Ministers of Jesus Christ
Church of The Lord Jesus Christ
Assemblies of The Apostolic Faith
Atlanta, Georgia - USA
Apostle Dennis G. Smith, Pastor and Spiritual Overseer

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Date: December 20, 2020

To all the Saints of God,

     Grace and peace be unto all the Saints of God around the World.  As this Coronavirus Pandemic continues, we are continually reminding the Saints of God that we are obeying the magistrates and following the guideline of the health and governmental authorities for the safety of all people. 


     Health authorities and governmental officials continue to strongly encourage people to wear face coverings in public and use social distancing, wash your hands, and get tested to help stop the spread of the Covid-19 virus.  In some places wearing face mask is mandatory in all indoor and outdoor public spaces. 


     As of December 17, 2020, the City of Atlanta, Georgia has returned to in Phase I of the Reopening Plan.   Georgia’s “shelter in place” orders have expired for the majority of Georgia businesses. However, statewide orders state that businesses must continue to operate with social distancing and sanitation rules to keep customers and employees safe. The Public Health State of Emergency remains in effect through January 8, 2021.  

     We are continuing online service through Zoom, Facebook, and YouTube.   Baptism and prayer service are available using social distancing and personal protective equipment.


     As we obey the Magistrates, we have complete faith that God will continue to hear our prayers and provide a way for us through these uncertain times.


Romans 13:2-4 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.


TITUS 3:1-2 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.


This week’s encouraging words of growth focuses on:

The Celebration of Holidays (part 3)

By Apostle Dennis Smith

Matthew 6:1 – 4   Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.  Therefore, when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.  But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:   That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.


     The celebrations of holidays should not be an outward display of religious devotion to be seen as holy for recognition in the eye of the pubic.  This type of conduct or display of holy behavior is what our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ called hypocrisy or in other words fake display of false motives.  We must learn to do things with the right intention from our heart and mind.  Giving gifts, praying, fasting, outward dress and praise or worship service is what most religious people use to show their devotion to God.   Though all of these acts of devotion are proper when done from the heart with correct and truthful intentions, they can also be used for false pretense. 


     When the intention is to be seen by crowds for what you are giving to others even though you are helping them, the intention to be recognized for social or political status is not true devotion to Godliness.  Public display of economic power, personal income, or of the accumulated wealth of the giver as a means of either gaining or maintaining a given social status is not true devotion to God.  It is usually better for people to commit to giving throughout the year so that people will not associate your giving as tied to a particular holy day.  Though giving for a good cause helps many people, in the end you want your goodness to come from your heart and not be tied to the celebration of a particular holiday.


    The most recognized outward expressions of religious devotion, spirituality and humility usually includes giving, prayer, and fasting.  But the Lord Jesus taught us how to do these important acts of the devotion without religious showmanship.   The Lord Jesus Christ emphasized that worship and devotion should not be done for pubic display or to be seen of men for status, but ideally should be done in secret.  Most people who make public displays of their piety, humility or religious devotion are leaving examples that those who are pious to impress other people, and may not be truthful in their service and devotion to God.


     When we do things with the right intention our outward actions are unmixed with worldly desires.  We show our true love for God and the Brethren by our compassion for them every day of our lives.

1John 3:16 - 20 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.  But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?   My little children let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.  And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.  For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.


     The main themes that we should focus on is our love and fellowship with God, our love of the Brethren, our love of our neighbors, our ability to love our enemies, and all mankind each day of our life without fanfare and showmanship.  In doing this, we prove that our communion with God is genuine, our spiritual regeneration in receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost is genuine and truth by living a life of active righteousness.  This shows that we are the Children of God who are not a part of the worldly system of unrighteous under the dominion of Satan and evil influences from the lust of the flesh. The celebration of holidays may be a good time to rest, visit, and communicate with family and friends but they do not establish anything as it pertains to a holy lifestyle. Our love must be in daily deeds or actions which are based on righteousness and truth.  No lies should be told about Santa Claus, or other fantasies for commercial product sales or the uniting and intermixing of the pagan tradition of men for political power and personal status.


Mark 7:5 - 9 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands?   He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.  Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.  For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.  And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.


We continue with a Message from Apostle S. McDowell Shelton …. Christmas (2) ………



By Bishop S. McDowell Shelton


"Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrine the commandments of men." Matthew 15:7 - 9


     They have made up their own religion.  That is why you have such falsehood attached to this pagan winter festival of Christmas.  People become so angry with me when we say there is no scripture in the Bible which states the date of Christ's birth.  Read your Bible from Genesis to Revelation. There are many Bible scholars.  There are geniuses out there in the world; yet they cannot find anywhere in the Bible where it states that we should celebrate Christ's birth with Christmas trees, Christmas gifts and all the other paraphernalia and fanfare.  You have your preachers because they are weak. You know, even under Cromwell and the puritanical reform, the people had more grace and more salvation in that respect than some of these so-called holy folks. They realized that this was a pagan celebration and did not indulge in this kind of pagan holidays: associating Christmas and its festivities with the birth of Christ.

     You are always studying and doing research. You answer all kinds of questions for quiz programs. You know the answers to jigsaw puzzles and surveys. You appear on all kinds of shows and have so much knowledge. You graduated magna cum laude and still you haven't had the energy to look up all the paganistic references in your celebration of Christmas or the birth of Christ. 

     You know, the 24th & 25th of December are not unique because thousands of years before Christ was manifested in the flesh (under the Zoroastrian religion), people were giving gifts on the 25th of December.  It was just incorporated and put into the American tradition. You will also find that there was an early reference to a trinity which is nowhere in the scripture. You will have to go to Zoroastria to find the gift giving on the 25th of December where you get all of your hilarity, drinking and all the other things. 


     Next, we will go to your ancient religions of Rome: the sun worshippers who were prevalent in Rome, particularly, at the height of the reign of Constantine and shortly after his reign. This was a winter festival (when the days began to get shorter) that they practiced in that vicinity.  When they proclaimed this day, it was done to appease both the pagan and the nominal Christian worshippers at that time. Read through all of the gospels you will not find anywhere that states the birthday of Christ. None of the religious historians actually know the date that Christ was born.  In fact, when there were manipulations of our present-day calendar under Augustus Caesar, it had some effect on Julius Caesar as well as some of the religious figures of early times as they began to change the calendars.


     There are some historians who declare that our time scheduling (if we are going to count A.D.) is four years behind time.  The reference of the birth of Christ is four years later than it actually occurred.  Now argue over that and see what you come up with!   Write to me and let me know or shut up about Christ's birthday.  You know so much. You are so sure of yourself.  You can see the imprints from rocks and soil of fossil deposits.  You count the layers of strata and try to see how old the world is and who roamed on the earth at such and such a time.  You can count back so many billions of years; yet, you don't even know what time it is !  You don't even know it is the LAST day.  You don't know the birthday of Christ.  None of your big preachers or your outstanding philosophers on religion know.  Pose the question and tell them to give me a certified date when He was born.  Jesus was born in Bethlehem, Judea, the city of David.  Of course, they said He was born in a manger. I have never read that, particularly, in the King James version.  I have read where they laid Him in a manger. They don't know.  If they did know what good would it do them when they haven't obeyed.  You see, that's the hypocrisy of people.  They are so concerned supposedly about the date of Christ's birth and won't obey what He says.  

Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" (Luke 6:46)

“…This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me." (Mark 7:6) 

Some people feel there is some authenticity to the dead sea scrolls.  Why don't you turn up with a certified birth certificate saying, "This is Jesus, the Son." Of course, He was counted as the son of Joseph.  He was of the seed of a woman.  The prophecy was that He was going to come from the house of David from the tribe of Judah, and they were of that tribe of that house.


"Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily." (Matthew 1 :18, 19)

     Mary was born under the law; they could have had her stoned to death.  Some of the extreme remedies that were taken under the law could have been taken "But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost." (Matthew 1:20)


     Until quite recently (and it hasn't been fully perfected) it was impossible to really tell what a woman would have—a boy or a girl. Now they are about 75 percent right.  One thing, the angel went beyond that prospect.  Not only did the angel know it was going to be a son, but he knew the name.

''And she shall 'bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins." 

(Matthew 1 :21)


     Some folks would run their mouths (old folks were great for that) about what the child is going to be; what's going to happen if she gets frightened by a horse or if she wants watermelon and all that old "ism."  That stuff works just enough to make folks deceived.  As far as wanting ice cream, pickles, watermelon, etc., you can get that way almost any time.  You dont' have to be with child to want that.  There are times you just get an appetite and think you want all those things.  When you get them, you still don't want them?  It is still something missing.  You know what is in the human being that is missing? It is the need for the Holy Ghost: that need for God to abide.  Even when you are saved, it is the need for a closer communication.  It is something that neither natural bread nor natural water can satisfy.  It is the need for the living bread, for the living water.  People will say, "Well, he is your seventh child.  That seventh child is going to be able to see things."  Anybody with eyes sees things if they can see.  Folks make every kind of excuse to keep from doing a thing the Bible way.  Why don't you do it the Bible way?  


     You want to see something: the Bible speaks about old men dreaming dreams and young men seeing visions.  "And it shall dome to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens, I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy." (Acts 2:17, 18)

     Why don't you come and get the Holy Ghost, you want to see so much?  Then you will see what the Spirit has to say to the Church: see that you are a sinner; see that you are wrong and need to be saved.  Not you only, but when you come, bring your preacher too because he needs to be baptized in water in the name of Jesus Christ.

"Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel. (Matthew 1:22, 23)

What does Emmanuel mean?  It means "God with us." Do you mean to say that God is going to verily dwell on the earth?  Most certainly!  It had to be interpreted because “…none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory." (I Corinthians 2:8)


“…Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus." (Matthew 1 :24, 25)

 Notice it specified "firstborn" for those of you who are so naive to feel that Mary did not have any more children after she had Jesus—but you have another thought coming. They had more children.  The Lord had some brothers.  Why do you think Joseph and Mary got married?  Mary had more children but, until the time of the birth of Jesus Christ there were no relations between her and Joseph.  I want you to write down the following questions to ask your preacher.

1. Ask him for a certified date when Christ was born. (Of course, he is going to have to back it up with scripture.)

2. Where Jesus said (in the Bible) for us to celebrate His birth. 

3. Find a definite scripture that gives the date (month, year and day) when Christ was crucified.

4. Give date (month, year and . day) when He arose from the dead,

5. Give date (month, year and day) when He ascended up to heaven.

6. Give date (month, year and day) when He's coming back.

    As far as I am concerned, you can forget all the rest of them if you could just tell me when He is coming back.  I would let you slide on all the others if you could just tell me that.  Be honest now. Somebody is going to be ornery enough to go up to their preacher and tell him, "Reverend…”  That's what they call him, you know, and I think that's a terrible title for a preacher.  Some so-called holiness folks try to be modern and want to be like the other churches. You are!  You really are.  All of you are just alike—NOTHING!  Instead of being called "elder," "sister" or "brother," they want to call their preacher "reverend" and their members "Mrs." or "Mr."  I have thought that thing out very seriously.  One while there I said, "Well, maybe the people don't understand saying "sister" or "brother," etc.   Then the scripture came to me:  "For what if some did not believe?" (Romans 3:3) Don't worry about whether they understand or

not; they are willingly ignorant.  You make a distinction and refer to saints as "Sister so and so," and to sinners as "Mrs. or Miss."  If you see a sinner and saint standing together in one place, you walk right up there and to the saint you say, "Praise the Lord, Sister . . .”; to the sinner you say, "Good morning, Mrs. ….”  Let them know you have a difference.

Don't be deceived. Don't sell your birthright for a morsel of meat.  It is not worth it: accepting something that is not scriptural. Jeremiah told them, "Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain . . ."

(Jeremiah 10:2, 3)

     He expressly talks and explains to the people against these practices.  Here you are going to follow a disgraceful kind of lie and hypocrisy: talking about a holiday where a man is supposed to come over the North Pole in a sleigh.  What do you think that man is going to do when he hits some places like Miami or Nassau?  They don't have any snow there.  How is he going to ride?  He would need to carry some extra wheels.  

     You put your mythical Santa Claus to a terrible test.  First you have him come from subzero weather from the North Pole.  The next thing you have him going down a chimney. You change temperature very much.  He just came out of the cold, and he is going to go down almost into a fire. Is this bad enough?  No!  What must Santa Claus look like? Fat and jolly. This fat and jolly looking man is going to have to squeeze down a small circular chimney supposedly.  How does he get down there? Ask your preacher that!  Not only can he hardly get a leg down the chimney, but he has a bag on his shoulder which he has to pull down, also.  Then you "have Rudolph the red-nose reindeer. So, perhaps Rudolph has caught a cold.  Well, what about old Santa Claus?  That's a red nose lie! 

     Most of the Santa Clauses I have seen, along the street and other places, wouldn't know how to get down a chimney anyway because just about everyone you see is drunk. You seldom see a sober Santa Claus.  Have you ever noticed that?  They are just as drunk as they can be. They have their little nips while standing out there on the corner ringing the bell.  Some of them have to talk to all those kids and parents.  Here you bring your child up there to a drunk to tell him what to bring for Christmas.  Even if he could bring it, most of the time he stays so drunk he couldn't remember it anyhow. You will find that they get the majority of their Santa Clauses from skid row in their particular town.  Someone they can hire for just that time.  It is definitely a heathen thing.  It is of the devil.


     You learn not the way of the heathen.  Go out to the nearest Church of the Lord Jesus Christ and be baptized in water in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins.  May God bless and keep you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.


May the Lord Bless you and Keep you and eternally hold you in the center of his will, may he open your understanding that you will come to know that you must repent of your sins and be baptized by immersion in water in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins, then continue in prayer, tarrying until you receive the gift of the Holy Ghost with the sign following speaking with other tongues as the spirit gives you utterances.  Then you must leave the principles of the doctrine and go on to perfection overcoming the love of the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life and continue steadfastly in the Apostle’s Doctrine remembering always that he that endures until the End, the same shall be saved.  In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ who is God Almighty. Amen

With perfect love,
Apostle Dennis G. Smith


Present Guidelines for Individuals and Businesses in Phase 1:

·        Stay home except for essential trips

·        Wear face coverings in public

·        Frequent hand washing

·        Social distancing followed and enforced where practical

·        To-go and delivery orders from restaurants

·        Continue practicing teleworking

·        Frequent cleaning of public and high touch areas


 Social Distancing guidelines:

When to Wear a Mask:

Those who are staying home and have no close contact with people who are infected with COIVID-19 do not need a mask most of the time. However, wearing a nonmedical or homemade mask may be helpful in certain situations or for certain populations. Wear a Mask when:

Because homemade masks protect everyone else from the droplets created by the wearer, it is important that as many people as possible wear these masks when leaving their homes. This helps prevent those who may be infectious but are only mildly symptomatic or not symptomatic from spreading the virus to others in the community.

Everyone should remember the phrase: “My mask protects you; your mask protects me.” By increasing the overall number of people who are containing their coughs, sneezes, and other droplets, it will help us control the overall spread of the virus.