The Church Of Jesus Christ Headquarters: 2797 Bryant St. Portage, IN 46368 Phone: 219-763-1049 www.JESUSCHRISTISGOD.ORG Message of Hope Official Organ, owned by: The Church of Jesus Christ Editor of the Message of Hope: Sis. Wendy Leslie Please send all articles to: MESSAGE OF HOPE 236 Southwind Dr. Valparaiso, IN 46385 Bugsy2004@msn.com Articles and Pictures due: March
What Does The Church of Jesus Christ Believe? We believe that the Bible is the infallible Word of God and is the SOLE authority on every subject. We believe that Jesus Christ is the Almighty God. Rev. 1:8, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” God put on a robe of flesh and walked here on earth for 33 years to fulfill prophecy for the New Testament Church, which is The Church of Jesus Christ. According to the Word, John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:14, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us….” The Church of Jesus Christ believes that everyone must take His word seriously, John 8:24, “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I Am He, ye shall die in your sins.” We follow God’s plan of salvation. Acts 2:38, “…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.” Baptism is by immersion in water only. The evidence of the infilling of the Holy Ghost is according to Acts 2:4, “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” John 3:5 states, “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” We must then live a clean, holy, and dedicated life to Jesus Christ thereafter taking diligent heed to the Word. The Church of Jesus Christ must be found faithful to His Word. We must be partakers of Communion service. This service consists of the Lord’s Supper and Foot Washing. 1 Cor. 11:24, 25, “And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. (25) After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, “This cup is the New Testament in my blood: this do ye oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.” John 13:14, 15, “If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. (15) For I have given you an example that ye should do as I have done to you.” Watch, pray, forsake not the assembling of yourselves together, give your tithes and offerings, so that YOU can be counted among the faithful when our one and only Savior, Jesus Christ, comes back in a “cloud with power and great glory”!
Executive Board of Bishops Bishop Jarret R. Spence, Presiding Bishop 2298 Fern Street Portage, Indiana 46368 Phone 219-762-7492 Bishop Tommy Johnson, Asst. Presiding Bishop P.O. Box 505 Dyersburg, Tennessee 38024 Phone 731-285-9200 Bishop Paul Rose, Secretary/Treasurer P.O. Box 344 Cabin Creek, West Virginia 25035 Phone 304-595-5640
National Youth Leaders Bro. Jarret & Sis. Caryn Spence 804 Pennsylvania Avenue LaPorte, IN 46350 Phone 219-325-3904 Bro. Travis & Sis. Nora Hensley, Assistants 437 Tecumseh Street Warsaw, IN 46582 Phone 574-551-4487
Bishop of Jamaica Bishop Orville Rodney 199 Catherene Mount Albion P. A. Montego Bay, St. James, Jamaica, W. I. Phone 876-952-6676
Bishop of Canada Bishop Mathias Gooden 75 Dunlop St., Apt. 406 Richmond Hills, ON L4C 2M7 CANADA Phone 905-883-8543
State Bishops Bishop Charles Hays, Sr. 409 Fitch Street Albion, Michigan 49224 Phone 517-629-7053
Bishop Danny Walls P.O. Box 216 Ingalls, Indiana 46048 Phone 317-485-4105
United We Stand
Divided We Fall
Praise the Lord! God is so good and greatly to be praised! “Let every thing that hath breath, praise the Lord!” We always want to give Him the glory that He is truly due. I am going to try and follow in Sis. Shirley Taylor’s shoes with the report from Dyersburg. She did a wonderful job for many years and we want to say “Thank You, Sis. Shirley for your many years of dedication.” In October, Bro. Mickey felt led to send out weekly devotionals by e-mail. These are then forwarded to family and friends who can enjoy words of encouragement and uplift. They really get my week started out right and it gives me something to think on throughout the week. We know that this will be a good outreach to the lost. We had a special revival service that broke-out on a Sunday night (11/09/08). Sis. Haley McGuire received the Holy Ghost that night. She is a young child of the age of only 6, but God is no respecter of persons. He can use the very young to the very old. Sis. Laura Beth Dodd received the Holy Ghost the next night. It was so wonderful to see these two sisters filled with the precious gift! Many were renewed in the Holy Ghost. It was so good to see Sis. Tabitha come to the altar and pray. We are still praying for all those that still need the Holy Ghost. We know that God has got it for them. Bro. Ricky Westmoreland was only able to preach one of the four nights of the revival because of the Lord moving in the services. Bro. Ricky preached a wonderful message on “Praising Him”. God is so worthy of all the praise we can give Him! On Sunday morning (11/23/08), Sis Haley McGuire was baptized in that wonderful name of Jesus Christ. Bro. Mickey announced that Bro. Eric Gilbert was called into the ministry and he left us his testimony. He preached his first message that night on “Faith”, followed by his father, Bro. Ed Gilbert. Bro. Eric did a wonderful job! You could see the spirit of the Lord upon him. We know that he is going to do a wonderful work for the Lord. Our souls have richly been fed by the word that has been going forth. Bro. Mickey preached a wonderful message about setting spiritual goals. With the New Year approaching, many will be setting goals for the year. We daily need to be working on spiritual goals for our lives like praying, fasting, and reading the word of God more. Bro. Mickey said something in one of his messages that really stuck with me. Many people in life are striving for riches and putting back for the future. He said, “Riches can’t buy you one more minute of life when your time is up.” This is so true! Riches are just things, and things can’t buy us true happiness, they only pass away. True happiness only comes from serving Jesus Christ---Eternal Life. We better be building up our spiritual home. The youth group just finished performing their Christmas play directed by Bro. Pete and Sis. Tammy Putman. They all did an outstanding job! Many told me after the play that they had families that were very touched by it. The play was about taking out time for
God and realizing that He is the true meaning of Christmas. There were also instrumentals, songs, and even a drama group that performed with dowel rods. It was awesome! It really takes the cooperation of the whole church to put on such a performance. Everyone did an excellent job! I commend you all! Bro. Pete and Sis. Tammy took the youth group to Nashville after Christmas. We had a wonderful time! We are so thankful for their desire to work with the youth group at the church. We just want to say “Thanks and We Love You!” We pray that everyone had a wonderful holiday and we are looking forward to what God is going to do for us ALL this year. Continue to remember us in Dyersburg as we remember you. God bless you all! Church Reporter: Sis. Amanda Rose Pastor, Elder Mickey Dodd The Church of Jesus Christ Dyersburg, TN
2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” I was thinking of this scripture while vacuuming the church. When the carpet is new, we vacuum it and take care of stains and dirt right away. Some time later when the carpet is older and worn, we get lax at our treatment of it. We don’t care if it gets vacuumed as often and some stains are not taken care of right away. Sis. Betty Westmoreland had gotten the church a very good and powerful vacuum but we had a problem with it. It was too powerful and would grab the strings in the carpet that was already loose and unravel the carpet. Did you notice I blamed the vacuum? It wasn’t really the vacuums’ fault. The carpet was already damaged before we started using that powerful vacuum. Once we damage our spiritual life, it may not be easy to clean up, but do not quit. A lot of people quit vacuuming when the carpet gets old, but the dirt in the carpet makes the threads get thin and damages the carpet. We can’t let our walk with Jesus Christ get lax. Sometimes we have to go back and replace the carpet with new carpeting. We can’t receive the Holy Ghost again, but in Ephesians 4:23 says, “And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God, is created in righteousness and true holiness.” Sis. Paula Hall Pastor, Bishop Randell Spence The Church of Jesus Christ Portage, IN
Report on Mexico Trip Bishop Randell Spence
In November we were honored to attend special services at The Church of Jesus Christ in Matamoras, Mexico. We would like to thank the host Pastor Brother Lauren and his wife for inviting us for the special services. The three Bishops and wives attending from the States were, Bishop Spence and his wife Sister Judy, Bishop Johnson and wife Sister Peggy, and Bishop Rose and wife Sister Brenda. We found the trip to Mexico to be a blessing to us. Many pastors attended that we had not met before. We had great services and enjoyed fellowshipping with their saints. It was a great opportunity to be able to preach the gospel as the Lord has called us. You will find several pictures of the saints and musicians we met while there. I’d like to thank Bro. Reuben for interpreting the messages for me. He did a fantastic job! We also visited and preached at his church in Pharr, Texas. Through Bro. Reuben we met Pastor Joel Hinojosa who pastors in Edinburg, Texas. Bro. Joel Hinojosa would like for us to come and preach for him on our next trip to Texas.
Bishop & Sis. Spence, Bishop & Sis. Johnson, Bishop & Sis. Rose
Pastor Lauren & Sis. Lauren & son James
Musicians & singers from Bro. Lauren’s church. They are very talented & faithful saints. We found them to be a blessing to us all.
This is a picture of Pastor Benita Zepeta’s mother. She is 104 years old, and has been a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ for many years. We are thankful we had the privilege of meeting & having prayer with her at her home. She was a blessing to us all. We all agreed she does not look 104! We just hope we look that good when we reach that age!
The ladies choir from Matamoras blessed our souls with their singing.
Bishop Spence & interpreter Pastor Reuben Cervantes
Picture taken at The Church of Jesus Christ located on the outskirts of Matamoras. Bishop Rose, Bro. Lauren, Bishop Johnson, Bishop Spence & Pastor Benita Zepeta
CONFUSION IN THE LAND
TIME TO PRAISE HIM! Greetings in the Name of Jesus Christ!
God is not the author of confusion according to I Corinthians 14:33. As we investigate and begin to ask questions, we find many who are confused regarding the word Pentecost or Pentecostal. I have taken a short excerpt out of a letter that was mailed to me. I would like to let you decide for yourself, because I am in agreement with what the writer says. He is confused and so am I. He says in his letter, "I go to a Pentecostal Church, but I have more 'oneness' friends than trinitarians; in fact, I hear more 'oneness' pentecostal preachers than 'trinitarian' pentecostal preachers on the radio, which I find strange." Here is the confusion that is in the land today. I was visiting in a home some time ago, and there sat a mother and her son. Both of them said that they were Pentecostal, yet one believed trinity and the other believed oneness. I told them I was confused like the young man that had written. I have some Jewish friends who still celebrate the feast of Pentecost, which is a Jewish feast day. Pentecost has always been an event and not a church or a people. Pentecost is mentioned three times in the Bible and each time in reference to an event.
GOD is still GOD! This is a wondrous time of the year. Most have wonderful and festive attitudes during the Christmas holiday. Isn’t this great? Psalm 100:1-2 says, ‘Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.’ Would it not be fantastic if all of us did this each day of the year and not just during the holidays? I thank God for the mercy and grace He has shown me throughout this year and it is a blessing to know just who God is. He is Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Psalm 34:1; ‘I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.’ Again Church, I say it is TIME TO PRAISE HIM! On December 28, 2008, my family and I accompanied by Sis. Jessi McCaig (still my family!) was privileged to visit and minister in Pembroke, Virginia. Bishop Johnson had told us great things about this Church and the people there. Let me say, he was exactly right in all the wonderful things he told us! Not only did we find a beautiful church, the Saints there are just as wonderful. We were received with joy, kindness and generosity and LOVE (sounds just like saints of God-doesn’t it?).
In Acts, chapter two, the Jews were only doing what they had done in prior years, having a Jewish celebration, fifty days after the Passover. They still have this feast day. God let the Holy Ghost fall on the Day of Pentecost, but that did not make it a Pentecostal experience; it was a Holy Ghost experience. It did not make it a Pentecostal Church. It was the beginning of The Church of Jesus Christ. Have you ever wondered what if God had let the Holy Ghost fall on a holiday such as Easter, July 4th, or Christmas? Would we call ourselves Easter people, Christmas people, etc.? Let's you and I dissolve much of the confusion that is in the land and be called by our husband's name. God said for us to flee from idolatry, 1 Cor. 10:14. If you can give me a name higher than Jesus Christ, I request of you to please write to me. Let us come together in God's name and in God's church, 'The Church of Jesus Christ.' The one He established and purchased with His own blood. Read Matthew 16:18 and Acts 20:28. Lord Bless You! Bishop Tommy Johnson Pastor, Elder Mickey Dodd The Church of Jesus Christ Dyersburg, TN
I was blessed to be able to minister Sunday morning. We came back for Sunday night service expecting another blessed service and were not disappointed! Bro. Eric Gilbert delivered his second message since announcing his calling into the ministry. Everyone enjoyed his message. I was doubly blessed because Sis. Jessi played the drums! Saints, if you ever get the opportunity to visit The Church of Jesus Christ in Pembroke you will not be disappointed. Please PRAY that God sends them the Pastor that He sends them a pastor after His own heart. Yours in Jesus Christ, Bro. Ed Gilbert Pastor, Elder Mickey Dodd The Church of Jesus Christ Dyersburg, TN
BEING EDIFIED BY THE WORD OF GOD In a world where there is little to trust in, everyone is looking for a hero to save us from all our problems. Where should we look for help? Ps. 121:2 says, “My help cometh from the Lord, …” The word of God is all we can trust in “…there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, …” 1 Kings 8:56. Jesus Christ is the only hero we will ever need. He wasn’t elected into office but was born our Savior, who has already made a way to escape “…but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” 1 Cor. 10:13. How can we expect to hear from heaven and why should God’s ear be attentive to us if we never read His word which is God (Jn. 1:1)? So instead of being like the children of Israel and murmur and complain because life isn’t going our way, or be like a whining child who throws a fit in a store to get their parents to get them what they want, we need to trust the word to help guide us through life’s problems. I want to be like Enoch who pleased God (Heb. 11:5), like Noah who found grace in the eyes of the Lord (Gen. 6:8) and not like those who made God grieve in His heart and repent that He made us (Gen. 6:6). I know I don’t want to have come all this way and then hear Him say “…I never knew you: depart from me,… Mt. 7:23.” The word comes in different forms. Sometimes it brings us hope, “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” Rom. 15:4. Other times it feels like a crushing hammer, “Is not my word like as a fire? saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces Jer. 23:29? It is the spiritual food that helps us grow in strength in Him. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” Psalms 119:10. This is a faithful verse and at the Portage church we have had an abundance of edifying word (light) go forth from the ministry. We have been reminded of what a child of God should do. This includes putting on the whole armor of God, portray and display the fruits of the Spirit, abide in Christ and to trust in God. Our Pastor used the money we hold so dear and use every day to show us how we need to listen to God as He speaks to us to trust in Him, His promises and that there is a blessing in the church. We were expounded to be a veteran of faith, be obedient to the word and not try to change it. We were warned to know the devil’s tricks, be aware that evil is always present with good and to take heed because God is a jealous God. God’s word is preparing us to be ready for the last days and to be without excuse. We were told to tend to our spiritual garden and keep out the weeds or to tear down the walls we have built up so God’s word can take affect and so we can keep growing. With life being as hectic, busy and sometimes irritating as it is if we go about our lives sitting through bible studies and church services without searching the word ourselves what kind of life do we expect to have? “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life…” John 5:39. The Lord said we would err if
we don’t know the scriptures and we would be destroyed for the lack of knowledge “Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God” Mt. 22:29 “My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, … seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children” Hos. 4:6. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; …” Col. 3:16. We are thankful that the Lord had traveling mercy on our Pastor during the middle of November as he traveled to Mexico and Texas to spread the gospel. I, personally, would like to testify that the Lord brought me safely through thyroid surgery on October 30th. I give Him all thanks that the goiter the surgeon removed was not cancerous. I am also thankful that I did not lose my job as our company is downsizing. Reporter: Sis. Deanna Johnson Pastor, Bishop Randell Spence The Church of Jesus Christ Portage, IN
Youth Report from Dyersburg, TN
The youth have been doing great as usual. We just had our Christmas program and it was very good. We had many songs and skits and then the main play. The main play was about a girl who had fallen away from God and while watching a pageant in the park with her aunt and friend she realized she needed God back in her life. We also just took a trip to Nashville. We went shopping and then we went to an ice show where you walk through this place and everything is made out of ice. Then, at the end of it there's a giant ice slide you go down. After that we walked around the Opryland Hotel and looked at the Christmas lights and decorations. We all had a lot of fun. Bro. Pete and Sis. Tammy always comes up with fun things to do. We are looking forward to the New Year and the things they will have planned for us. Also, since the last article Haley McGuire and I received the Holy Ghost. She was also baptized. I am so thankful that God is still filling us young people with the Holy Ghost. Youth Reporter: Sis. Laura Beth Dodd Pastor, Elder Mickey Dodd The Church of Jesus Christ Dyersburg, TN
Rev. George "Tommy" and Peggy Myers Johnson celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary Jan. 3. They were married Jan. 3, 1959 in Corinth, Miss. They have four children, George Johnson Jr., Kim McGehee, Terri Dodd, and Jimmy Johnson, all of Dyersburg; nine grandchildren; and a great-grandchild. I think it is important to note that in addition to the information in the newspaper, 26 of those 50 years were spent with Bis. Johnson Pastoring The Church of Jesus Christ in Dyersburg TN., where they are still active and are loved by its members. They continue exemplifying self sacrifice in their willingness to spend and be spent for the gospel's sake. Their marriage is a shining example of faithfulness, love, and longsuffering to younger couples. Their respect and support for each other are truly and inspiration to all of us. Submitted By: Pastor Mickey Dodd The Church of Jesus Christ Dyersburg, TN
Pierceton Report Praise the Lord, everyone! God is GREAT and GREATLY to be praised. We are thankful to have had another good and blessed year. Each one of us has been brought through 2008 safely and pray to be blessed with another good year in 2009 in the Lord. There are so many things He has brought us through, and things He has blessed us with, that we couldn’t give Him enough praise and glory for all He has done. Though we lost Bro. Danny Rinehart this year, who will be greatly missed, we are thankful for the
newest addition to our church, Elijah Ray who was born November 23rd, 2008. He is doing well and growing fast. God has blessed us greatly with him. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, still blessed be the name of the Lord. We are thankful to be reminded each year at Christmas that Jesus Christ sent His only begotten son down to earth to be crucified so we could have eternal life. That is the greatest gift of all. There is no greater blessing than the opportunity to live forever in Heaven with Him. It is our choice to open and receive this gift or to reject it, but one day we will all stand in judgment for the choices we made in our lives. Death or life? Where do we want to spend eternity? Choose life and live forever. What a wonderful gift to get to celebrate each year! We are thankful to have gotten to go to West Virginia in November, and hold a revival at The Church of Jesus Christ in Ohley with Pastor, Bishop Paul Rose. We had a wonderful time and God really blessed and renewed the saints there. We pray God will always bless them especially for their great hospitality to us. So thankful for the teaching that has been coming forth here at our home church by our Pastor, Bishop Robert O’Dell. He has been teaching on “WATCH AND PRAY.” The time is at hand for the Lord’s return and so we need to be ever watchful and take heed of the signs that are all around. Famine, wars, rumors of wars, pestilence, earthquakes. These are the signs Jesus Christ gave us to watch for. (Matt. 24) We need to be praying everyday. We need to have a daily walk and talk with Jesus Christ and to keep our lives in check with the word of God. It doesn’t matter what we may think is right , but it is what is written in His word on the day of judgment and whether we kept His word. That is all that will matter on that day. We need to keep the faith (the gospel of Jesus Christ) and not be swayed to believe another gospel, which is not a gospel. (Galatians 1:2-7) If we stand for Jesus Christ He will stand for us and sustain us through the hard times to come just like the woman in 1 Kings 17. There may not always be an overabundance but your needs will always be supplied. So watch and pray and keep the faith! God’s word is always true and trustworthy. We just thank God for all He has done this past year and all He is going to do this coming year. May God bless all who live for Him. We are always praying for all the saints in Jesus Christ. Thanks be to our Lord, Jesus Christ for everything! Church Reporter: Sis. Nora Hensley Pastor, Bishop Robert O’Dell The Church of Jesus Christ Pierceton, IN
Portage Christmas Play On December 20, we had our Christmas play. I want to take this time to thank all of the youth for working hard to learn their lines. I also want to thank the parents for bringing them to the many practices we had. The youth received many complements on their acting and Sis. Caryn and I are very proud of them! We got the play together, but without the cooperation of the youth and the parents, it wouldnâ€™t have been successful. Please pray for our youth here in Portage, as well as the youth in all of the other churches, that God keeps His hand on them at school, work, and their other daily activities. Youth Leader: Bro. Jarret Spence Pastor, Bishop Randell Spence The Church of Jesus Christ Portage, IN
Volume 115 January/February Issue