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: July 19, 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 with or without symptoms.  In some places wearing face mask is mandatory in all indoor and outdoor public spaces.  Health authorities are indicating that the covid-19 infection data for the City of Atlanta, Georgia is continuing to rise at this present time, therefore we have canceled the in-person services until further notice. Our city is maintaining the rollback to phase 1 of its reopening plan which require people to stay -at-home or shelter-in-place at their homes and only leave for essential tasks.

     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 Modern Apostolic Church part III

       The Modern Apostolic Church must know to stay with the doctrines or teachings of the Biblical Apostles, continually reviving and renewing the same doctrine and not conform to the sinful ways of unbelievers. The Church should follow holiness standards that profess that we are Godly people and welcome all people from every walk of life into the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

     Many rules may seem like good ideas but are not practical in the modern society. Whereas it may be best to never wear any jewelry but this the question that will be asked, “Is all jewelry sinful and prideful? “And the answer is no... “Is all makeup or cosmetics sinful and prideful?”  The answer is no…   From this you can fully grasp the meaning of a women adorning or decorating themselves with the shamefacedness, meekness, or humbleness, avoiding the loud, sensual, wanton, lustful, appearance, but instead putting forth the Godly appearance or decoration.  Most women should know to avoid cleavage, naked thighs, and form fitting tight clothing because they know even from little girls that these are worn for sensual, sexual attraction which excites lust in men or other people for reasons other than marriage which is sin.  And Saints should not dress to encourage sin.

Matthew 5:27- 28 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:  But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

     Most people will grow to understand the Apostle’s doctrine if we are patient with them and will learn what is acceptable items of clothing and what is unacceptable items of clothing.  They may not all have the same taste of choice in outfits, but they will know what is modest and what is for the opposite sex (male or female) which is what the doctrine teaches.  Notice that Modest Apparel, shamefacedness, meekness, sobriety, or alertness being aware of your intentions and surroundings, transcends all ages and all cultures.  Clothing or Apparel has changed through the years, but the doctrine remains the same. 

     We must recognize that some clothing is worn for different activities.  Today women are more that homemakers and housewives. This is why some women today wear female pants or slacks.  For women engineers, welders, construction inspectors, electricians, etc.… where they are climbing ladders or crawling into confined spaces, a long dress would be inappropriate and, in some cases, dangerously unsafe.  While it is true that some female slacks resemble male pants, the issue for the Church should be whether or not the woman is wearing a female version of the item which is Modest not the item itself.  We must sometimes suffer the change in society as a Modern Apostolic Church which allows women to come to Church with female pants on in order to reach those that are lost.  Though we do not encourage women to wear female pants to Church, and would prefer that they wear dresses, but we do not prevent them from entering into the building if they are wearing pants as we once did in the past.  We do this because it may not be practical or justice to exclude women in pants when we send out missionaries in vans to invite and pick up all people to come to the Church when all the people coming are living in sin and seeking to overcome sin.  The doctors, nurses, policewoman, phone service women, schoolteachers, childcare workers, etc.… would have to all be excluded in other words, even those who were working for our health and welfare.   As a result, many children would be unable to come if their mothers were excluded because she wore pants.  In dealing with these subjects some will accuse all of us of lowering the Standard which is not the truth.

     You should clearly see now that though some of the rules had the intention of different items in clothing for male and female, they may not be practical in reaching a lost world.  Rather than different items of clothing for male and female, we must now focus on gender distinction of all items like male and female hats, male and female coats, male and female shoes, male and female pants, male and female jackets with an emphases on Modest Apparel.  

     Apostle Paul is not here in the flesh today so how do we follow him?   We follow the intention or context of his teaching which is summarized in the word modesty without costly array, not decorating ourselves in an immodest, prideful way as to attract lustful attention.

Apostle Paul said  Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ…Notice the focus on following the Apostle’s teaching…

Philippians 3:17 - 20 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.  (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:  Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)   For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:

1Thessalonians 1:6 - 7 And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:  So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.

Hebrews 13:7- 9 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.  Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.   Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.

3John 1:11 Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.

1Corinthians 4:15 - 17 For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.  Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.  For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church.

1Corinthians 11:1 - 7 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.  Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.  But I would have you know that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.  Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.  But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.  For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.  For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.

Ephesians 5:1 – 2 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour.

     Apostle Paul's doctrine and discipline was the same in every place and he taught what he had received from Christ thus he taught the same thing in all the Churches….  "As I teach everywhere in every church".  When we obey and follow the Apostle’s doctrine, we can be assured that we are following God.

We continue with the message from Apostle Shelton written during his lifetime dealing with various cultures……

There is another sociological term that we want to familiarize you with. It is called "cultural lagged". This deals with the institutions in every society. Most of us think of an institution as an insane asylum or a prison; however, the actual meaning does not necessarily mean a building.  It is a framework of operation or function. You have the institution of the family, which is the first and foremost institution. It is the basic institution. We do not care what you have (even though our families are very loosely knit) everything in your society springs from the family. It is nothing you can think of that is dealing with humans that did not start directly or indirectly with the family. Can you think of anything? Even God used the family when he started his plan with mankind. He had a man and a woman. It is a fact. It is a religious fact. It is a doctrinal fact that the family is the foremost institution in the world. God made a man, then he made a woman. And what to them afterwards? They had children. This is the starting of the family. Sin started from the family. It is a natural thing that they committed sin. As far as we are concerned sin could have been in the devil forever. But. if Adam had not sinned, we would not have been under the curse. (Read Genesis 3:17-20)

Genesis 3:17 - 20 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;  Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;  In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.  And Adam called his wife’s name Eve because she was the mother of all living.

     You have your economical institutions. They carry on the commerce. Then you have your religious or social institutions, your schools, and your political institutions. They carry on the government. But in your cultural lagged, the slowest change takes place in your religious institution. 

     Whenever there is a change it causes upheaval. It caused so much upheaval until those people picked up dust and threw it into the air. (See Acts, 22nd chapter)

Acts 22:21- 24 And he said unto me, depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles.  And they gave him audience unto this word, and then lifted up their voices, and said, “Away with such a fellow from the earth: for it is not fit that he should live”.  And as they cried out, and cast off their clothes, and threw dust into the air,   The chief captain commanded him to be brought into the castle, and bade that he should be examined by scourging; that he might know wherefore they cried so against him.

They threw Paul out of the city and beat him. They locked up the Apostles and they crucified Jesus Christ. The change brought so much upheaval until they preferred a thief to Jesus Christ, who would and could set forth this new doctrine.

      It is mainly the political and religious institutions on our society that causes the largest majority of your unrest and upheaval.  The third one you might add is your educational institution. Of course, your education is influenced by your political and religious institutions. If you teach birth control in the schools, it is the religious institutions that cry out. If you teach physiology or biology where you discuss the human body, you hear an outcry. Even if you teach them to pray, someone will cry out, what is the political affiliations of the instructor? The family puts pressure in the Parents and Teacher Association as to who should go to school with their children, and in turn the family puts pressure on the school and if they get no satisfaction, they put pressure on the senator or congressman who tells the pastor to speak out in their congregation. You then have a whole church against it. And if the pastor does not do what the congregation says, they get another pastor who agrees with them. 

     Do you think most of the politicians either believe in civil rights or wrongs, or what have you? A large majority of them, particularly on the National level (and some on the local level) have a sense of rightness or a sense of law, but they must vote according to their constituents or the people who put them in office. They must act according to how their constituents feel.  Not too long ago under a certain president, it was popular to vote "yes" on a Civil Rights Bill. Now when there are riots, it is popular to vote against the Civil Rights Bill. What is the politician's primary function? To get votes regardless to who it hurts or helps. All of these fine platitudes about the good of humanity, etc., are really to justify his existence in his office, he wants to get votes.

     This is the reason the Apostolic Church has dim views on entering politics. We would not be at all opposed to it if we had an Apostolic mayor or an Apostolic governor or an Apostolic president. We could not be opposed to it then because the Apostolic Church would be better understood.  But it would be more different than the theocratic society which we discussed under the law, where the high priest and the prophet had a rule over the religious and political affairs. In any city where there is a strong religious movement, regardless to what name it is; whether it be of the two larger groups of division, or where these pastors or faiths predominate, it will affect the political life of that city.  Any politician who goes against that feeling had better for another place to run for office. Yet, on the surface, we do actually have a separation of church and state.

Here Apostle Shelton explains that the dominate religious view affects all walks of life in a particular local city or state.

     Whenever political idea or any social idea entrenches itself into a society or into group of people, it takes years of change to correct it. People are afraid to stick their neck out. People have so many customs. There are things in our society which are completely idealistic, meaning that they are beautiful ideas, but not practical ones. It would have been beautiful if all we had to do was push a button for religion. It would have easier on us, if we could just have been an administrator, and you only had to push a button to hear a recorded message, and the Church would have functioned. It does not grow that way. We have grown, and we have expanded even with all of those who have backslidden and left. We have grown and prospered more than any of them. Why? Because whenever you have a group of people, you must have central authority. It is a part of your government. This central authority can either be weak or strong, in respect to how the members are which it rules, whether it is a church, club, government, or in a country. Your central government is only as strong as the people will surrender their obedience, identify with it, admire and respect it. If you have a central government which does not assert its authority (that simply sits behind the scenes, and permits a former government to be in ascendancy, to greater than itself) it can never rule.

Here Apostle Shelton emphasizes the rule of the central government. Which should lead or guide the people to greater heights by preaching the same Apostle’s doctrine.  Many of the people did not want to hear or listen to any other preacher other than Bishop Johnson but in the example of Joshua after the death of Moses, God told Joshua to lead the people to the promised land the same goal he gave Moses.

     God gave this example in a most beautiful fashion. Even though Moses (this great prophet whom God used in a great way died, and the people only mourned about for 30 days. After that Joshua led the people to higher heights. These people require more of us than God required of Joshua. God told Joshua to get those over Jordan. (see Joshua, 1st chapter) We are using modem English.  The Lord said that "I am going to magnify you."  What about Moses? Was not he one of the meekest Prophets whoever lived on the earth? Is not he the one who was the pioneer or who had the fathership of taking this great people out of Egypt? Do you mean that God would dare to tell another person that?   

Joshua 1:1 - 8 Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying,   Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.  Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.  From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast.  There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.  Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.  Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.  This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

     Regardless to what people shall claim that you deviated from or that you weakened the faith, which is not true, this generation is asking for fact. Most people who try to argue against our having become Bishop, say Joshua was Moses' minister. Was he a minister? All of the young people's officials are cur ministers. While some of them may be preachers, others are not.  You have a type of minister who ministers the gospel.  Our secretaries are our ministers, who type our letters—they take care of the administration. The scripture does not say that Joshua had to be a preacher. He was a minister. Who can deny that we were the first minister; in the sense that we were general secretary of the whole movement—a minister of Bishop S. C. Johnson.  He was the president.

  The sign of a healthy Church is clearly when you understand the Apostle’s doctrine, and have the same salvation plan taught by different preachers, taught by different ministers, in different local areas, during different times, perhaps by different administrations, and in different cultures.

     When you understand these things, you are able to explain yourself and not have any doubt.  We were going to say as we started that this is one of the healthy signs of any church. This means that it is sure. Our enemies might say well why are we unable to question you? We have no objections. They can ask questions all day. Our only objection is that they will not act orderly. When you restrain them, they are like those civil rights marchers and all those people who call themselves looking for civil right. That is the lie they tell. It is a chance to steal people's property. It is no civil right to destroy property or steal belongings. What does that have to do with what school your children are going to? You see the falseness in it.

     These people argue to say they want to question us on the doctrine, and they are not really in questioning us at all. We are talking about the people who left this Church. They want to satisfy an anger, by trying to embarrass this Church. They are not interested in any doctrinal difference. Because if those hypocrites believed that everything necessary to stop our mouth was in Bishop Johnson's tapes, (they have an opportunity to play his tapes) then, we would be stopped.  We trust you will understand the place of the Apostolic Church in this modern society. If you do not understand why we are here, ask God to open your understanding.

You might ask yourself the question, why all the fighting for organizational control?  Perhaps you can now see that Jesus Christ is the head of the Church. It is Jesus Christ who told Joshua what to do at the death of Moses. It is Jesus Christ who chose and instructed the Apostles. It is Jesus Christ who is presenting unto himself a Holy Church...  When many of the worldwide organizations and local Churches stop emulation and competing for membership and work together for the salvation of the human family, they will see the body of Christ and come to the unity of the Faith.

Ephesians 5:26 - 27 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

Jude 1:3 - 4 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.  For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

  There is always backlash, criticism, and accusation when we change our rules to adjust to the modern world to continue preaching the gospel to every creature even though we preach the same Apostle's Doctrine. You must set yourself to move forward with love toward all people despite of the hardness you may encounter.

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


Guidelines for Individuals in Phase 1:

Guidelines for Businesses in Phase 1:

Guidelines for City Government in Phase 1:


 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.


Atlanta entered Phase 2 at the end of May:

·        which allowed for small, private gatherings of no more than 10 people with social distancing and allowed for to-go and curbside pickups from restaurants (previously allowed in Phase 1) and retail establishments. The gathering size was increased to 50 people with social distancing.

·        Phase 1 is implemented when the percent of hospital and critical care capacity remains above 50%.