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: March 7, 2021

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 February 25, 2021, the City of Atlanta, Georgia remains in Phase I of the Reopening Plan due to the infection rate of the coronavirus.   Throughout the State of Georgia businesses must continue to operate with social distancing and sanitation rules to keep customers and employees safe.  Covid-19 vaccinations are available and distributed under phase 1A+ plan in Georgia. The vaccine is in limited supply and currently offered to health care workers, first responders, individuals ages 65 and older and their caregivers, residents and staff of long-term care facilities, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and 911operators. As of March 8, 2021 educators and staff, Adults with intellectual, disabilities and parents of children with complex medical conditions.


     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:


Entering the Rest of Jesus Christ (part 2)

 By Apostle Dennis G. Smith


     The principle of rest for our mind, body, and soul, is sometimes described as “Leisure” or as free time.  Free time is time spent away from business, work, job duties, home or house duties and chores, school attendance or education.  Most people see leisure as the privilege of the upper class or people with enough money to spend less time working.  This is the reason why rest is seen as relief from work or activity by sleeping or any relief from exertion producing a state of relaxation and peace as freedom from worry or annoyances.  This is the general meaning of rest to most people of the world.


     But in some religions, rest is understood to refer to the Sabbath as a “day” set aside for rest and worship.   Because rest is also seen as a particular day for worship this has led to much division and debate among various Church organizations.  Because of the biblical commandment "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy," the Sabbath is mostly referred to as a particular day of rest namely the seventh day, commanded by God to be kept as a holy day of rest, as God rested from creation on the seventh day in the book of Genesis.  Many think of Sabbath as a day set aside for worship on the seventh day according to the law or on the first day in remembrance of the resurrection of Jesus Christ also called the Lord’s Day and said to be the Christian Sabbath.


     Observation and remembrance of Sabbath Day is the fourth Commandment in the original Jewish, the Eastern Orthodox, and most Protestant traditions, and the third Commandment in Roman Catholic and Lutheran traditions.

     Most Jews who observe the Sabbath regard it as having been instituted as a perpetual covenant for the Israelites (Exodus 31:13–17), as a sign respecting two events: the day during which God rested after having completed Creation in six days (Exodus 20:8–11) and the Israelites' deliverance from Egypt (Deuteronomy 5:12–15).

     From these short commentaries you can clearly see that there is no denial that there is a Sabbath keeping for the people of God believed by most people.   The issue is how to keep the principle of the Sabbath worship of God and rest for the people of God in the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ during the time of the Church today since we know that the seventh day or Sabbath day is fulfilled in Jesus Christ.  It is also very clear that we keep the principle of worship which is unquestioning love, obedience, and praise of God for his mighty works and his loving kindness and tender mercies every day of our life in that we pray and give thanks.  Then it should be equally clear that the principle of rest for our mind, body, and soul is also is also given by God and is a part of our daily thankful prayers.

Hebrews 4:1 - 3 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.  For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.  For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.  For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.  And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest.  Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:   Again, he limited a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

     Bishop David K. Bernard writes. “From the Sabbath law we can draw a principle of enduring importance and continuing application: the need to provide a time of rest for our bodies and our spirits. In addition, Colossians 2:16-17 speaks of a significance, describing the Sabbath as a type or foreshadowing of a greater reality to be found in Christ.


Colossians 2:14 - 17 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.  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.


Bishop Bernard continues, “Like the Levitical sacrifices, the Sabbaths are fulfilled in Him.  In other words, the Sabbath points to the spiritual rest that Jesus promised.” 


     I will continue to emphasize that all the Law is fulfilled in the love of God and the love of our neighbor.  Once we come to understand the principle of love for God and all mankind it is not difficult for us to see the peace and rest, we receive in Jesus Christ.  "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden," He invited, "and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30).  


Matthew 22:36 - 40 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?  Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.


Galatians 5:14 - 16 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.  This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.


     We can clearly see that Jesus Christ is the Lord of the Sabbath which now focuses on him and his forgiveness of our sins, not the ceremonial keeping of a particular day.  We focus on doing good and righteousness each day of our life not to earn salvation but because it is the right thing to do if we love God and all mankind.  This is also one of the reasons why believers should not fight about a particular day to worship and rest when we worship God everyday and schedule worship services usually according to the cycles of the calendar we use for time.  Since we experience the rest of Jesus Christ everyday, this should not be a cause of debate or division among the Body of Jesus Christ, his universal Church.  The Sabbath day is not kept as one particular day in the Church because it is fulfilled in Jesus Christ everyday.   Of course, the Church is not under the old covenant but under the new covenant of Jesus Christ.  And most Christians schedule worship services on the first day of the week because it is called the Lord's Day because of his resurrection from the dead on that day.  And of course additional worship services are schedules on other days of the week according to the local, national, or international calendars observed.

Matthew 12:1 - 8 At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day.  But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him;   How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests?   Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless?   But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple.  But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.  For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.


Mark 2:27 -28 And he said unto them, “The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath”:  Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.


     It is amazing to me why people cannot see the mercy of God Almighty when acts against a ceremony are committed out of need for caring about people and even animals and are guiltless, which means they are not guilty of sin according to the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ.  If one has an accident on the way to a Church building where people believe in keeping the Sabbath on a particular day, you should not allow the injured people to remain in a ditch but should pull them to safety and perform whatever work is needed to assist them if you were functioning according to the love of God and mankind.


It is specifically through the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the sign of tongues that we partake of the spiritual rest Christ provides.


Isaiah 28:11-12 promises, "For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing." 

     The apostle Peter apparently alluded to this promise when he preached in Acts 3:19, "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord." The time of refreshing is generally understood to be the receipt of the Holy Ghost as shown by Acts 2:38, when Apostle Peter preached on the day of Pentecost, the Birthday of the Church saying, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."  (Act 2:38)


We also receive sanctification, or power to separate from sin and identify with Christ, through the indwelling Holy Spirit (l Thessalonians 2:13; I Peter 1:2).


Bishop Bernard also says in his tractural writing:

Just as the physical Sabbath provided physical rest and sanctification for the Israelites under the old covenant, so the indwelling Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus Christ, provides spiritual rest and sanctification for the church under the new covenant.


Just as the Sabbath was a constant reminder of Israel's deliverance from and of their covenant relationship with God, so the Holy Spirit is a constant reminder of our deliverance from sin and of our new covenant relationship with God.  The Spirit gives us power over sin (Acts 1:8; Romans 8:4), and the Spirit effects the new covenant in our hearts (II Corinthians 3:3; Hebrews 8:8-11).


   There is a Rest or Sabbath for the people of God.  By living in the Spirit, we enjoy the true Sabbath every day. 

     The enduring significance of the Sabbath is beautifully described in Hebrews, Because of their unbelief, the Israelites did not enter the rest that God provided for them, but the Church today still has a promise of spiritual rest.  And according to Hebrews 4:4, this spiritual rest is the true and ultimate fulfillment of God's rest on the seventh day of creation. 


     Hebrews 4:9 states emphatically, "There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God." The word rest here is a translation of the Greek word sabbatismos, which literally means a Sabbath keeping or a Sabbath rest (Thayer).  Does this verse refers to physical Old Testament Sabbath observance?  No.  The next verse states that our Sabbath consists of resting, or ceasing, from our works, just as God did from His (Hebrews 4:10).  

     In other words, to enjoy true spiritual rest, we must renounce the works of the flesh and stop trying to earn salvation by our own works.  Instead, we must exercise faith in Christ's work on our behalf.  Through faith, we receive His Holy Spirit and live daily by the Spirit's guidance and power. The Spirit works in us to regenerate and sanctify, thus preparing us for the eternal Sabbath rest.  Of course, true faith will produce obedience.


Thus Hebrews 4:11 admonishes, *'Let us labour [be diligent, make every effort] therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief."


 Yes, we have a Sabbath keeping—the refreshing presence and sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit that we enjoy every day.  And, yes, the ultimate Sabbath rest awaits us still—eternal rest in the presence of the One to whom the Old Testament Sabbath points: Jesus Christ our Lord.


As Apostle Johnson also stated and taught that the Sabbath day, or the Seventh Day as a particular day of rest and worship was only kept as a law during the fifth dispensation.

From this we all should now surely know that we do not keep a particular day Holy anymore because it is fulfilled by entering the rest of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ every day of our life.  I repeat the teaching of Apostle Paul: Colossians 2:16 - 17 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:  Colossians 2:17  Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.


We continue with a Message from Apostle S. McDowell Shelton …. This Is the Rest ………



BY Bishop S. McDowell Shelton

***It is something to think about.  When you think of the years (in this respect the number of years does mean something) they are able to hold on in this changing evil world.  Some may ask are you still going to the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith?  Where else is there to go?  They will say, “Well, I heard quite a few people left.”  My response is this, “Let everybody turn away; but as for me and my house, we shall serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15.


     When you came in, you condemned everything. You testified that nothing else was right—nothing else could be right.  Everybody that was not like us was a false prophet or had a false doctrine.  You burned every bridge behind you.  You testified to neighbors, relatives, and friends that there was only one place to go from here.  If you do not go up, the next place is down.

     It is not always as you want it to be.  You are not always rejoicing. Do not have a smile on your face always.  To tell you the truth, sometimes you come and cannot tell all that went on when you were here; but you are still coming.   Next week will find you coming again.  Why is that? Because you are waiting for the salvation of God.  You are waiting for the resurrection of His Church.  You are waiting for the perfection of yourself.  You are waiting for God to make up His jewel and take us away.  The only place that I know of in the world where you found of Him in peace is in the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith.  He Himself, came down from heaven and started it when He said, “…upon this rock I will build my Church…” (Matthew 16:18)


     When you think about it, you did not come here anyhow to be pleased.  Of course, you are not going to be pleased out in the world all the time either.  At least, regardless to what you have to go through being saved, you always have a hope at the end.  You have a hope which the world does not have.  They believe in nothing.  They look for nothing, but just for today and right now.  Then when "right now" does not satisfy them, the next thing is to end it all.


Isaiah 25:9 - 10 And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.  For in this mountain shall the hand of the LORD rest, and Moab shall be trodden down under him, even as straw is trodden down for the dunghill.


Where is God's hand?  Where is God moving by His power?  If God is going to do or speak anything on the Earth, He has to do it here.  This is where His hand is moving.  This is where it is resting.  This is where His power is.


Isaiah 25:10 - 11 For in this mountain shall the hand of the LORD rest, and Moab shall be trodden down under him, even as straw is trodden down for the dunghill.  And he shall spread forth his hands in the midst of them, as he that swimmeth spreadeth forth his hands to swim: and he shall bring down their pride together with the spoils of their hands.


     Some will say, “I would not go down there (meaning this Church).”   Who do you think you are?  No wonder the scripture says, “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? (Hebrews 2:6)   Who do you think you are doing a favor?  You talk belonging to a big church where there are doctors and lawyers.  What is that?  Tell me what does a doctorate degree mean in hell?   What does a lawyer’s degree mean in hell?   Try that one on the devil.  Tell him that you tried many famous cases before the Supreme Court.  Then try it when the dead, small, and great stands before God?  See if you will win your case. You will hear your sentence: “Depart from me ye worker of iniquity.” Psalms 6:8.

     Let your false prophet try to explain the "Trinity" before that great hall of justice.  Oh, he is so eloquent.  Then let him try to explain away the fact that the Bible says,"...Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is One Lord”. (Mark 12:29)   
He has been teaching "three." let him justify why he baptized people differently than Jesus, the Apostles, and any of the disciples because he has been baptizing Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.  No one in the scriptures—the Old or New using the term Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

     Let your Pastor explain where he found out the birthdate of Jesus Christ.  They try to teach people this old ancient paganism concerning the birth of Christ on the 25th day of December.  I have been waiting for quite a few years for one of the false prophets to come and bring me Christ's birth certificate.  Even after offering them a reward, I have not received a bonafide birth certificate or at least the record where they registered him.

The scripture says, " Isaiah 25:12 And the fortress of the high fort of thy walls shall he bring down, lay low, and bring to the ground, even to the dust.  All of the things that you count so highly, God is going bring than down even to the dust.


     We are grateful for salvation, for an understanding of the Truth and for a determination to continue on.  This is God’s Church. This is the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ.  We have a love for God.  This is the thing which keeps us going when we have to make and separate ourselves from the world.  We do not have the freedom that these other false religions have who let their folks do what they want to do.  When you do wrong here, you have to repent.  You have to confess and forsake. You cannot stay away from Church and not let us know where you are.  We do not have a missing persons bureau here.  When you are missing and folks do not know where you are, then you go on the disfellowshipped or backslidden list.  The Bible says, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together as the manner of some is…” (Hebrews 10:25)

You cannot be so bold and sin before Israel and the world because it is written: 

“Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat not flesh wine the word standeth, lest I make my brother toe offend”. (I Corinthians 8:13)


     This is our testimony: We have continued until this day.  We have fought on every battlefield until now.  We have a determination to continue on condemning everything that rises up.  We are willing to go through the suffering and the agony.  We are willing to go through the disappointments because we have a power within us.  We have a love that is stronger than death itself.  We have the name that is more powerful than any other name—the name of Jesus.


     Everything in heaven has to bow to the name of Jesus.  Every knee on the earth, under the earth, in the earth—whatever it is—has to bow and declare that He is Lord of lords.  No matter how high your title or how strong your force may be (You might have great armies behind you.  At your command people tremble and platoons march); but at the name of Jesus, you are going bow, you too are going to confess that He is Lord of all.  Since the time when Jesus Christ, Himself, brought the light of the Truth back in this evening time and placed it in His Church, we have continued on here in the Church of the Lord Christ of the Apostolic Faith.  We have continued to spread this light of the gospel.


     Some thought that it would last.  Something that is of God has to last.  It is eternal.  You looked at this thing in the wrong way.  You at me when you should have been looking at Jesus Christ who is God Almighty.  He is the one doing the work here.  He is the author and the finisher of the faith.  I just happen to be in His employment. He has not told me amount of my salary yet.  He just said whatever is right He will give. (Matthew20:4)   You do not get paid by the week.  You just get your substance: He keeps from you falling.  If you are sick, He heals you.  If you are cast down, He gives you joy (not all the time).  He says, if you are poor in spirit, you are blessed.  You may not feel like you are blessed but, blessed are the poor in Spirit. (Matthew 5:3)   He did not tell you to feel it. You just have to take it by faith. 

     So, in closing, as they use to say in the old times—and I guess some still have this testimony: I want to thank the Lord for being here today.  I want to thank the Lord for having taken him on by baptism.  I was baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of my sins.  They use to have a way of saying,” …and tarried around the altar until my soul was filled with the gift of the Holy Ghost.”  Truly, tonight, saints of God, I have a mind to be ready when He comes to take away His Church.   I also have this testimony that right now the thing that has kept me is His word and His power.  You see, I love Jesus because He has done so much for me.

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


Currently the following groups are eligible for COVID vaccine in Georgia:


Beginning March 8, 2021, the following groups will also be eligible for COVID vaccine:


 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.