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 6, 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 3, 2020, the City of Atlanta, Georgia remains in Phase II 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 December 9, 2020.  

     We are continuing limited in-person gatherings to maintain the requested social distancing and online service through Zoom, Facebook, and YouTube.  The “shelter in place” order has expired for Georgians over the age of 65 unless they are “medically fragile.  Baptism and prayer service is continuing using 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 1)

By Apostle Dennis Smith


Colossians 2:16 - 23 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:  Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.  Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,  And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.  Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,  (Touch not; taste not; handle not;  Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? 

     The teaching of the Apostles is that we are rooted and grounded in the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ therefore there is no observance of a particular Holiday that can affect our Salvation.  This is the reason why the whole world should fully understand that days observed as religious days has no power to save anyone from damnation.  Many days which were set aside for the worship of idols and pagan worship of heavenly bodies are where some holidays have originated.  But there is no requirement for their observances in the Christian Faith.  


     The thing that God’s people must guard against is the falseness and lies associated with the commemorations applied to the Holiday periods.  Let us think about the Catholic Holiday called Christmas which originated in the celebration of the birthday of the Sun from the pagan sun worshippers of the Roman Empire.  In examining this holiday celebration, we can see how people spread lies around the world in which many people become the victims or beneficial of by applying Christians teachings of love and giving to those in need to promote something that is not the Truth.  In other words, the Truth is that Christmas is not the birthday of Jesus Christ but a day set aside by the Catholic Church to commemorate his birthday because the pagans were celebrating what they called the birthday of the Sun which is really just the changing into the winter season of the year. 


     The question is whether or not there is sin in giving and receiving gifts.  For the Saints of God, we celebrate and commemorate the Lord and Savior everyday of our life including the Holiday Season of the Year.  For us, this is just a time when some of the people of the world join us with their light shows and do some of the things that should be done every day of the year.  Therefore, there is no sin in giving and receiving gifts that are not promoted by sinful ways or for sinful purposes.  But you must be fully aware that some gifts are given for unrighteous intentions and wrong motives.


 Exodus 23:8 And thou shalt take no gift: for the gift blindeth the wise, and perverteth the words of the righteous.


     Another question is are you kind to the good and the evil?  Do you give expecting nothing in return?  You should see how that this does not fit the concept of Santa Claus who knows if you are good or bad.  And when we promote something that is a obvious lie is this true Christianity?


Luke 6:30 - 35 Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.  And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.  For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.  And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.  And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.  But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.


     Let us now look at the general concept of a holiday.  A holiday is a day set aside by governments, religious institutions, or other groups or organizations by custom or by law on which normal activities, such as business or work including school, are suspended, or reduced depending on local laws, customs, types of employment or personal choices.  Generally, holidays are intended to allow individuals to celebrate or commemorate an event or tradition of cultural or religious significance.  The concept of holidays often originated in connection with religious observances. The intention of a holiday was typically to allow individuals to tend to religious duties associated with important dates on the calendar. 


     In most modern societies, however, holidays serve as much of a recreational function as any other weekend days or activities.  From this general definition you can see that the problem is not the day itself, but the things or activities done in observance of the day whether they are true or false, sinful, or righteous, wholesome, or harmful.


     Holidays to some of us are simply days of rest from our normal work schedule and have no religious intentions at all.  They are simply vacation days.  As you plan for your gatherings during this season, let us continually live a holy lifestyle and avoid anything that is sinful and false.


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



By Bishop S. McDowell Shelton


I am sure if you are honest, you want to know the truth concerning this winter pagan holiday.  If you are honest, you can find out whether the Bible states when Jesus was born.  You know, they are so interested, supposedly, in celebrating the birthday of Jesus Christ, yet they cannot prove that it is His birthday—and they do not do the things that He says.  Now, if you really loved Him, if you were really concerned with Him—the scripture says, "If ye love me, keep my commandments."  (John 14:15) If you really loved Him then you would obey what He said. Jesus said, “  Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." (John 3:5)   That is, if you were really interested. 


     You know what the trouble with the people is: They have a form of godliness.  Salvation is not a birthday party.  Jesus never asked you to have one for Him or to have a special day.  He wants you to live every day holy.  One might say, “Why, that Church calls themselves Christians, and they are against somebody celebrating Christ's birthday?  That is what the devil says, you know.  If I knew when Jesus' birthday was (it would be a wonderful thing to know, but even if I knew) I could not do anything with it other than to announce the date.  

     There is no Bible that says there should be any, special kind of worship or any kind of thing done for the Church today.  And then, what shall I render unto the Lord?  I could not give Him anything material to use because He has gone back to Spirit: He could not wear a suit; He could not wear, a hat.  So, the only thing I could render unto Him is to drink of the cup of salvation. The only thing you can render unto Him is to surrender your body a living sacrifice, and come on and be baptized in water in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins.  


     What doth it profit the Spirit for you to put red, green, and blue lights in your window?  How does that help the Lord out for you to put up a Christmas tree?  What do you think? All those trees out in the forests belong to God.  He does not need you to bring a tree in your house for Him.  "The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof; . . ." (Psalm 24:1)   That already belongs to Him.  The thing that you should do, you do not want to do.  Alright, if you believed that Dec. 25th is really Christ's birthday, and you want to give Him a gift, you come and give yourself.  Come and give Him your mind, your heart—give Him your labour in His service.  


     There is no reference in the Bible of the early Testament Church having kept a Christmas.  You know, the people have such a sentimentality about this holiday; you can tell it is not right because if it were Bible, they would not pay it any attention.   But this winter festival is an old worship; in fact, they kept the days (starting about the 22nd or so of December under the Roman Empire and in the Persian Empire on the 25th) where they gave gifts. This habit of giving gifts was practiced—many, many years before God was manifested in the flesh—on the 25th of December by the Zoroastrians.  This thing is not Christian in origin.  The mistletoe and the stories around the birth was practiced in the East.  The worshippers of Nimrod and his mother was practiced with them, but there is no Bible whatsoever.  The burning yule logs that they have (this yule log and yuletide spirit) started with the worshippers of Nimrod; it is also connected with the Chaldeans, and was carried over into the Egyptian Empire. The total thing is a pagan expression of their deities and of their worships.  


     It was caught up by the business interest in the capitalistic society and you, the innocent public, are victims of this dupe; they used you to spend your money.  Naturally, the business interests are going to advertise. It helps the banks out when you invest your money in Christmas saving accounts; they can use your money for further investments.  It spurs up business. Extra people are hired during the Christmas rush.  The stores can sell you all the junk that they could not sell any other time.  Even the candy stores can go down and get that candy that is stuck together and knock it loose and brush over all that dusty, gray-looking chocolate. And you will buy it around that time. 


     You will say, "Well, are you against giving.   No, we are not against giving.  You should look at our charity record.  I believe that the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ gives more in direct charities than any other church of its size that I know of.  We believe in giving all year around: to give to them that have need.  You will find that most people, in their giving during the Christmas season, give to those who can give back to them.  


     Then another thing about that Christmas giving that is so carnal, it is given, with a feeling, so they can throw off or feel big.  Then God does not get any glory out of it.  When you give somebody something, you should give to them in secret so the Lord will reward you openly. Matthew 6:1-4


     These charities that give to different people baskets and give to different people various things—they get up over the air and announce how many families they gave to. They publish it in the papers.  I am telling you, I guess it makes the people feel like worms.  The fact that they had to be recipients of charity.  If you want to give somebody something, just go ahead and give it to them and forget about it; that is, if you give it to them from your heart. Their giving is politically inspired. You will find that the politicians will go into the very deprived neighborhoods during the Christmas time and take a picture with a ragged little boy: handing this ragged little boy a choo-choo train or a car.  He will have his picture taken patting this little ragged boy on the shoulder.  He would not pay that family any attention until next Christmas time.  If he loses the election, that is the end of that. 


     You want to celebrate the birth of Christ, then you celebrate it by giving your life: celebrate it by giving Him your worship; celebrate it by repenting and being baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins—receiving the Holy Ghost speaking in other tongues as the Spirit gives you utterance.


     Now, they asked about the Christmas tree.  Do you know that Jeremiah was crying out against it long before the New Testament Church began?  He told them to, “…. 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: for one cutteth tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.” (Jeremiah 10:2-4)   It is a shame that in this world of modern technocracy (of all the degrees and education) that you still are in that status quo of being a heathen. Instead of progressing, you are digressing. You are going backwards and going away from the truth.

“Learn not the way of the heathen…” Jeremiah 10:2   And that is what you are learning everything you tell your

children something about Santa Claus.  You know anything that has a lie in it—how could it be of God? Speaking of Santa Claus coming on his sleigh!  You take a sleigh over to Jerusalem and see how much snow you will get to slide on.  If you slide on anything, you will slide on that sand out on that Gaza desert.

“…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)


     You know, during the Easter worship it is the moon and sun that has a part in their worship. The full moon has to come after vernal equinox.  And then they have the sunrise service during the Easter worship. When it comes to Christmas, it is the star—"the signs of heaven,"  you know.   And the Bible says, “…be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; …” (Jeremiah 10:2)  They declare (I think it is the north star, or one of the stars) it shines brighter during Christmas time.  And the devil makes them look up and makes that thing look brighter.  "For the customs of the people are vain: . . " (Jeremiah 10:3)   The scripture says,  “…. in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” (Matthew 15:9)


If you listen to Bishop Shelton today, no doubt you will not get those gray hairs in January.  That husband, that father will not lose the hair that he has trying to pay those bills: giving gifts to ungrateful friends.  It is so ridiculous: people giving a tie to somebody that already has about twenty-five ties (they have a custom of giving out ties for them to put up on the rack.  What else do they usually give?  Ties, bedroom slippers that are too small; shirts that do not fit; and then they are too embarrassed to tell them that they do not fit, in most cases; so, they go down and take the shirt back.  It is a mad rush. They try to take it back themselves during the exchange time after the Christmas holiday. And sometimes the people tell a lie and take a shirt from one store back to another store and declare they got it there.  


     You know, they say, "Oh, they are so mean. You mean to tell me they want to take all the pleasure from the little children. They are going to tell them that there is no Santa Claus."  Let me tell you this: "When your child grows up and tells you a big lie and causes you to have tears in your eyes, don't try to scold him; don't feel badly about it. You were the one who started them on the road to being a big liar when you told them the lie about Christmas, and the lie about the bunny rabbit bringing eggs.  " A BUNNY RABBIT BRINGING EGGS!  That is a strange bunny rabbit.  I do not know which is the biggest lie.  And then they make the lie so gregarious to the point that the eggs are purple, blue, red, and orange.  And here they start a lie that is so preposterous; they say that Santa Claus is coming down the chimney.  Would they get a thin, streamline Santa Claus?  No! they make Santa Claus big and roly-poly and then adds insult to injury by saying that fat man is coming down a chimney. "For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; . .10 4)  You see the point?


Remember, "learn not the way of the heathen."

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 2:

·        Stay home except for essential trips

·        Wear face coverings in public

·        Frequent hand washing

·        Social distancing followed and enforced where practical

·        Small private gatherings of no more than 10 people, with social distancing

·        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.