Don’t struggle against it! Just believe what you’re told. Now, how many of us will have an archangel speak to us in this lifetime!? Probably not very many. But if one does, just say, “Aye aye, sir! I believe!”

Verse 21 – “And the people waited for Zacharias, and marveled that he lingered so long in the temple. 22) But when he came out, he could not speak to them; and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple, for he beckoned to them and remained speechless.”

Well, it was much more than a vision, he actually had a conversation with the archangel Gabriel.

Verse 23 – “So it was, as soon as the days of his service were completed, that he departed to his own house.”

Verse 24 – “Now after those days his wife Elizabeth conceived; and she hid herself five months, …”

Maybe she didn’t want anyone to know she was pregnant!? Maybe she couldn’t believe it herself!? No, well past normal child-bearing years – she’s going to have a baby! A special child – a child blessed by God Himself.

Verse 25 – “’ Thus the Lord has dealt with me, …’” so says Elizabeth – “ … ‘in the days when He looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.’”

Now, in this period of time – and include even into the 20th century – if a married woman could not have children, she looked upon it as a shame. As though she had been cursed. Because, historically women wanted to have children. They wanted to become a mother. They realized that that was their very special gift to humankind – given to them by the LORD God. And hopefully, to have those young children, upon adulthood, take care of them in their elder years. That is how it was meant to be!

But, it’s sad to say, all too often that is not the way it is. And some of you can probably guess where we’re going. For thousands of years, women wanted to become pregnant, wanted to be a mother, and wanted to have children. Here in the US, there’s a drastic decline in population. According to a report by Business Insider, “The National Bureau of Economic Research found that birth rates in the US have declined by nearly 20% since 2007, while the fertility rate has been below the replacement level for decades. … The US fertility rate first dipped below the replacement level — the rate needed to sustain the population, which is about 2.1 births per woman — in the 1970s. … The Congressional Budget Office estimated this year that population growth will slow between 2023 and 2053 and that by 2042, any growth will be from immigration, not births.” 5 And to us it is logical that one of the consequences of homosexual “marriage” is adding to the woe in a decreasing population. And also, today, we have the new modern woman – who thinks being pregnant is something they should be ashamed of, and can’t wait to go find a doctor to murder their innocent baby! And, we’re going to say something that we don’t normally say – that practice is an utter damnation!

A damnation in the eyes of the LORD God! Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should do something. An example: A married man can have sexual relations with a woman that is not his wife. So, he can do it, but he shouldn’t do it! Because it has the potential of destroying his family, his wife, and the stability of his children as they grow up without a father – because he is no longer in the house. There are a lot of things we can do, but it doesn’t mean we should do them. And just because you can find an abortionist, doesn’t mean that you should. And, we don’t care how you say it – the LORD God’s commandment, “’ You shall not murder,’” applies to unborn babies. Babies that are completely innocent.

We are going to find out soon enough that some of the wrath of the Almighty God, and the wrath of Jesus Christ, in the Day of the Lord, will have its origins in the practice of aborting little unborn human babies! A terrible fate. A dastardly thing. A damnable thing.

The Birth of Jesus the Messiah

Continuing in verse 26 – “Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth.”

So, very quickly – our Lord Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem. But, Joseph and Mary were on their way to Jerusalem – the city of David – responding to Emperor Augustus’ commanded census – “the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.” But, after Jesus was born, and was a toddler, King Herod the Great wanted to have Him murdered, in an event known as the Massacre of the Innocents. And did indeed end up murdering thousands of male children. But, Joseph was told in a dream, “’ Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.’” Our Lord Jesus was born in 5 BC. Most, concerning the death of Herod the Great follows Emil Schürer's calculations, which suggest that the date was in or around 4 BC. Which is three years earlier than the traditional consensus of 1 BC. Whether it was a year or eight years before Jesus’ return should not be a matter of contention – “when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, ‘Arise, take the young Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the young Child’s life are dead.’” And when they did, they traveled to the city called Nazareth.

So, Gabriel was sent by God – verse 27 – “to a virgin betrothed [engaged] to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.” Recall we read a portion of this in the Book of Matthew chapter 1.

Verse 28 – “And having come in, the angel said to her, ‘Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!’”

Now, why was Mary called, “blessed are you among women”? First of all, she is but a young teenager. Was it because Mary was so inherently righteous!? Or, was it the fact the One we now call Jesus Christ had chosen her to be His mother!? Again – and we mentioned this in chapter two – have you ever heard the expression “You Can’t Choose Your Parents”!? Well, at one time in history, a future human being got to pick His parents! And Jesus Christ chose Mary to be the woman who would give birth to Him as a baby. This is also a most interesting and significant point of the story. Do most people stop and think about this!? So, it’s not because she was so inherently righteous or any deification. It was because she had been handpicked by the LORD God to be the human mother to the future human Jesus Christ.

Surely, you know where we are going with this. Think about the Roman Catholic Church. They take Mary and place her up on a pedestal to be equal with God. Mary holds a very high position in the Roman Catholic Church, so much so that she is like a goddess. Even though Roman Catholics will not agree with the statement of goddess-like abilities, the fact remains that Mary is highly exalted. 6 They act as if she is a member of the family of God. No. Mary isn’t in heaven. She is not at the “backdoor heaven.”

We know that this is not according to Catholic dogma and tradition. But it is the living truth of the Bible. Mary, as a human being, gave birth to Jesus Christ, she became officially married to Joseph, and she went on to have multiple sons and daughters – possibly seven children altogether. She lived her life and had to go through the trauma of seeing her eldest Son tortured to death. And then just a few days later she lived to see her Son resurrected from the dead! And officially become the Savior of all mankind of all time. She had quite a life. But then, at some point she went to sleep – she died. And she was placed into a tomb. And her physical body is but dust.

But, our Lord Jesus Christ hasn’t forgotten her! And when He returns He will have a personal hand in the physical resurrection of Mary His mother and of Joseph His father – and of bringing them back to life! To eternal life. That is such a great part of this story!

Moving on to verse 29 – “But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was.”

She was certainly shocked! This angel, in the form of a man, wasn’t the next-door neighbor just coming over to ask for a cup of sugar.

Verse 30 – “Then the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31) And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS.’”

Or, rather Yeshua. Which means Savior.

Verse 32 – “’ He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.’”

King David ruled over all of Israel during his time.

Yet, when our Lord Jesus was born a human being – He did not become ruler over all Israel. In fact, they were in a form of servitude to the Roman Empire. Well, this is because when our Lord Jesus came, He was not destined to become King of kings and Lord of lords. His main mission: 1) Qualify to be a Savior for all mankind. Qualify to have complete dominion over Satan the devil. 2) He was to begin a movement where people could hear the Word of God, the Truth of God, and the Plan of God. About how they too, someday, can inherit eternal life. And be a part of the kingdom of God. □

To be continued.

Sources and Notes:

1 TED: The Economics Daily, US Bureau Of Labor Statistics, 8 July 2021. Retrieved 25 July 2023.
2 Njolomole, M., States that stayed open fared much better than states that shut down, American Experiment, 7 Aug. 2020. Retrieved 25 July 2023.
3 Navarro, H., Wearing Masks Outside Your Home is Mandatory in California. 18 Nov. 2020. Retrieved 25 July 2023.
4 The COJCOM believes there are scores of Scriptures in God’s living word that reveals a very different outcome for the Wicked One and his minions of demons. Our LORD God says emphatically, “’ When I say to the wicked, O wicked one, surely you shall die!’” – Ezekiel 33:8, The Interlinear Bible. You should take it to the bank! The LORD God has said to Satan, and to every wicked individual (human or spirit) “’ You will surely die.’” The LORD God alone, at this time, is immortal.
5 Valle D.G., How to prevent the Great People Shortage, Business Insider, 4 May 2023.
6 Slick, M., Summary of Roman Catholic Teachings about Mary, CARM, 23 Dec. 2011. Retrieved 26 July 2023.

Friday, July 21, 2023

Commentary: The Day of the Sun

by Guy C LaMar

On March 7th, 321, Roman Emperor Constantine the Great issued a civil decree – making Sunday a day of rest from labor. Stating, “All judges and city people and the craftsmen shall rest upon the venerable day of the Sun.”

It was Emperor Constantine the Great in 321 AD who proclaimed the Day of the Sun as the day of worship for the Roman Empire.

In the fourth-century AD, the Catholic Council of Laodicea affirmed Sunday worship and declared that all Sabbath-keeping Christians are heretics.

And, sadly, even to this day, true Christian Sabbath-keepers are considered heretics and are persecuted in many nations, countries, and provinces around the world! They OBEY the LORD God rather than the ideologies of men who were and are influenced by Satan the devil!

The Catholics adopted Sunday as the day of rest because they didn’t want to be like the Jews. Even though it was the LORD God – not mankind – that instituted the SABBATH! The Sabbath is from Friday sunset until Saturday sunset.

Exodus 20:8-11

“’ Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9) Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10) But the SEVENTH DAY is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11) For IN SIX DAYS the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the SEVENTH DAY. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.’”

It was Satan the devil who influenced mankind to embrace SUNDAY over the Sabbath.

1st John 4:1

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”

The keeping of the holy Sabbath is a TEST COMMANDMENT – a sign between God and His chosen begotten children.

It is a command from the LORD God to “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.”

Again, it was from the LORD God! Not mankind!

Truly, all churches of the world that claim to be “Christian” and keep Sunday as the rest day are daughter churches of the Roman Catholic Church!

The Roman Catholic Church is a church of Satan the devil!

Research their history! Research how they always have and continue to do things AGAINST the LORD God’s commands!

Isaiah 58:13-14

“’ If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, From doing your pleasure on My holy day, And call the Sabbath a delight, The holy day of the LORD honorable, And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, Nor finding your own pleasure, Nor speaking your own words [such as implementing Sunday as a rest day], 14) Then you shall delight yourself in the LORD; And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth, And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father.

The mouth of the LORD has spoken.’”

ALL Sunday-keeping churches are the daughter churches of this “MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH”! The Roman Catholic Church!

Too strong of words!?

Too harsh!?


Ephesians 6:12

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places [such as the atmosphere].”

The LORD God will not tolerate false religions! It certainly breaks the FIRST COMMANDMENT –

“’ You shall have no other gods before Me.’”

ANYONE that keeps Sunday as a “holy” rest day HAD BETTER STOP! It is acting against the LORD God and serving Satan the devil!

John 8:44

“’ You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.’”

The Sabbath is a HOLY TIME!

And, our Lord Jesus Christ is our example for all Christians to follow!

Our Lord Jesus kept the Sabbath – as did all those who followed Him in the first century AD, and those who follow Him in this twenty-first century!


Mark 2:27-28

“And He said to them, ‘The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. 28) Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.’”

OBEY THE LORD GOD, or be against the LORD God!

Obey and keep the holy Sabbath or continue to follow Satan the devil!

Harsh as this may sound, the fact is ANYONE who has been shown the living truth of God cannot say that they have not been warned.

ANYONE who is continuing to keep SUNday as the Sabbath day is rejecting the LORD God and is in fact following Satan the devil! Thus, their god is Satan! With all of his wicked lies of deception.

2nd Corinthians 11:12-15

“But what I do, I will also continue to do, that I may cut off the opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the things of which they boast.

13) For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14) And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15) Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, WHOSE END WILL BE ACCORDING TO THEIR WORKS.”

The holy Sabbath is in force!

The holy Sabbath is IMPORTANT to the LORD God!

When our Lord Jesus spoke concerning this soon-coming end-time trauma, which will also befall Judah (the tiny nation today called Israel), He made it clear that those in Judea should pray that their flight to the mountains does not take place in winter or on the Sabbath.


Because they will still be keeping the Sabbath! It is a HOLY TIME! And, it will still be a HOLY TIME at the end of this age!

The LORD God NEVER changes!

“’ For I AM the LORD, I do not change; …” – Malachi 3:6.

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” – Hebrews 13:8.

Exodus 31:12-16

“And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 13) ‘Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: ‘Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I AM the LORD who sanctifies you.

14) You shall keep the Sabbath, therefore, for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people.

15) Work shall be done for six days, but the SEVENTH is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death [not only physical death but even more a spiritual death and even eternal death].

16) Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations AS A PERPETUAL COVENANT.’”

per·pet·u·al - never ending or changing. □

And That Rock Was Christ - Part Two (Sermon)

Speaking about the bodies within the cosmos. All the stars, planets, asteroids and meteors, the moons, the galaxies, the solar systems. All were made by the One we call Jesus Christ!

Michael C Garrett     About

You can also listen to this article. Click the orange play button below.

In the first part of “And That Rock Was Christ,” we had turned to 1st Corinthians chapter 10. And we read in verse 4, “ … and that Rock was Christ.” Speaking about the being who was working with the children of Israel, was indeed the One we now call Jesus Christ. There are a lot of people who don’t understand that.

Our Lord Jesus Christ – nine times out of ten – is the God of the Old Testament. And He chose to give up His divinity, that He be changed into a human baby, to live and grow up, and then at the age of thirty, to begin preaching the gospel – the good news of Jesus Christ and the kingdom of God, and the New Covenant, and the hope that all of us can someday be a part of the kingdom of God! That was His mission. He allowed Himself to be sacrificed – tortured to death – that all of us might have a Savior. And, every day we should be thankful for that! Every day we should go to Him and say, “Dear Brother, I just can’t believe how much courage You had! And how much dedication!” We need to respect that.

And, we are pointing out that there are apparently people that are ashamed of Jesus Christ. We don’t know why there are. It fathoms our minds, we can’t begin to understand that. Now, if you are an atheist, we can understand you have no respect for the name of Jesus Christ. If you are a hard-core Communist, we can understand you having no respect for Jesus Christ. If you are part of the far left-leaning political people of today, they seemingly hate God the Father and the living word – the Holy Bible – and Jesus Christ.

And, while we’re on the subject of those of the far left, we here at the Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ and our affiliated churches have been hassled and troubled by the outfit that is called YouTube, owned by Google. A far left-leaning group. And we carry in our name – the Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ along with the Church of Jesus Christ Online Ministries – the name that they hate more than any others. And we have suffered because of it. Well, we’re told that someday we will be rewarded for that. We just wish they wouldn’t bother us, and they wouldn’t bother people wanting to watch, read or listen to this. And, we always wonder – will there come a day when they will simply block us all together!? And they have done some really nasty tricks on us! And we suspect that somewhere down the road it will get worse. Keep in mind – if you’re a regular reader or listener we have several social media platforms. We have our website – – which has our YouTube sermons available. We also have a couple of YouTube channels – the Deacon Trevor Koonce channel, which posts a great many of our older sermons. Along with our regular YouTube channel – the Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ. There is also a video platform we utilize called the Godtube channel.

Then, we also have our affiliated channels – The Independent Christian Church of God YouTube channel and UGETube channel. Along with the Church of Jesus Christ Online Ministries YouTube channel and UGETube channel. And, another channel that’s doing really well for one of our affiliated churches is the Church of Jesus Christ Online Ministries BitChute channel.

Now those additional video platform services are more conservative. Additionally, we have several social media sites, such as the Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ Facebook page, The Independent Christian Church of God Facebook page, and the Church of Jesus Christ Online Ministries Facebook page. We also have The Independent Christian Church of God MeWe page and the Church of Jesus Christ Online Ministries MeWe page.

And our affiliated ministry, the Church of Jesus Christ Online Ministries has a Soundcloud Radio channel with FREE audio sermons, articles, books, and booklets available!

So, we are utilizing all these different video platforms because, in truth, we never know if YouTube is going to pull the plug on us. Well, God’s will be done.

Jesus ─ Our Great High Priest

We spent a fair amount of time in the first part talking about the name of Jesus Christ, and the greatness of Jesus Christ. And there are some Scriptures which we didn’t have a chance to get to – if you would, turn to Hebrews chapter 4 –

Verse 14 – “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest [and be thankful for that every single day of your life!!] who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our [profession, our covenant, our advocation, our commitment].”

And, we must confess, verse 15 may be as poorly of a constructed sentence in the King James English as any sentence in the whole Bible. Let’s read it from the King James Version, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”

Well, what the first part of that sentence is trying to say is we do have a High Priest which can be touched knowing our weaknesses. Compared to the LORD God human beings are pretty fragile. We have a lot of weaknesses to us. Physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually speaking. We are not a complete creature yet.

Someday, if the LORD God grants us the gift of eternal life, we will become complete spiritual creatures.

So, we have a High Priest who can empathize with us, and who understands our weaknesses. That should be reassuring.

There are times when we have met a person who is all broken up because they committed some sin. And he acts like – well I’m the first person on the planet to commit a sin. No. We have all sinned. “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” That is why having this great High Priest is such an important thing in our lives. We have a place where we can go and ask for forgiveness. And, we’re told in the Book of 1st John – “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” That is the greatness about having Jesus Christ as our great High Priest.

Now, there are some religions that have human beings they call “priests.” And then some call them “reverends” And, I’m just amazed at how much deference some people give to these individuals who have been given the title priest. Well, friends, they’re just human beings – like all of us. They are no source of “divine power.” Or, majesty. And, quite frankly, we’ve heard a lot of bad reports on some of the things these people have done. Well, we don’t find ourselves in that religion. We do not worship any human being. And, we don’t want you to worship any human being either. But we do hope, wish, and pray that you will make Jesus Christ a center focus of your life. And, if you do that, then you have access to the very life-giving being that He is.

Verse 16 – “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

Now, we’ve often said – if you’ve had a great week, flying high – don’t get too excited, because the following week could go downhill. There are a lot of people who have had high points in their life, and then it just seemed like the bottom falls out of their life.

There was a couple that was attending Sabbath services with us, quite a few years ago. And then they drifted away. They had allowed themselves to be influenced by a truly despicable personality. A so-called church lady that they had gotten to know. And she was a Svengali. She was trying to manipulate them – and she did! And she got them all confused in their mind. And before it was over, they quit coming to Sabbath services.

Well, sometime later, one of our church members accidentally ran into them in a department store. And this man who was such an enthusiastic member of our congregation, told the church member – “I don’t know what’s happening! It just seems like God doesn’t hear my prayers anymore!” Well, Robert, there might be a reason why it seems as if God doesn’t hear your prayers anymore. Because you, Robert, were more worried about what this manipulating woman was saying and doing, than what our Lord Jesus was saying and doing! That is where you made your mistake.

This is what happens when you once had access to Jesus Christ, and then you allowed your own internal issues to divert you away from Jesus Christ. It’s sad.

Jesus ─ Our Judge

Let’s take a look at Chapter 5 –

Notice this in verse 7 –as our Lord Jesus walked the earth as a human being, who was subject to a lot of the inherent weaknesses that we have as human beings. “who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear.”

In other words, respected God the Father.

Now, imagine this – our Lord Jesus Christ, who had done all these glorious miracles! On two occasions He walked on water. He quieted a tempest on the sea that had arisen, rebuking the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. He healed so many people of so many different types of diseases. He even resurrected people from the dead! And yet, there were times in His life, because He was flesh and blood, that He had to cry out to Father God in prayer and supplication with vehement cries and tears.

Verse 8 – “though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience …”

And, you could possibly say, ‘He learned wisdom.’ He learned what it was like to be flesh and blood.

Truly, in the future, our Lord Jesus Christ will be our Judge. And only Jesus Christ. God the Father, apparently from much of what Jesus said, will not be our Judge. Our ultimate Judge – on eternal life or on eternal death – will be Jesus Christ. Because He is the One member of the family of God who knows what it is like to be a human being. He has an appreciation that even God the Father, even though He is magnificently wise and all-knowing, doesn’t really know. And, our Lord Jesus Christ does – and that is: what it’s like to be a human being. And because of that He has a sense of empathy for us.

Continuing, “ … by the things which He suffered.”

So, He also learned wisdom on what it’s like to be a human being. That’s a very good thing because we have a great High Priest in whom we can go to and say – Well, Dear Brother, I got confused and I did this and I did that! And He will be able to say to you, ‘I understand.’

Verse 9 – “And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.”

So, Jesus Christ is the author of eternal life!

Now, we have known church groups that revere the three-letter word, God. We have known church groups that spend very little time talking about Jesus Christ. But, they are all the time talking about God. But, this is a biblical fact, God the Father, the Almighty God, will not be your ultimate Judge. It’s Jesus Christ.

And again, IF YOU’RE ASHAMED OF HIS NAME, you’re in deep trouble!

We continue to stand by that!

Friends, when this sermon came together – when I was home putting the notes together – I knew, and I knew that I knew, that I was being directed to give a sermon that Jesus Christ wanted me to give. And to the best of my ability, I delivered that sermon. But, that message offended the two leaders of that organization! It got them all twisted up inside. They just couldn’t stand that message. And, this continues to puzzle us, after all this decade. Well, this message was never published by that organization. But a few months later I redid that sermon. And this sermon is still up on our websites –, as well as

Run This Race With Endurance

Let’s turn to Hebrews chapter 12 –

Verse 1 – “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight [every problem, every issue], and the sin which so easily ensnares us, …”

This is the Apostle Paul writing, and he is saying to them – ‘understand, there are a lot of people who knew Jesus Christ, that were around Him and watched Him when He walked the earth.’

“ … and let us run with endurance [with perseverance ─ with dogged determination] the race that is set before us.”

Now, I’ve never been much of a runner. When I was a freshman in 1965, I had a Science teacher named P.M. Sanders, who was also our track coach. Sadly, he lost his life about two years ago to a quickly developing cancer. I’m sorry that he’s not with us anymore. But, most track coaches try to recruit. They try to get students at their school interested in their sport. And, if they get more students interested then they’ll probably have a better sports team.

Now, I never thought of myself as a track and field athlete. However, with his cajoling and encouraging I joined the track team.

Well, the very first track meet we had that year was up in Tell City, Indiana. And, Mr. Sanders placed me in the half-mile run. Now, I didn’t know anything about running a half mile – that’s two full laps around the track. So, the official fires off his starting pistol, and I start running! And I was the lead runner for about half of this race – and I begin thinking, this is pretty easy! And I got about three-quarters of the first lap, and all of a sudden lactic acid began to build up in my legs causing them to feel like concrete. And it became harder to catch my breath. And friends, on that second lap, they passed me like I was a tortoise on the highway! ZOOM!

And it came down to two people. There was another athlete from my school named Mark Olds, and I was determined that I wasn’t going to be the last one. So I put everything into it that I had – and I beat Mark to the finish line. Now, there were probably about sixty or seventy people in that race, and we were vying for last and next to the last. But, I wasn’t the last one! Well –

“ … let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”

Now, certainly, you have heard the story about The Tortoise and the Hare, one of Aesop’s Fables. The story concerns a Hare who ridicules a slow-moving Tortoise. Tired of the Hare's arrogant behavior, the Tortoise challenges him to a race. The hare soon leaves the tortoise behind and, confident of winning, takes a nap midway through the race. When the Hare awakes, however, he finds that his competitor, crawling slowly but steadily, has arrived before him.

There is a good analogy here – the people who earn the prize are not the ones that start off the fastest. Like me and that particular track meet in Tell City, Indiana. Well, I began to think I was a Speed Racer – for the first 400 yards! And then reality set in. It’s not the one that starts off the fastest, but it’s the one that just keeps plodding along – day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. One who sticks with Jesus Christ! One who sticks with the Plan! One who sticks on the pursuing the kingdom of God with all their heart, mind, and soul! And those are the people who will win the race – in this case, they’ll win access to the kingdom of God!

Also, there was a story on the radio today. There is a football player by the name of Antonio Brown, who was with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He is considered by many to be a fantastic wide receiver. But, he is considered also by many people who know him to be a gigantic pain in the derriére. It appears as if the teammates, the coaches, the owners, the general managers – don’t like him. And, in 2019, even though he was theoretically valuable, Brown's relationship with the Steelers soured, and he eventually requested a trade. He was traded to the Oakland Raiders.

Well, this fall you continue to hear stories about Antonio Brown causing trouble. Following several off-the-field incidents, including a confrontation with general manager Mike Mayock, the team released Brown without him ever playing a regular-season game with the team. He threatened to beat up his general manager – his boss! Now, friends, I don’t know what type of business you might be in – but everything I’ve ever done you can’t go around threatening to beat up the boss. It just doesn’t work out well. His time in Oakland was short-lived, and they too said, ‘Sayonara, young man!’ He was kind of like a flash in the pan! But, he doesn’t know how to sustain that, because he gets everyone upset with him. He’s just not worth having around.

There are people that we have known in the church world who after a while you have to just say, “You Know, that person is just not worth having around.” They cause too many problems. And why do they do this? We don’t know.

So, this is a man who gets to make millions of dollars playing a game that children should be playing as flag football.

Brown later signed with the New England Patriots shortly thereafter, was investigated for sexual assault allegations, and later signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and was released near the end of the 2021 season after stripping off his uniform and running off of the field during a game against the New York Jets. 1 He’s getting the reputation that he’s not wanted. Because he’s socially unacceptable. He’s emotionally unacceptable. And, he’s spiritually unacceptable.

So, continuing to verse 2 – and this was the inspiration for the three-part series “Look To Jesus” – “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, …” – most horrible torture and death. “ … despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

And from this phrase “looking unto Jesus” came the sermon “Look To Jesus Not Moses,” because the people of whom I was speaking, many of them have what we call an Old Covenant mentality. They want to live life by the Old Covenant ways. And, the people of whom we’re speaking have never captured or understood the richness and the blessings of the principles of the New Covenant. They just don’t understand it.

Well, moving on – notice verse 5 – “And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to [children] …” – and quoting from Proverbs 3:11-12 – ‘My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; 6) For whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.’

Verse 7 – “If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with [children]; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?”

Now, historically that was true. Fathers laid down the law and expected their children to follow it. But, in today’s society, we know a lot of children whose fathers have abdicated their child-rearing responsibilities.

There are fathers who are not even around to help their children. They walked away from them a long time ago – maybe even at their birth. And, that’s sad and tragic. Every child – barring death – should be able to grow up with both his mother and father. A child needs both a mother and a father.

Verse 8 from the King James Version – “But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not [children].”

That is a biblical word – did you know that!?

I remember a few times when I was a child my mother threatened to wash my mouth out with soap. And, certainly, if I had used that word right here, my mother would have gone after the Ivory bar! But, it’s actually a biblical word – probably of Germanic origin, meaning an illegitimate child.

And, there are quite a few so-called “dirty words” in God’s living word. Some people call them cuss words. Well, we think a whole lot of people get way too uptight over the formation of sounds that come off the tongue and pass through the lips. And they tend to have a meltdown over it! There are people who are way too sensitive. But, this is a different topic.

Well, let’s move along to verse 13 – I continue to see things that just jump off the page! “and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.”

Verse 14 – “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.”

Now, the Apostle Paul did say, “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.”

The Apostle Paul was acknowledging that there are among human beings – some people – who are so obnoxious, so off-the-wall, so contrary, so mean-spirited, that it is impossible to get along with them.

Verse 15 – “looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.”

We have spoken many times about the stealth-like spiritual diseases – stealth-like because they sort of sneak up on people. Sadly, people aren’t really aware that they’re falling into this mindset. And one of the largest being bitterness. They get bitter over something. And often, something very similar is jealousy. And they begin to feel sorry for themselves – Why is that person being recognized and I’m not being recognized!? And they begin to dwell upon that.

Recall what we just read in verse 14 – “Pursue peace, … and holiness, …”

Verse 15 – “looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.”

Notice verse 24 – And “to Jesus the Mediator of the New Covenant, …”

Our Lord Jesus Christ created the conditions of the New Covenant. And by His torture and sacrifice, He made the New Covenant holy. And all of us have access to it if we will simply believe His words, and have respect for Him, and His sacrifice, and His place – or rather what should be His place – in all of our lives.

Also, notice chapter 13 of the Book of Hebrews –

Verse 1 – “Let brotherly love continue. 2) Do not forget to entertain strangers, …”

Now, to “entertain strangers,” we have a feeling means to treat them with hospitality. To treat them with decency.

Every day we meet people that we know, or we have known. And then almost every day we meet people that maybe we’ve never met before. And, the Apostle Paul is saying – ‘when you meet these new people, be kind and respectful to them.’ He continues, and isn’t this a statement –

“ … for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels.”

The Apostle Paul writing this – was inspired by the Spirit to write this. So, we believe it’s true! We believe that there have been moments in time in history when human beings have met angelic beings who appeared as fellow human beings. Now, we’re sorry for those people who think that all angels have wings on them – they don’t. We’re speaking about just regular angelic messengers of the LORD God. Not that any angel is regular. Now there are archangels that have wings – some having four, some six. Regular angels can appear as a human being. And, every time you read about this they appear as men. Now, ladies don’t get upset – it’s not discrimination. It’s just that’s the way God the Father and Jesus Christ have ordained it.

And there may have been moments in your life when you – and you didn’t even know it – were actually dealing with one of the LORD God’s messengers and servants.

Now I’ve met people before, church people, and I thought – You know, one time, I think I may have met an angel! And, I’ve heard of people who have broken down on the side of the road, and then all of a sudden – almost out of nowhere – here are some beings to help them. Maybe help them change the tire, maybe repair the automobile. We think and believe that angelic beings have protected us on many occasions. We do believe that there are times when angelic beings interact with flesh and blood humans – you, me, and others.

Let us always keep this in mind. □

1 Wikipedia contributors. "Antonio Brown." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 12 Jul. 2023. Web. 19 Jul. 2023.