Monthly letter archive

September/October 2011 Letter

September 27, 2011

Dear Brethren,

Because of the timing of the Holy Days and the Feast of Tabernacles this year, we are combining the September and October letters into one. While a majority of the brethren will be attending one of our 15 festival sites, some—because of age, health, or other circumstances—will not be able to attend. This is why in our last mailing we sent out all new Holy Day and Feast messages for this year—so those who must stay home will not miss out. Indeed, God desires that everyone keep His vitally-important Feasts. Moreover, all of our festival messages will be available on our Web site,, where they can be downloaded at any time in both audio and video formats.

With many thanks to Roy Assanti, our Australian office manager, we are including in this mailing the brochure of the CBCG Elders’ and Leading Men’s Conference of 2011, held the last part of May. It took us a little longer than we anticipated to compile everything into its final form and have it printed. We hope you will enjoy seeing all those who attended, as well as reading the excellent health tips presented by Roger Kendall, our Elder in Vermont and the Northeast region.

The Importance of God’s Appointed Times

As we see the continuing turmoil in the world, we anxiously look forward to God’s soon-coming Holy Days and Feast. Remember, these are the “appointed times” or the “appointed feasts” of the Lord (Lev. 23). These appointed times—the weekly Sabbath, Holy Days and Feasts—are holy times. God designated these times using the heavens, the earth and the moon: “And God said, ‘Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide between the day and the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons [literally, appointed times], and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light upon the earth.’ And it was so” (Gen. 1:14-15). Thus, God’s “appointed times” are permanent.

Since God created these “appointed times,” they belong to Him. This means He did not create these days for Israelites and Jews only, as religionists often contend. Rather, He created them for allhumanity. This is why Jesus declared that He was “Lord of the Sabbath.” In saying this, Jesus was also declaring that He is Lord of His "appointed times."

This statement is important because Jesus Christ, as the Lord God of the Old Testament, was the One Who created the Sabbath day and the “appointed times”—and sanctified, blessed, and made them holy (Gen. 2:2-3; Lev. 23). Jesus made it unequivocally clear that He did not come to abolish the Law or the Prophets: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until the heaven and the earth shall pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no way pass from the Law until everything has been fulfilled. Therefore, whoever shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever shall practice and teach them, this one shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:17-19).

Notice how great the laws and commandments of God are, and how they are a wonderful blessing to us: “The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandments of the Lord are pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether, more to be desired than gold, yea, much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.

"Moreover, by them Your servant is warned; in keeping themthere is great reward. Who can understand his errors? Oh, cleanse me from my secret faults; and keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; do not let them rule over me; then I shall be blameless, and I shall be innocent of great transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer” (Psa. 19:7-14).

Think about this: Why would anyone believe and teach that Jesus came to abolish a perfect, holy Law? Remember, Jesus was the Lord God manifested in the flesh. As Creator, He gave His laws and commandments to mankind in the beginning. After the flood, He gave them to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Then, God rescued the children of Israel from the bondage of Egypt, and gave them His laws and commandments through Moses—and gave them the Promised Land. The following descriptions—found throughout the Bible—equally reveal the character of both Jesus Christ and God the Father:

  • God is righteous. His way is righteous.
  • God is perfect. His way is perfect. His Law is perfect.
  • God is the true God. His commandments are truth. His Law is truth. His Word is truth.
  • God is love. God loves the world.

God gave His laws and commandments because He loves us. This is why the apostle John wrote: “For this is the love of God: that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome” (I John 5:3).

Since these statements are true, why would anyone believe and teach that Jesus came to “do away with” God’s Law and the testimony of the prophets? Or, to put it another way, is Jesus Christ the minister of sin and lawlessness? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Furthermore, it is impossible for any man to abolish the Law and the Prophets because no man has the power to cause the heavens and the earth to pass away.

Thus, no man—regardless of how important he may be to himself or other people—has authority from God to proclaim that God has abolished His festivals as commanded in the Law. It is impossible! Heaven and earth are still here! To be sure, God does not recognize the presumptuous religious teachings of “scholars” who reject His Sabbath and “appointed times”—who proclaim in their place the pagan, occult holidays of this world: Sunday, Halloween, Christmas, New Year’s, Lent and Easter—blindly calling them “Christian.”

The Scriptures reveal that such counterfeit days—with all their myths and fables—did not originate in the minds of men alone. They are, in fact, the unholyconvocations of Satan the Devil—the god of this world (II Cor. 4:4). They are Satan’s unholy “appointed times.” As we survey the fruits of mankind’s ways, there is no question that Satan has almost completely deceived the whole world and blinded humanity to the truth of God’s Word and the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Rev. 12:9). This is why the New Testament calls Satan’s way the “Mystery of Lawlessness” (II Thess. 2:7) and the “spirit of the deception” (I John 4:6).

John wrote:"We know that we are of God, and thatthe whole world lies in the power of the wicked one. And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us an understanding, so that we may know Him Who is true; and we are in Him Who is true, and in His Son, Jesus Christ. He is the true God, and the eternal life” (I John 5:19-20).

How does God view the way the “Christian world” has rejected His “appointed times” and embraced pagan, ungodly holidays, claiming they are sanctioned by God? “But to the wicked God says, ‘What is it to you to declare My statutes, and to take up My covenant in your mouth [claiming to believe the Word of God, but rejecting its authority]? Yea, you hate to be taught, and you cast My words behind you" (Psa. 50:16-17). As a result, they come to believe that their way is good and God's way is evil, as Isaiah wrote: "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil; who put darkness for light and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink [the strong spiritual drink of Babylon the Great—Rev. 17:1-5]: who justify the wicked for a bribe, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him! Therefore as the fire devours the stubble, and the flame burns up the chaff; their root shall be like rottenness, and their blossoms shall go up like dust because they have cast away the law of the Lord of hosts, and despised the Word of the Holy One of Israel" (Isa. 5:20-24).

Modern “Christianity” has almost no knowledge of the “appointed times” of God—of His Sabbath, Holy Days and Feasts—or of His prophetic plan. Yet God’s plan is hidden in plain sight right in the Bible! While they profess to believe and accept Jesus as Savior, their disobedience to God’s Word has left them blind and unable to understand. Notice what Isaiah writes: “Be stunned and amazed! Blind your eyes and be blind! They are drunk, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink, for the Lord has poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and has closed your eyes; He has covered the prophets and your rulers, and the seers.

"And the vision of all has become to you like the words of a book that is sealed, which they give to one who is learned saying, ‘Please read this,’ and he says, ‘I cannot, for it is sealed.’ And the book is delivered to him who is not learned, saying, ‘Please read this,’ and he says, ‘I am not learned.’

"And the Lord said, 'Because this people draw near Me with their mouth, and with their lips honor Me, but their worship of Me is made up of the traditions of men learned by rote, and their fear toward Me is taught by the commandments of men. Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do again a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder, for the wisdom of their wise ones shall perish, and the wisdom of their intelligent ones shall vanish' " (Isa. 29:9-14).

The Appointed Times of God Reveal the Prophecies of His Plan

When we truly let the Bible interpret the Bible, we find that God’s Sabbath, Holy Days and Feasts are the prophetic framework that God the Father and Jesus Christ use in carrying out Their plan of salvation for mankind. In the Scriptures, God does not reveal every aspect of the meaning of these days in one place. Rather, God reveals them in various places in His Word, as He said:"Whom shall He teach knowledge? And whom shall He make to understand doctrine? Those who are weaned from the milk and drawn from the breasts, for precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, there a little" (Isa. 28:9-10). This is why we must "rightly divide the Word of Truth" (II Tim. 2:15), which we will do if we love God and keep His commandments as Jesus said.

Understanding God’s Holy Days begins by applying the following biblical principle: “[The] spiritual was not first, but the natural [physical]—then the spiritual” (I Cor. 15:46). Thus, for the children of Israel, God centered the meaning of these days annually around three physical harvest seasons. However, the New Testament reveals the spiritual meaning behind the harvest seasons. It is this spiritual meaning that portrays the outline of God’s plan, which reflects His will for mankind.

Importantly, the spiritual meaning of God’s “appointed times” is revealed only by the Holy Spirit—not by human intellect! Notice what the apostle Paul wrote: “Rather, we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom that God foreordained before the ages unto our glory, which not one of the rulers of this world has known (for if they had known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory).

"But according as it is written, 'The eye has not seen, nor the ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’ But God has revealed them to us by His Spirit, for the Spirit searches all things—eventhe deep things of God. For who among men understands the things of man except by the spirit of man which is in him? In the same way also, the things of God no one understands except by the Spirit of God.

"Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is of God, so that we might know the things graciously given to us by God; which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in words taught by the Holy Spirit in order to communicate spiritual things by spiritual means. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them because they are spiritually discerned" (I Cor. 2:7-14).

In our book God’s Plan for Mankind Revealed by His Sabbath and Holy Days, the spiritual plan of God—hidden in plain sight in the Scriptures—is fully explained. (If you do not have this book, write us and we will send you a copy at no cost.)

Keeping God’s Sabbath is Also a Sign That We Know God: Our faithful observance of the weekly Sabbath and Holy Days (which are annual Sabbaths) constitutes the sign God gave to show that we belong to Him: “Speak also to the children of Israel, saying, ‘Truly you shall keep My Sabbaths [weekly and annually], for it [the keeping of the Sabbaths] is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations to know that I am the Lord Who sanctifies you.. Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever [the Church is Spiritual Israel]; for in six days the Lordmade the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested, and was refreshed’ ” (Ex. 31:13, 16-17).

Since Sabbath-keeping is a perpetual covenant, it is evident that God intended for His Sabbaths to be kept today by the Church. This is why Jesus—Who was the Lord God of the Old Testament, “God manifested in the flesh”—proclaimed that He is (present tense) Lord of the Sabbath. When confronted by the Pharisees, Jesus made this fact absolutely clear: “And He said to them, ‘The Sabbath was made for man [not for the Jews only, but for all mankind; see Isaiah 56:4-7; 58:13-14], and not man for the Sabbath; therefore, the Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath' " (Mark 2:27-28).

Since the world does not really believe God, they are not willing to obey the “voice of God.” They have no “faith unto obedience” to keep His Sabbaths and Holy Days. While they may profess a love of God and have some knowledge of the Bible, they do not have the true spiritual love—made possible by the Holy Spirit—needed for obedience to God’s ways. Notice: “ ‘IFyou love Me, keep the commandmentsnamely, My commandments. And I will ask the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that it may be with you throughout the age: eventhe Spirit of the truth, which the world cannot receive because it perceives it not, nor knows it; but you know it because it dwells with you, and shall be within you…. In that day, you shall know that I am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I am in you.

" 'The one who has My commandments and is keeping them, that is the one who loves Me; and the one who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will manifest Myself to him.’ Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, ‘Lord, what has happened that You are about to manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?’

"Jesus answered and said to him, 'IFanyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. The one who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word that you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s, Who sent Me' " (John 14:15-17, 20-24).

The majority of “professing Christians” have a zeal for God, but not according to right knowledge (Rom. 10:2). Thus, they do not keep the words of Jesus, which actually are the words that God the Father gave Him to speak. While they condemn those who keep the laws and commandments of God as trying to earn salvation through works, they go about establishing their “own righteousness” through their unscriptural works (verse 3)—such as keeping Sunday and the pagan holidays of this world. They believe they are righteous before God while setting aside the true righteousness that comes from following God’s way—which includes following His “appointed times.”

Understanding Would be Given to Jesus’ True Disciples: When Jesus explained the Parable of the Sower to His disciples, He said the majority of people would not be able to understand God’s plan of salvation, which He called the “Mysteries of the Kingdom of God.” Such knowledge would only be revealed to His true servants and disciples. Notice Jesus’ explanation: “And His disciples came to Him and asked, ‘Why do You speak to them in parables?’ And He answered and said to them, ‘Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For whoever has understanding, to him more shall be given, and he shall have an abundance; but whoever does not have understanding, even what he has shall be taken away from him. For this reason I speak to them in parables, because seeing, they see not; and hearing, they hear not; neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, which says, “In hearing you shall hear, and in no way understand; and in seeing you shall see, and in no way perceive; for the heart of this people has grown fat, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and should hear with their ears, and should understand with their hearts, and should be converted, and I should heal them.”

" 'BUT BLESSED ARE YOUR EYES, BECAUSE THEY SEE; AND YOUR EARS, BECAUSE THEY HEAR. For truly I say to you, many prophets and righteous men have desired to see what you see, and have not seen; and to hear what you hear, and have not heard’ ” (Matt. 13:10-17).

What Jesus said to His disciples applies to us today. The knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God—of His plan and purpose, the deep things of God—would also be given to us. When the prophet Daniel wanted to know the truth of the prophecies God had given him, he was told, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and refined. But the wicked shall do wickedly;and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand" (Dan. 12:9-10).

The Scriptures make it clear that true Christians—who are in covenant with God and under His grace—keep God’s Sabbaths and Holy Days, the “appointed times” of God. Because we love and fear God, we are blessed with an understanding that has not been given to the rest of the world: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do His commandments” (Psa. 111:10).

This is only possible because God reveals the deep things of His plan—the mystery or secret of His will—to us through His Word and His Spirit. In Ephesians, Paul further expands on what he wrote in I Corinthians two: “In Whom we have redemption through His blood, even the remission of sins, according to the riches of His grace, which He has made to abound toward us in all wisdom and intelligence; having made known to us the mystery of His own will, according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Himself; that in thedivine plan for the fulfilling of the times [through God’s appointed times], He might bring all things together in Christ, both the things in the heavens and the things upon the earth; yes, in Him, in Whom we also have obtained an inheritance, having been predestinated according to His purpose, Who is working out all things according to the counsel of His own will" (Eph. 1:7-11).

God the Father’s will is revealed in the Holy Scriptures, by chosen, holy, faithful men. They were God’s personal instruments, which He used through the power of His Holy Spirit—the Spirit of the Truth—to write His personal message to His people so that they might be partakers of His will by grace through Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

The apostle Peter makes this absolutely clear: “For we did not follow cleverly concocted myths as our authority, when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His magnificent glory; because He received glory and honor from God the Father when the voice came to Him from the Majestic Glory, ‘This is My Son, the Beloved, in Whom I am well pleased.’ And this is the voice from heaven that we heard when we were with Him on the holy mountain.

"We also possess the confirmed prophetic Word [the God-breathed Old and New Testaments] to which you do well to pay attention, as to a light shining in a dark place [the truth of God shining in the darkness of this world], until the day dawns [the return of Jesus Christ] and the morning star arises in your hearts [the first resurrection to eternal life]. Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture originated as anyone’s own private interpretation; because prophecy was not brought at any time by human will, but the holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit" (II Pet. 1:16-21).

Paul confirms God’s personal inspiration of Scripture, though He used men to write it. Notice what he writes to Timothy: “And that from a child you have known the holy writings [the Old Testament], which are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith, which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture [Old and New Testament] is God-breathed and is profitable for doctrine, for conviction, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; so that the man of God may be complete, fully equipped for every good work" (II Tim. 3:15-17).

The good works Paul writes of are the works God foreordained that we walk in as a way of life—loving God and keeping His commandments through the faith and grace of God. “For by grace you have been saved [from Satan the devil] through faith, and this especially is not of your own selves [not from within us through our will]; it is the gift of God, not of works [our own works], so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto the good works that God ordained beforehand in order that we might walk in them" (Eph. 2:8-10).

As Peter writes, God is giving us of His divine nature, which will be perfected at the resurrection. “According as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him Who called us by His own glory and virtue; through which He has given to us the greatest and most precious promises, that through these you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (II Pet. 1:3-4).

God the Father’s and Jesus Christ’s plan and purpose is that those who are called to the first resurrection at the return of Christ will become the very sons and daughters of God as divine spirit beings. As John writes: “Behold! What glorious love the Father has given to us, that we should be called the children of God! For this very reason, the world does not know us because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are the children of God, and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be; but we know that when He is manifested, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him exactly as He is" (I John 3:1-2).

The purpose of God is to increase His divine family through His human creation. God reveals this plan in His Holy Word, the Bible—where it is hidden in plain sight from the world and from skeptics. The key to understanding God’s plan is His “appointed times”—the weekly Sabbath, Holy Days and Feasts—as graciously revealed by the Spirit of God to those who truly love God the Father and Jesus Christ in spirit and truth.

With this knowledge in mind, we hope and pray that you will be truly blessed by the coming Holy Days and the Feast of Tabernacles. We need to rejoice in all that God does for us—for the knowledge of His plan and purpose for all mankind as revealed by His Sabbath and Holy Days, and for the promise of receiving the divine nature at the first resurrection when Jesus returns in power and glory.

Brethren, as we see the events of prophecy unfold, we are praying for you daily—for your health and healing, and for your protection. Once again, thank you for your love and prayers for us. Thank you for reaching out to other brethren and new people. Thank you for your tithes and offerings so that we can serve the brethren and preach the Gospel to the world. May God’s blessings rest upon you in everything.

With Love in Christ Jesus,

Fred R. Coulter