Testimony of Jesus
By Lemie B McGarity
My name is Lemie B. McGarity, Director of the Biblical Research Association, an association of ministers dedicated to preaching the gospel message Jesus and His apostles preached, and teaching the way of life He, and His apostles taught and lived. I was ordained by Jesus Christ as a Deacon in 1993, and as a Pastor in 2010. I hosted and presented the Truth Will Set You Free internet radio program and sponsor the Unity of the Spirit/Fellowship Conference; outreach programs that focus on having an intrapersonal relationship with our Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ.
In my studies of God’s Word I believe the most thought provoking question ever asked in the Bible is the question Pilot asked Jesus when Jesus was on trial before by him on account of the Jews. The Jews complaint about Jesus because He said He was the Son of God and King of Israel. In John 18:37 Jesus told Pilot that infact He was a King, and that He was born into the world to testify to the truth. In verse 38 Pilot asked this infamous question; What is truth?
Peter said in his second letter to the Church, “The way of the truth will be maligned.”
Today there are more than 45,000 different denomination of Christianity all of which claim Jesus as Lord and Savior. Jesus only started one Church! If this is not evidences that the way of the truth has been maligned then I don’t know what is.
Protestant Christians would never contemplate that the religion they practice is a deception of Satan; a prodigy of the Catholic Church. Most wouldn’t entertain the idea of searching the scriptures to see if in fact it is. Most people practice the religion of their parents, as their parents have done before them. As far back as they can remember their family probably have been of the same religion, unless God allows them to understand the truth: (Matt 13:11), John 6:65 “And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father (John 6:44).”
Such was the case with me. I never was big on Church attendance, but when I did start, I found that Satan had subjected people to deception by ministers that did not teach the whole counsel of God.
In 1981 my wife and I were living a comfortable life as career members of the US Armed Forces stationed on the Island of Oahu in Hawaii . I was three years short of retiring from the US Army as an Army Recruiter, and Deloris had served ten years in the Air National Guard.
The State of Hawaii is know as the Aloha State. The word Aloha in the Hawaiian language means affection, peace, compassionand mercy. Since the middle of the 19th century, it also has come to be used as an English greeting to say goodbye and hello. “Aloha” is also included in the state nickname of Hawaii, the “Aloha State”. Note how the attributes of Aloha resemble the fruits of the Spirit posted in Gal 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
It was while we were living in this virtual paradise God inspired us to seek Him and the truth. I had been raised as a baptist and Deloris was a Methodist. From what we read in the Bible the Church we had to look for was very different from what we were use too.
We knew their had to be a congregation of the people of God somewhere on the that Island. Eventually we found them. God led us to the very Church that resembled the Church of God described in the NT Scriptures more than any other. The people manifested all the identifying signs of people who obeyed God. It had God’s name, it was known as the Worldwide Church of God. God’s 10 Commandments and God’s appointed times were basic tenants. It taught that God is a Family, that man will be born into the God Family by way of the resurrection, or be changed at the moment Christ returns to God Beings as co-heirs with Christ, and as kings and priests rule with Him on this earth. This Church sincerely demonstrated the love Christ said that His Church should have for one another; It was filled with Aloha. We felt we had proved beyond a dough that this was in fact God’s Church.
We were baptized in February 1983. The chain of events that occurred after that was unexpected. We were confronted us with a decision that would altered our lives tremendously, and dashed to pieces all of our dreams; the comfortable retirement we had planned. In May 1984 we were compelled to leave the Military because it would not allow us to honor the commitment we made to keep God’s commanded Sabbaths. The Military only honor commitments made to it. Any exceptions to that commitment was subject to the approval of the Military Officer in charge. In my case the Unit Commander a was Catholic and had no respect for the commandments of God.
I was nine months short of retiring with 20 years service. The time I served honorably and the ten years accrued by my wife in the Air National Guard was a total loss. We left Hawaii returning to our home in Georgia with nothing to show for our dedicated service. However, we looked at the future God offered us in Jesus as the pearl of great value, and embarked on the unknown.
The Scripture embedded on the front page of my mind was 1 Cor 7:21 “Were you called while a slave? Do not worry about it; but if you are able also to become free, rather do that.”
We were comforted by the Scriptures which talks about the outcome of those who gave up their lives for the sake of the kingdom of God: Matt 19:29 “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother for children or farms for My name’s sake, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life;” Mar 10:30, “but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life.”
What never entered my mind was the events that happened in the ensuing years. God tested us to the end of our wit. Upon returning home we were shocked at the response of our family; they thought we were crazy, or hoodwinked by an evil cult. What was more shocking was to find out that the congregations of God’s people in Georgia was nothing like those God introduced us to in Hawaii. They had no Aloha!
To make a long story short, once again we loss everything. The potential jobs I thought I would be able to get as a result of the accomplishments and prestige I acclaimed during my military tenure never happened. I couldn’t find a job of any substantial means that did not require working on the Sabbath. The home Deloris and built on property I inherited from my father, who was still alive at the time; Dad and my brother refused to help me because I wouldn’t take a job that required working on Saturday. That twisted their minds, a man in my circumstances not working because of his religion was incomprehensible.
Even the Church congregations I attended every Sabbath, being knowledgeable of our circumstances were unresponsive to our plight. God had allowed Satan to turn our lives up side down. The stress of it all strained our marriage relationship. Struggling to balance physical survival within the boundaries of God’s Word was an arduous task. I began to realize that I had over estimated the value of my self worth and if I was going to recover it had to be God’s doing.
It was not until a bad business deal with my in-laws left me contemplating their demise, that I realized that I had to get back to where I first knew God. I sold, borrowed every dime I could and bought a one way ticket back to Hawaii. As I walked through the airport to board the plane it felt like a mountain had been lifted off my back that I found myself running to the gate.
From the moment I landed on the Island God started to revive me. That very day I had a place to stay, the next day a job, and a car to get back and forth to work. With in six months God provided a Resident Manager position at Hono Hali Towers, a 201 unit Condominium complex with a compensation package that provided lodging and a salary which allowed me to reunite my family.
The small congregation of 35 people now had grown to more than 100. Nevertheless it was still filled with the Aloha spirit. However, it was very short lived. The minister that shepherded the congregation was reassigned to the home office in Pasadena, CA. The minister that replaced him was of a different orientation. Soon the direction of the congregation was turned to supporting an organization and the ministry more than helping one another, or looking to Jesus.
By 1989 many of the original 35 from the 1981 congregation either left or were put out of the Church as we knew it at the time. Even the minister who taught us was expelled from the home office for proclaiming that the way of the truth was being maligned. He and most of the original 35 brethren started the Church of God Philadelphia Era, and vowed to set things right by proclaiming liberty to the captives. It to was short lived. It had become infected with the same disease of arrogance that toppled the Worldwide Church God. Men claiming to be head of the Government of God.
As circumstances would have it, Deloris wanted to returned to Georgia to care for her aging parents. Knowledgeable of the situation I understood why, but wasn’t overjoyed about the potential family separation. The only way to prevent that was to go with her, or not let her go. I had a good thing going, and didn’t want to give it up. Property Management is one of the most lucrative industries in the State. I work for one of the largest property management companies on Oahu, and God had granted me favor and prestige with it, and at the property where I served. Especially an elderly widow of the faith who rented a unit in the building where I managed and lived. We became family. She became our spiritual mother and a grandmother to our two daughter.
The situation even got worst! The influence of the Church leaderships, that if I did go I could head up “the work”of Proclaim Liberty in Georgian swayed me. Once again I would have to give up everything and embark into the unknown.
In 1991 we moved back to Sparta, GA., Hancock County, the most depressed County in the State. We lived in a four room house, the four of us and Deloris’s mom and dad. We began holding Sabbath services there on the Sabbath, and spread Proclaim Liberty literature distribution stands all over Sparta, Atlanta, and every small city in between. We baptized our first new member shortly after that in 1992, and another at the Feast in 1993.
God blessed me with a job as well, at Drummers Home, an old renovated historic hotel down town Sparta which served as a home for the elderly and handicap. I was its first manager and tasked with filling the 52 vacant units. God allowed me to accomplish this task. once again God gave me favor in the eyes of the people I served.
Many of the elderly lived alone, in poor conditions and neglected by their children, except when their social security checks came; They didn’t appreciate my intrusion in their live. The local ministers were not happy about me preaching obedience to the commandments of God. The local government didn’t appreciate me talking about how they were misusing County funds for private ventures. Soon they influenced the residents of Drummers Home against me and my funny religion,and the property management company terminated me. I was reduced again to having nothing.
After months of unemployment for which I was denied unemployment benefits, and doing odd jobs, God opened a Job with the Georgia Department of Revenue in the document processing edit section located in Hapeville GA, some hundred plus miles from Sparta GA. A job that during the tax season everyone is required to work weekend. The job questionnaire asked the questions could I work on weekends and said nothing about pacific days. Technically the weekend included Saturday and Sunday, and I could work Sundays, so I answered yes.
After being hired, the first week of the tax season I was faced with having to working on the Sabbath. When informed by my immediate supervisor I had to work I refused and told her why. She said I could not refuse to work. I then asked her for my paycheck. She asked what was I talking about. She got a little nervous when I said I thought she was firing me because of my religious belief. Come to find out, firing me was a violation of the American Disability Act so I was able to keep my job and keep the Sabbaths too. From that point on God granted me favor again. I was moved to the Mail Open and Sort section and appointed section supervisor.
Starting salary for State Government employees is one of the lowest paying jobs in Georgia, but it offered benefits. It didn’t allow me sufficient funds to get an apartment in Atlanta and support my family too, so thanks to a co-worker I was able to volunteer as night care taker at a homeless shelter that provided a place for me to stay. I was able to get home to Sparta on weekends, and sometimes during the week. Eventually that became a trial. My transportation was an old Chevrolet truck which soon gave out, and then an old Chevy impala that was on its last leg. Getting back and forth to Sparta and to work became a problem.
The chain of events that followed proved to me for all time that the testimony of Jesus true and that God could be trusted. No longer did I believe because of the words of the apostles or what other men have said. I believe now because of the mercy and love He has shown me encapsulated in the words Jesus spoke: Mar 10: 29-30. “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life.”
God again revived me, and this time with irrefutable proof that He is to be trusted. Upon our spiritual grandmother being made aware of our plight she said that that was no way for her family to live. Through her love (Spiritual, Aloha) she set in motion a chain of events that I never would have contemplated, and am still in awe over today. Today Deloris and I live in the very house we lost in foreclosure. Both my daughters who experienced our ordeals with us, both have college degrees, children of their own, and are still in the faith. Deloris and I are both retired and taking care of our grand kids just like we hoped. My oldest daughter (prior to Deloris and my marriage) that was not exposed to the Church until much later, now keeps God’s appointed times.
I have no doubt whatsoever that God did, and that He will bestow upon all whom He has called (Matt 13:11, given the Truth!), and that trust Him, eternal life as Jesus Promised.
Please don’t even begin to think that what God done for me was because of my righteous acts, or else I wouldn’t have had to eat the bread of affliction (Deut 8:2-16:2-3) that humbled me and developed the faith I now have is Jesus, that Jesus will do what He says He will do. The Father did it because of His love, His mercy, and grace (Deut 5:6-10) granted to us in the shed blood of His Son Jesus.
Rom 3:25. “God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, that He might be just and justifyer of the one who has faith in Jesus.”
Much like the man processed by demons and lived in tombs, Jesus cast out the demons and the man was made whole and wanted to follow Him. Jesus told the man no, but that he should go to his people and tell them what good thing God has done for him. I only recount my story here to tell of the good things God has done for me, and to witness to the fact that the testimony of Jesus is true. If Jesus said it, so let it be written!
I hope that my testimony can be an encouragement to you, that you may strengthen your resolve to be strong in faith, and not shrink back in times of trouble. Christ said if they persecuted Him they will us also. Satan is at war with the saints who keep the commandments of God, hold to the testimony of Jesus, Rev 12:17.