Monthly letter archive

Monthly Letter, May 2011

Restoring Original Christianity—for Today!

Christian Biblical Church of God

Post Office Box 1442
Hollister, California 95024-1442

Fred R. Coulter,

May 18, 2011

Dear Brethren,

We just completed an uplifting, fulfilling and meaningful Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread. By faithfully keeping these feasts, we all realize that putting leaven out of our homes pictures putting sin out of our lives through repentance—which is made possible by the sacrifice and shed blood of Jesus Christ. At the same time, we must also understand that eating unleavened bread for seven days pictures putting in the righteousness of Jesus Christ in preparation for eternal life. As Jesus said, “I am the bread of life; the one who comes to Me shall never hunger; and the one who believes in Me shall never thirst at any time…. The one who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up in the last day; for My flesh is truly food, and My blood is truly drink. The one who eats My flesh and drinks My blood is dwelling in Me, and I in him. As the living Father has sent Me, and I live by the Father, so also the one who eats Me shall live by Me” (John 6:35, 54-57). Even King David understood this when he wrote, “O taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psa. 34:8).

Why is the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days long? First, the number seven is a number of completeness, or perfection. We keep the Passover first, as a renewal of our commitment to the New Covenant through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ—His flesh and His blood. Then we continue to eat unleavened bread for an additional seven days, because we are walking in newness of life. God commands us, “Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread.” Since we learn by obeying God, He shows us that we are to be made perfect in Christ Jesus—through His Word and righteousness, by His Spirit. In fact, at the beginning of His ministry, during His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus proclaimed this very message of becoming perfect: “Therefore you shall be perfect, even as your Father Who is in heaven is perfect” (Matt. 5:48). That is our goal! That is the vision of the Kingdom of God we are to keep in the forefront of our minds. Remember, “Where there is no vision, the people perish; but happy is he who keeps the law” (Prov. 29:18).

In the same sermon, Jesus tells us how we are to accomplish this: “But as for you, seek [the Greek means to keep on seeking] first the kingdom of Godand His righteousness” (Matt. 6:33). We are to do this daily, as outlined in the “Model Prayer,” which begins and ends with the Kingdom as the goal: “Therefore, you are to pray after this manner: ‘Our Father Who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name; Your kingdom come; Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven; give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but rescue us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen’ ” (Matt. 6:9-13).

As led and empowered by the Holy Spirit of God, we are to keep the laws and commandments of God in their full spiritual intent. By doing so, the love of God is perfected in us, as the apostle John writes: “And by this standard we know that we know Him: if we keep His commandments. The one who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. On the other hand, if anyone is keeping His Word, truly in this one the love of God is being perfected. By this means we know that we are in Him. Anyone who claims to dwell in Him is obligating himself also to walk even as He Himself walked” (I John 2:3-6). This is why John also writes, “By this standard we know that we love the children of God: when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God: that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome” (I John 5:2-3).

As God in the flesh, Jesus was perfect when He took upon Himself human flesh and human nature. However, He was perfected even more through the things He suffered as a man. Notice what Paul writes: “[Jesus,] Who, in the days of His flesh, offered up both prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears to Him Who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because He feared God. Although He was a Son, yet He learned obedience from the things that He suffered; and having been perfected, He became the Author of eternal salvation to all those who obey Him” (Heb. 5:7-9).

In our obedience to God the Father and Jesus Christ, we are to spiritually comeout of this world—called “Babylon the Great” (Rev. 18:2-4). How are we to do this? We can look to the example of the Corinthians, who were living in a world much like ours—surrounded by paganism, with idols everywhere, and a constant display of pornography engraved in stone. To encourage them come out of their world, Paul wrote: “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and lawlessness have in common? And what fellowship does light have with darkness? And what union does Christ have with Belial? Or what part does a believer have with an unbeliever? And what agreement is there between a temple of God and idols? For you are a temple of the living God, exactly as God said: ‘I will dwell in them and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Therefore, come out from the midst of them and be separate,’ says the Lord, ‘and touch not the unclean, and I will receive you; and I shall be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters,’ says the Lord Almighty. Now then, beloved, since we have these promises [all the promises of Jesus Christ in the New Testament], we should purge ourselves from every defilement of the flesh and the spirit [putting out the leaven of sin and carnal behavior], perfecting holiness [growing in grace and knowledge daily] in the fear of God” (II Cor. 6:14-7:1). He adds, “For we are also praying for this—even your perfection” (II Cor. 13:9).

This is the whole purpose of the Gospel of Jesus Christ—“For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for theedifying of the body of Christ;until we all come into the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4:12-13).

All the feasts and holy days of God reveal how He is carrying out His Master Plan of salvation. We are currently in the seven-week count (plus one day) to Pentecost—God’s next holy day. This year it falls on June 12. Each complete, seven-day week represents the spiritual harvest of the seven churches of Revelation two and three. Indeed, the first resurrection of the saints to eternal life is pictured by the day of Pentecost, the feast of the harvest of the firstfruits. We will cover more of this in the time leading up to this glorious festival. Salvation itself is a process—and our resurrection to eternal life is the ultimate perfection of our calling!

My Travels During the Feast of Unleavened Bread: After keeping the Passover, the Night to be Much Observed to the Lord, and the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread in California, I traveled extensively—flying across the country and back. On Thursday, April 21, I was in Orlando, Florida, where we had two services with over 40 in attendance. This was the first time I had gone to Orlando. The whole day was most inspiring for all of us.

Then it was off to Atlanta for the weekly Sabbath during Unleavened Bread, where we had an excellent turnout with 60 in attendance for two services (plus a great meal in between).

For the last day of the Feast, I flew to Manchester, New Hampshire, where we had 57 in attendance. Again, we had two services with a meal in between. A highlight was the ordination of Richard Roberg as a deacon in service to the brethren. Roger Kendall, our elder in the area, joined me in the ordination.

As I travel to various locations in the USA, I am now meeting a number of new people attending the first time. They have come to us through our Internet video Web site, Church at Home. Not only is Church at Home reaching out to new people, it is also helping to restore brethren who have become disillusioned by their past Church of God experiences. While such brethren have dropped out for various periods of time, they have never given up on God the Father and Jesus Christ.

Every month we are working hard to produce more Church at Home video casts. Once a video is recorded, it requires about 13 hours of editing to add the Scriptures and special effects—to make each segment a professional production. Randy Vild, our editor/producer, has completed 140 programs, which are now online. The Church at Home videos are in addition to the nearly 1800 audio sermons, Bible Studies and transcripts, and 400-plus sermon videos we have on our Web site. As we go forward, our goal is to produce hundreds more Church at Home videos, as well as to continue expanding

As you know, the great advantage to having our Web sites, as compared to conventional radio and television, is that our materials are available to anyone around the world 24/7. Once a video cast or an audio sermon is online, it is there forever, so to speak. On the other hand, if we were utilizing radio or TV, we would have to purchase set times for airing programs. Conventional media not only costs considerably more, it limits viewers and listeners to the times the programs are aired. Once a program has aired, it is no longer available unless additional airtime is purchased. The Internet, with coverage around the world 24/7, is far more effective and far less costly.

Church at Home is our major effort in preaching the Gospel to the world. Feeding the flock of God is primarily accomplished through the biweekly mailings of our sermon and Bible Study CDs and DVDs. The second major means of preaching the Gospel and feeding the flock is through our books, booklets, articles and, most of all, The Holy Bible In Its Original Order—A Faithful Version.

What we do here in the USA is also being carried out through our offices in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.

Comments from Church at Home Viewers:

Dear Fred Coulter,

“I have always believed that if you believe in Christ and obey the Ten Commandments, you will go to heaven. I don’t know where that came from, but I certainly haven’t heard any pastors, preachers, or TV evangelists mention it. I was grateful to find this site and I love Church at Home! It is perfect to hear somebody teaching the Book chapter by chapter and verse by verse! Thank You!

From Alabama

Dear Fred,

I just finished listening to your Church at Home series on “How the Christian World has Been Deceived.” Truly hard-hitting and totally INSPIRATIONAL preaching. With the mess going on within the United Church of God, which must be affecting hundreds if not thousands of God’s people, the Church at Home site is perhaps more important now than ever. God’s people are being scattered by a ministry driven by politics. Keep up the good work. Kindest Christian regards.

From the United Kingdom

I praise HIS WONDERFUL NAME for the TRUTH, and thank HIM for leading me to your Web site. I continuously search for TRUTH that has been lost for so long. I know that HIS true people are scattered, and thank you for the Church at Home site. This is wonderful.

From Ohio

We are so THANKFUL to God for leading us to your [Church at Home] Web site. In 1995, we left the Worldwide Church of God—so much was going wrong there. Since 1995, we’ve been “wandering in the wilderness,” not sure what to do regarding church. After finding your site, we have repented of not keeping God’s Sabbath and Holy Days for the past 15 years. This past Sabbath we decided to recommit our lives to God’s truth in every area of our lives. As we go through the studies that you provide on your site, we pray that God will help us.

From Washington

Dear Fred,

Thank you for your prompt response to my question. I will read Hebrews tonight when I get home. Yes, I will inform the pastor after reading this. I enjoy the studies on Church at Home on the Sabbath. I look forward to it all week. You were right; I believe God is extremely pleased when we are obedient to His commandments, because I get a greater understanding of what I am reading and learning. Thank you again.

Dear Church at Home,

A friend let me view your DVD (video) on God’s legal system. I love it and I want to view more and share them with my church brothers and sisters. How do I purchase more videos online?

From Arizona

Answer: Download them from Church at Home or write in and get them at no cost.

Comments From the Site:

Greetings and salutations Mr. Coulter,

Thank you very much for the Bible. I find it most useful and truly a gift from God. I studied well under Mr. [Herbert] Armstrong and have recently found most of his information in boxes I have kept since 1974. As I read some of them, I find them relevant for today. I find ALL of your work (God’s work, of course) most relevant; [your teachings] certainly give a clear picture of the Kingdom of God.

Lately, I have made a commitment to study more about the life and times of Jesus Christ, in the Old and New Testaments. Before there was a nation called Israel, there were only Gentiles—men without God due to Satan’s deception on Adam and Eve. Today, the whole world is being swayed by Satan and his demons. Matthew four is, to me, a very crucial chapter.

We [share your] concerns on teaching the world about God—Who is hidden to the world, [but not to] His called out ones, you and a very few others. NO ONE IS SPEAKING THE TRUTH OF GOD AS YOU DO ON ALL YOUR WEB SITES. BRAVO FOR YOU! I sincerely believe that God is leading me to inspire you to begin to address fully the various ways that Satan is influencing the whole world to turn against the ways of God….

Dear Mr. Coulter,

I am making this short. The United Church of God has just split in about half. My minister and the rest have met in Kentucky to start another organization. I have only been in the church about four years. I came out of the Baptist Church. Your sermons at Church at Home are so exciting. I am 58 years old and consume your teachings. If I am wrong in asking this, I respect your advice, please tell me: Why do these ministers feel the need to form another BIG organization? Is it because there is safety in numbers? I am not in their shoes, so I obviously do not understand their thinking. Maybe it isn’t even my business. I am sort of a recluse. I try not to be, [and] I am getting better. But still, I am searching for answers on this. I thank God so much for His ministry through you.

From Arkansas

Answer: The number of people in a church does not matter—many or few. The question is this: How many are really converted?

Greetings my friend:

I just finished listening to Church at Home—“Obsessed With Sex, Part 2.” One of the things I’ve learned is that there is a membrane that surrounds our bones. If you remove the bone and leave the membrane, the bone grows back. Adam didn’t go through life with one less rib; it simply grew back. Praise God for the wonderful way He has made us.

Now for an Adam Joke: When God told Adam He was going to make a helper for him, God asked Adam what he wanted. Adam set right off and made a list, and it was a long one. When he showed it to God, God said, “That will cost an arm and a leg.” Without hesitation Adam asked, “What can I get for a rib?”

It has been snowing every day this week, and we’ve missed church for the last couple of weeks because of the roads; looks like we’re going to miss tomorrow, too. Thank you for Church at Home. We fellowship in Traverse City, about an hour away. Thanks for everything. Love in Christ. May your joy be full.

From Michigan

Osama bin Laden Killed: The world’s number one terrorist, Osama bin Laden, has finally been eliminated. US Military special forces found bin Laden hiding in plain sight in Pakistan.

Bin Laden was responsible for an untold number of deaths resulting from the bloody carnage of scores of terrorist bombings. Terrorism and Muslim radicalism has now led America into three wars with a price tag, so far, of over a trillion dollars! Undoubtedly, many will assume that the worldwide plague of terrorism will now subside. If it does, it will most certainly be a temporary reprieve. Time will tell.

Experts are hoping that the turmoil, demonstrations, and civil wars now sweeping the various Muslim countries will eventually result in the formation of democratic governments—a more peaceful, tamed Islam. Almost any change would be welcomed—as opposed to the oppressive, dictator-led “Chaostan” that has dominated the Middle East for centuries.

Indeed, it is evident that these nations will have to be tamed in order to take part in a world government, as Bible prophecies reveal. As we have previously covered, the most likely catalyst that will usher in this coming world government will be the collapse of the US Dollar, which will in turn cause the collapse of the entire world’s banking and financial system.

Few people realize that the true cause of terrorism against western civilization is our sins—and our rejection of God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Scriptures. Because of our sins, we have fallen under the domination of Satan the devil, instead of receiving the blessings and protection of God. As a result, we are being led down the road to destruction. This is why there is terrorism within and wars in remote countries; death and destruction at home by tornadoes and hurricanes; rain and record flooding; unseasonal temperature extremes; drought, brush fires and earthquakes. These curses have the potential to bring us from prosperity to poverty in the blink of an eye—instant destruction and devastation. Our lives are filled with sickness and disease; crime, lying, killing; committing adultery and fornication; perversions of all kinds run amuck. ALL OF THIS IS PUNISHMENT FROM GOD—BUT WHERE IS THE REPENTANCE? GOD WILL NOT BE MOCKED!

Read all of Deuteronomy 28 and Leviticus 26. Ask yourself—Is it all happening today in front of our eyes? YES, IT IS!

Just before his death, Moses prophesied of Israel’s fate if they forsook God and followed their own ways and worshipped other gods. This is exactly what we are seeing today. Moses wrote: “Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. My teachings shall drop as the rain; my speech shall drop down as the dew, as the small rain on the tender plant, and as the showers on the grass, because I will proclaim the name of the Lord, and ascribe greatness to our God. He is the Rock; His work is perfect for all His ways are just, a God of faithfulness, and without iniquity; just and upright is He.

“They have corrupted themselves: they are not His children; it is their blemish; they are a crooked and perverse generation. Is this the way you pay back to the Lord, O foolish and unwise people? Is He not your Father Who bought you? Has He not made you and established you?” (Deut. 32:1-6).

How true! When the children of Israel—and even the churches of God—grew rich and increased with goods and forgot God, they grew contemptuous of His blessings, claiming that they attained such national prosperity and greatness by their own power and strength. Notice: “But Jeshurun [Israel] grew fat and kicked. You grew fat, thick, and satisfied. Then he forsook God Who made him and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation. They provoked Him to jealousy with strange gods; with abominations they provoked Him to anger. They sacrificed to demons, not to God: to gods whom they knew not, to new ones newly come up, whom your fathers did not fear. You forgot the Rock Who brought you forth and have forgotten the God Who formed you” (verses 15-18).

Our national behavior—our sins and abominations—have caused God to hold back His protection and blessings. “And the Lord saw and despised them because of the provoking of His sons and of His daughters. And He said, ‘I will hide My face from them; I will see what their end shall be, for they are a very perverse generation, children in whom is no faithfulness. They have moved Me to jealousy with that which is not God. They have provoked Me to anger with their vanities’ ” (verses 19-21).

Because of our gross sins, God has raised up nations against us—including terrorists—in order to punish us. God continues, “And I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people. I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation, for a fire is kindled in My anger, and shall burn to the grave beneath, and shall consume the earth with its increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains. I will heap up evils upon them. I will spend My arrows on them. Exhaustion by famine, and consumption by burning heat, and bitter destruction, and the teeth of beasts I will send on them, with the poison of serpents of the dust. The sword outside, and the terror inside, shall destroy both the young man and the virgin, the suckling also with the man of grey hairs” (verses 21-25).

Continuing: “For they are a nation without wisdom; neither is there any understanding in them. If they were wise, they would understand this; they would consider their latter end! How shall one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight [terrorism], unless their Rock had sold them and the Lordhad shut them up? For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges. For their vine is of the vine of Sodom and of the fields of Gomorrah. Their grapes are grapes of gall. Their clusters are bitter. Their wine is the poison of serpents and the cruel venom of asps” (verses 28-33).

As we read Moses’ prophecy, inspired by God, we need to understand that nothing short of a Josiah-like repentance (II Chronicles 34-35) by the leaders of our countries—including all the people—will turn back the hand of God’s punishment! Only then will terrorism stop and national destruction be averted for a time.

God Honors the Faithful Remnant: Since these things are true, we need to realize that there is yet one final factor that is holding back even more severe punishment: There is a remnant of faithful saints who are loving God with all their hearts, minds and strength in the midst of a corrupt and perverse nation, as Isaiah prophesied: “Ah, sinful nation, a people burdened with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children who deal corruptly! They have forsaken the Lord; they have provoked the Holy One of Israel to anger; they have gone away backward. Why should you be stricken any more? You will revolt more and more; the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even to the top of the head there is no soundness in it; only wounds and bruises and putrefying sores; they have not been closed, nor bound up, nor soothed with ointment. Your country is a desolation, your cities are burned with fire. Strangers devour your land right in your very presence, and it is wasted, as overthrown by strangers. And the daughter of Zion is left as a booth in a vineyard, like a hut in a garden of cucumbers, like a besieged city. Except the Lordof hosts had left us A VERY SMALL REMNANT [of faithful saints], we would have been as Sodom; we would have become like Gomorrah” (Isa. 1:4-9).

Lord, What Should I Do? By now, everyone should have their copy of the new book, Lord, What Should I Do? If you have not received your copy, please let us know and we will send it immediately. We have been deluged with requests from brethren desiring extra copies to share with people outside the church. In addition, we have received hundreds of requests from people responding to our ad for the book on Church at Home. It looks like this will be one of our most important books for reaching new people. Furthermore, the book is already proving very helpful to brethren who are confronted with problems in their churches.

Brethren, we thank you for your continued love and prayers for us and for all the brethren of God the Father and Jesus Christ scattered around the world. Considering today’s economic situation, we especially thank you for your continuing faithful support through your tithes and offerings. As you can see from the letters and comments, we are reaching many new people and brethren. God is using all of us together to serve the brethren and preach the Gospel to the world. We continue to pray for you daily—for your healing, and that you may be strengthened in faith and love so that God may comfort you in any difficult situation you face. May God’s love, blessings, grace and favor be with you in every way.

With love in Christ Jesus,

Fred R. Coulter