Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Letter to our Friends - February 19, 2024

P.O. BOX 6458

Leonard V Johnson
Pastor and Founder

Dearest Brethren and Friends:

Greetings, from a wet and raining West Central Florida!

What Is the Kingdom of God?

We are very excited to announce we have a new online booklet! “WHAT IS THE KINGDOM OF GOD?” in PDF format.

It has also been translated into Spanish.

And, it’s on our Soundcloud Radio channel in Kiswahili.

Let us consider God’s living eternal word –
“But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good. 14) And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed” – 2 Thessalonians 3:13-14.

“Finally, my brethren, REJOICE IN THE LORD. For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe.” – Philippians 3:1.
Brethren and Friends, grow not weary with the fact that the Church of Jesus Christ Online Ministries and our affiliated churches has put out some online PDF booklets in a few languages (English, Kiswahili, and Spanish). We do not think it tedious to continue providing you (in a language you are comfortable with) online PDF booklets, books, articles – as well as Soundcloud audio articles.

These translations help support the commission of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ – Matthew 28:19-20.

REJOICE and BE THANKFUL that the LORD God has blessed you to support this MOST IMPORTANT WORK on Earth at this moment in time!
“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.
The Idolatry of Celebrity Preachers:

Let me tell you a story. December 3rd, 2016, I attended an “invited” Sabbath service down in Tampa, FL with a church group (many of you know of which organization I speak of). We were meeting in a breakfast area of a hotel – roughly the size of an ordinary Taco Bell. An elderly gentleman had arrived and immediately took his attaché case and placed it in his seat. Maybe 15 minutes went by before he came and sat at his table. I got up and went and shook his hand and introduced myself, sat back down, and gave him a short version of how I got to where I am. The first words out of his mouth were, “You’re sitting in the wrong place! That’s where the minister and his wife sit” – and I wouldn’t be able to sit over there, as he pointed his finger because a large family comes and sits there. Nor would I be able to sit over there, again pointing with his finger, because so-and-so, and he mentioned them by name, sits there. “You can sit over there,” as he points to a table far across the room. Even though I was told over the phone that a dozen people attend this small congregation – it turned out that only six people showed up, including the minister and his wife. After the minister and his wife showed up, the three began to fawn over them incessantly. I have been witness to this type of response several times within these church organizations. I once, back in 1983, witnessed a member of a church sitting at the feet of a minister – admiring him as if he was a god – as he reveled in this adulation. Indeed, I am a proponent of having the utmost honor and respect for the leaders whom God has ordained who labor among us (Hebrews 13:7, 17), but that, in my opinion, had stepped over the edge and into idolatry.

When Cornelius met the apostle Peter and bowed before him, the apostle Peter rightly told him to get up, that he was only a man like himself (Acts 10). Now, there is certainly nothing wrong with emulating or following a true servant of Christ (and like Christ Jesus, we are servants (Mark 10:45), but there is something inherently wrong with idolizing a Christian leader. As an example: the 20th-century Protestant minister William Branham is often portrayed in photos with a “halo” above his head – as if he’s of divinity.

Friends, if the Church of Jesus Christ (and I emphasize this because Christ is the Head of the Church) would build according to the pattern set before us by Jesus Christ and on down to His apostles – in which the whole Body exists to edify and to minister to one another in love, then we would not depend merely upon one leader for the body to function. For there is but “one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” – Ephesians 4:6.

The Idol of Personal Prosperity:

Let me give you a scenario. There is this hierarchal leader of a church in whom you contact. Talking with him over the phone you get the impression that he is a most arrogant and conceited man, a boastful man, a not so “brotherly-love” sort of man. A man who insults you and calls you a BOOSTER. When, in reality, this egomaniac (this so-called leader who incessantly states, “I have a Ph.D. and a Th.D.!”) is nothing more than a whore for money. The apostle Paul indeed says we are not to “peddle” the Word of the Eternal (2 Corinthians 2:17). Upon hearing that you are not willing to drive across your state to “meet” with him – you never hear from him again. Thank God!

Friends, many of the churches of God may not want to admit (or they may not even be aware) that they are indeed peddling or whoring for money. This Ph.D.-wielding arrogant man very magnanimously talks a good talk – he speaks of freely giving, refusing to take any pay. But once you bite, demands on your family’s livelihood are made in the name of God – and if you refuse to comply or question there will be dire consequences when the “great” tribulation comes with the demise of your spiritual and eternal destruction. He believes that he is doing the best “Philadelphian” work that has ever been accomplished – in Africa. He is so desperate to “convert” the same people who have jumped from one church to another after another. Whoever has the money gets the newest “converts.” Of course, this white bwana truly believes that he is the savior of Africa with his regurgitated version of “truth.”

Sadly, there are so-called leaders whose main motive is to use their faith to leverage influence with God for personal gain. Indeed God delights in blessing all of His children – 3 John 2. Jesus tells us to seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness for our material needs to be added to us – Matthew 6:33. I believe that using our faith to put our own needs first is a form of idolatry.

The Idol of Objectifying God:

Throughout these 43 years, I have come to witness a great many so-called leaders of the churches of this world, as well as so many of the churches of God, preach and promote an “I,” “me” and a “my” culture. In other words, in which the preaching deals with self-actualization. Many have often fed into the cultural idolatry of this world to attract people into the church – something which highly displeases God (See: Ezekiel 44:10, 12). Many use God and or their own ailments to suit their own needs.

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 sermon suggested for this week is “Know Your Enemy” available on our Soundcloud Radio channel.
• Closing song. Our suggested song is “I Need Thee Every Hour” sung by Minister G.C. LaMar.
• 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’ UGETube channel. Also, we post all of our ‘Letters’ on our website:

Some World News Concerning Biblical Prophecy

We are witnessing even greater pressure against anyone who speaks relative truth. For there is only one source of absolute truth – God, Creator of the heavens and of the earth! In reality, 2+2 does not always equal 4! My father taught me this when I was fourteen with his slide rule! However, as usual, government officials are continuing to be allowed to lie – as a report from the United Kingdom points out. (See: ZeroHedge‘UK’s “Online Safety Act” Officially Grants MSM Permission To Publish Lies’). The United States of America has her own problems with this as well! (See: ZeroHedge‘Homeland Security Cited Inaccurate Allegation To Censor New York Times Journalist’).

We are continuing to witness even greater steps toward complete totalitarianism. These so-called “safeguards” to limit “knowingly false information with the intent to cause harm” IS AN OUTRIGHT JOKE! Because these “Fact Checkers” tend to think that if they do not agree with something – then, somehow, the whole world shouldn’t! Are we all like the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz!? The “brainless” Scarecrow joins Dorothy in the hope that The Wizard will give him a brain!

Last year, Michael Snyder of the End Of The American Dream posted –

Our world is becoming a creepier place with each passing day. … And a new tool that was just introduced by the UN will make it much easier for them to control what we write on the Internet…

The iVerify System Is Here

The UN’s new fact-checking system is going to be a game changer, but so far the mainstream media is being really quiet about it.

Perhaps that is because they don’t want millions of us to object to this sort of tyranny.
Well, ever-increasing censorship should not be of any surprise! Even many in Jerusalem, Israel understand that TRUTH will become lacking before the return of our living Savior – the Son of God – our Lord Jesus Christ! Notice –
Internet Censorship: Pre-Messiah Evil Described by Isaiah

Isaiah: Lack of Truth in End-of-Days

The Talmud (97a) goes into great detail describing the conditions in the days preceding the final redemption. One condition is based on a prophecy written in the Book of Isaiah.
[Translated from my Torah] – “defiance and denial of HASHEM and withdrawal from after our God, speaking of oppression and rebellion, conceiving and contemplating words of falsehood from the heart. 14) Thus justice has been in the street, and integrity cannot enter. 15) Truth became lacking and refraining from evil seemed foolish. HASHEM saw all this and it was evil in His eyes that there is no justice.” – Isaiah 59:13-15.
Minister Michael C. Garrett –
“This Old Testament prophecy – indeed talking about TODAY’S SOCIETY. I do believe.

“Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy [or deaf], That it cannot hear. 2) But your iniquities [your sins] have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear you. 3) For your hands are defiled with blood, And your fingers with iniquity; Your lips have spoken lies, …” – and so many religious leaders have that one directly placed upon their head. “ … Your tongue has muttered perversity.”

Verse 4 – “No one calls for justice, Nor does any plead for truth. …” – O they’ll follow church tradition, and they’ll follow their leader – and that can be applied to so many different groups. And you are sort-of made to believe that only he knows what he’s talking about – and you must follow him explicitly, without doubt. And yet, the Bible says, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” So, why are you looking to a man!? Why are you looking to a so-called leader!? And, the Catholics do it, the Mormons (the Latter Day Saints) do it, the Baptists do it, the Methodists do it. Everywhere you look in the world of religion. They get hung up on, “Well, our leader says.” Well, your leader ought to be Jesus Christ! And your rulebook should be the Word of God! – properly understood, properly taught. Not deceitfully used.

“ … They trust in empty words (vanity) and speak lies; They conceive evil and bring forth iniquity.”

If you would turn to verse 13 – “In transgressing and lying against the LORD, And departing from our God, Speaking oppression and revolt, Conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood. 14) Justice [judgment] is turned back, And righteousness stands afar off; For truth is fallen in the street, And equity [or justice] cannot enter. 15) So truth fails, …”

And, I am unable to go through all the Scriptures, but there is one parable. Matthew 13. And, I hope that nothing more – from this part five alone – you remember the parable in Matthew 13. Verse 44 – “’Again, the kingdom [from] heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid [he hides this treasure]; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.’” What is He talking about there!? The treasure - you should be willing to sell all that you have - that you can buy that field where the treasure is hid – is the TRUTH OF GOD!”

(Garrett, M.C. The End-Time Prophets, 2023, pgs. 58-59).
So, like we’ve been teaching – the truth that will be lacking as we get closer to the return of our Lord Jesus Christ will be the TRUTH OF GOD!
“’ Behold, the days are coming,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘That I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine of bread, Nor a thirst for water, But OF HEARING THE WORDS OF THE LORD.’” – Amos 8:11.
Even though this Rabbi Sheila and this Rabbi Yosef Berger do not recognize our Lord Jesus of Nazareth as the true Messiah, they certainly understand to a degree that TRUTH will become lacking before the return of our living Savior! Again, one does not turn to Judaism to learn about our Lord Jesus Christ and all things that He has commanded us.

We are told by the LORD God – “Brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him [in the clouds of the atmosphere] … 7) For the mystery of lawlessness [of sin] is already at work; …” – recall the apostle Paul had WARNED that even then in AD 51-52 many were turning to ‘a different gospel, which is not another’ – cf. Galatians 1:6-9.

“ … only he who now [letteth] will do so …” – meaning, i.e., the continuance of the ‘mystery of lawlessness’ - of sin - will only be “until he is taken out of the way.”

Verse 9 – “The coming of the lawless one [this end-time man of sin] is according to the working of Satan, …” – recall Revelation 13:2 “ … The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.” “ … with power, signs, and lying wonders, 10) and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” - because this blessed TRUTH will not be heard around the world!

Verse 11 – “And for this reason [because ‘they did not receive the love of truth’] God will send strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12) that they all may be condemned who do not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

Sadly, CATHOLIC EUROPE is moving faster than ever toward complete totalitarianism in regards to what is relative truth – consistency with several biblical two-fold prophecies –

Cf. – “Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke like a dragon [or rather, he speaks for the dragon]. 12) And he exercises all the authority of the FIRST BEAST in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. 13) He [this beast with two horns like a lamb, yet speaking for the dragon] performs great signs, so that he even makes fire [or rather lightning] come down from heaven [the atmosphere] on the earth IN THE SIGHT OF MEN. 14) And he deceives those who dwell on the earth BY THOSE SIGNS which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image [a religious spokesperson] to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived.

15) He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast [the Roman Catholic Church will become the most powerful voice for this seventh revival of the “Holy” Roman Empire!], that the image of the beast should both speak [such as a Urbi et Orbi] and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.” – does anyone recall the Inquisitions!

16) He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and [bond], to receive a MARK on their right hand or on their foreheads.”

This MARK is the Crucifixthe corpus, along with any of its manifestations - hence the cross.

17) And that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark [a person who willingly accepts the cross as the official symbol of Christianity] or the name of the beast [the revitalized “Holy” Roman Empire], or the number of his name [a recognized citizen of Rome].” – Revelation 13:11-17.

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.

“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, Brethren and Friends, be thankful for our calling! We all should be!

With love and gratitude, in Jesus' Name,

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