Monthly letter archive

Monthly Letter, January 2012

Restoring Original Christianity—for Today!

Christian Biblical Church of God

Post Office Box 1442
Hollister, California 95024-1442

Fred R. Coulter,

January 18, 2012

Dear Brethren,

For the Calendar Year 2011, God has truly blessed all of our combined activities of serving the brethren and preaching the Gospel to the world. Our Webmaster Ron Cary reports that our combined Web sites—, Church at, Iglesia de Dios Cristiana y, and CBCG video site—had an increase of 24 percent in user activity over 2010. Ron’s complete report accompanies this letter.

All Web sites combined, we had over 670,000 distinct visitors in 2011. These visitors downloaded to their computers approximately 4.01 terabytes (4,169.6 gigabytes) of data, which included audio and video sermons, transcripts, study papers and booklets. Many organizations use enhancements and gimmicks to artificially inflate the number of hits they actually receive.  But we want to know exactly how our sites are being used, so we only track distinct visitors as actual hits. This gives us a realistic statistical picture of the effectiveness of our Web sites.

In addition, from 2009 to the end of 2011, our mailing list in the USA increased from 1,700 to 2,675. Including our overseas mailing lists puts the number well over 3,000. However, for every name on the mailing list we are actually serving an average of three people. This means we are reaching 9,000 or more brethren with each mailing.

In 2011, we sent out nearly 19,000 books; over 10,000 book requests were generated by our Web site advertisements. The most requested were Lord, What Should I Do?, The Day Jesus the Christ Died,and Occult Holidays or God’s Holy Days—Which? In addition, we sent out over 4,000 Bibles (2,500 were sold through Bob Ellsworth’s Century One Books). In December we received 6,000 calfskin Bibles manufactured by Lithopak in China. Our plan is to maintain a good supply of books and Bibles so that even in the event of an economic downturn there will be no disruption in filling requests for books as a service to the brethren. Finally, in February 2012 we will finish the new book The Appointed Times of Jesus the Messiah. Everyone on the mailing list will automatically receive a copy sometime in March.

We are grateful for the increase that God the Father and Jesus Christ have blessed us with this past year. Yet we must always keep in mind when viewing such statistics and numbers that there are brethren “behind the numbers.” Realizing this, we can have the perspective that it is a spiritual work God is doing through the lives of individuals. We all have a part in what God is doing through our combined efforts. However, we also need to see the bigger picture and realize that there are other churches of God, which are likewise a part of what God is doing.

The Key to Conversion—A Personal Relationship
With God the Father and Jesus Christ

In nominal Christianity a great deal of emphasis is placed on having people “churched.” But is it God’s primary purpose that people attend church meetings, participate in church activities, perform church duties, etc.? While it is well and good to attend a church or to fellowship in a group, being “churched” is not the most important aspect of being a Christian. Rather, from God’s point of view, being converted is the fundamental basis of true Christianity.

When Peter and John healed a man on a particular occasion, the multitudes gathered to investigate. What an opportunity for Peter to inform them that they needed to be “churched.” But notice what he actually said: “And when Peter saw it, he answered to the people, ‘Men, Israelites, why are you wondering at this? And why are you looking upon us so intently as if by our own power or godliness we have made him to walk? The God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His Son Jesus, Whom you delivered up, and denied Him in the presence of Pilate, after he had judged to release Him.But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and requested that a man who was a murderer be granted to you; and you killed the Author of life Whom God has raised from the dead, whereof we are witnesses. And through faith in His name, this man whom you see and know was made strong in His name; and the faith that is through Him gave this complete soundness to him in the presence of you all.

“ ‘And now, brethren [that is, his fellow Jews], I realize that you acted in ignorance, as did your rulers also; but what God had before announced by the mouth of all His prophets, that the Christ should suffer, He has accordingly fulfilled. Therefore, REPENT AND BE CONVERTED in order that your sins may be blotted out, so that the times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord’” (Acts 3:12-19).

To “repent” means to turn from your sinful way of life; to be grieved and sorrowful over your personal sins. What is sin? “Sin is the transgression of the Law” (I John 3:4, KJV); or as the literal translation of the Greek reads, “Sin is lawlessness”—the rejection and transgression of the laws and commandments of God. Repenting of your sins requires the confession of your sins—of your lawbreaking—directly to God the Father, in the name of Jesus Christ. You pour out your heart to the Father—not to any man or priest.

Upon true repentance to God, from the heart, we have God’s promise of forgiveness through the sacrifice and shed blood of Jesus Christ. The apostle John writes: “IF we proclaim that we have fellowship with Him, but we are walking in the darkness, we are lying to ourselves, and we are not practicing the Truth. IF we walk in the light [of God’s Word], as He is in the light, then we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His own Son, cleanses us from all sin. IF we say that we do not have sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. IFwe confess our own sins,He is faithful and righteous, to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. IF we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us. My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And yet, IF anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father; Jesus Christ the Righteous; and He is the propitiation for our sins; and not for our sins only, but also for the sins of the whole world” (I John 1:6-10; 2:1-2).

After repentance toward God through Jesus Christ, one must be baptized by full immersion in water for the forgiveness of sins. Baptism also pictures the burial of the old, carnal, sinful self in a watery grave. After Peter’s inspired preaching on the day of Pentecost, those gathered at the Temple were convicted, which is the beginning of repentance: “ ‘Therefore, let all the house of Israel know with full assurance that God has made this same Jesus, Whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.’ Now after hearing this, they were cut to the heart; and they said to Peter and the other apostles, ‘Men and brethren, what shall we do?’ Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent and be baptized each one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you yourselves shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all those who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God may call’ ” (Acts 2:36-39).

Baptism by full immersion in water is your personal covenant pledge to God. Since Christ’s death was His Covenant Death for you—so that you may receive forgiveness of your sins through His shed blood—your baptism is your covenant death and burial. This then conjoins you with Jesus’ crucifixion and death, as the apostle Paul writes: “What then shall we say? Shall we continue in sin, so that grace may abound? MAY IT NEVER BE! We who died to sin [through baptism], how shall we live any longer therein? Or are you ignorant that we, as many as were baptized into Christ Jesus, were baptized into His death?

Therefore, we were buried with Him through the baptism into THE DEATH [the New Covenant death of Jesus Christ for eternal life]; so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, in the same way, we also should walk in newness of life. For IF we have been conjoined together in the likeness of His death, so also shall we be in the likeness of His resurrection. Knowing this, that our old man was co-crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be destroyed, so that we might no longer be enslaved to sin; because the one who has died to sin has been justified from sin” (Rom. 6:1-7).

After you are baptized and have the laying on of hands to receive the begettal of the Holy Spirit, you are to walk in newness of life—the way of God the Father and Jesus Christ as found in the Word of God. This is how you become converted—as this is only the beginning of the process of your conversion. Peter explains: “Who have been chosen according to the predetermined knowledge of God the Father, by sanctification through the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who, according to His abundant mercy, has begotten us again unto a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead; unto an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and unfading, reserved in heaven for us, who are being safeguarded by the power of God through faith, for salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time” (I Pet. 1:2-5).

As you can see, being begotten again with the Holy Spirit of God is the beginning of your conversion—it is the start of your new way of life. Now you will be living a life of changing—of overcoming sin and your human nature. This is a life-long process of striving toward perfection in preparation for eternal life at the first resurrection, when Jesus Christ returns. Notice Peter’s admonition: “Therefore, having put away all wickedness, and all deceit, and hypocrisies and jealousies, and all slanders, as newborn babes, yearn after the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow, if you yourselves have indeed tasted that the Lord is gracious. To Whom coming, asto a living Stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God, and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house—a holy priesthood—to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (I Pet. 2:1-5).

Then, we are to continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. “Therefore, beloved, since you know this in advance, be on guard against such [evil] practices, lest you be led astray with the error of the lawless ones, and you fall from your own steadfastness; rather, be growing in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and into the day of eternity” (II Pet. 3:17-18).

Peter further explains how we are to overcome and be obedient to God the Father and Jesus Christ: “For this reason, be prepared in your minds, be self-controlled, and be fully hoping in the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not conform yourselves to the former lusts, asyou did in your ignorance. But according as He Who has called you is holy, you yourselves also be holy in all your conduct; for it is written, ‘You be holy because I am holy.’

“And if you call upon the Father, Who judges according to each man’s work without respect of persons, pass the time of your life’s journey in the fear of God; knowing that you were not redeemed by corruptible things, by silver or gold, from your futile way of living, inherited by tradition from your forefathers; but by the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot; Who truly was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but was manifested in these last times for your sakes; even for you who through Him do believe in God, Who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope might be in God” (I Pet. 1:13-21).

Through God’s operation of grace and forgiveness, we receive the Holy Spirit. Then, God creates His spiritual character within us—so that we may develop His divine nature! This is not an instantaneous transformation; rather, it is a process, as Peter clearly outlines: “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 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. And for this very reason also, having applied all diligence besides, add to your faith, virtue; and to virtue, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, endurance; and to endurance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly love; and to brotherly love, the love of God. For if these things exist and abound in you, they will cause youtobe neither lacking effort nor lacking fruit in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ…. For this reason, brethren, be even more diligent to make your calling and election sure; because if you are doing these things, you will never fall at any time. For in this way, you will be richly granted an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ” (II Pet. 1:2-8, 10-11).

Paul writes that we are now God’s workmanship, because conversion comes from God through the power of His Holy Spirit: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this especially is not of your own selves; it is the gift of God, not of [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).

Our PartSpiritual Works

While God does the cleansing of our sins and we become His workmanship unto eternal life, what is our part? What are we to do? After all, Jesus says, “[And] all the churches shall know that I am He Who searches the reins and hearts; and I will give to each of you according to your works.… But hold fast what you have until I come. And to the one who overcomes, and keeps My works unto the end, I will give authority over the nations” (Rev. 2:23, 25-26). We are to have spiritual works as led by the Holy Spirit and motivated by the love of God. As Jesus and the apostles taught, we will all ultimately give an account to God the Father and Jesus Christ: “For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ…. So then, each one of us shall give account of himself to God” (Rom. 14:10, 12).

1).Loving God: When we fully understand that God the Father and Jesus Christ truly love us, the first thing we can do is respond by returning our love to them. Jesus commanded: “The first of all the commandments is, ‘Hear, O Israel. Our one God is the Lord, the Lord. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second is like this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:29-31).

As you can see from these scriptures, this is a full-time way of life. It is not a “go to church thing” once or twice a week for a few hours—in other words, it is not being churched.” We are to respond to God’s love, grace and mercy by living in God’s love. Jesus fully explained how we do this: “As the Father has loved Me, I also have loved you; LIVE IN MY LOVE. If you keep My commandments, you shall live in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and live in His love” (John 15:9-10). (We have a complete series on “The Love of God” online at; or you may request it by contacting the office via phone, letter or e-mail.)

2).Keeping the commandments of God: God made us to actively participate in developing the mind of Christ (Phil. 2:5) and in growing in the love of God by living God’s way in keeping His commandments spiritually from the heart, as led by the Holy Spirit: “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). Did Jesus love God the Father and keep the commandments—and more? Yes, He did! (We have two series you need to study: “The Grace of God in the Bible” and “Grace of God and Commandment-Keeping.”)

3).Daily prayer: Jesus instructed us to pray daily. These are our personal, private prayers to God: “And when you pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, in order that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, enter into a private room; and after shutting the door, pray to your Father Who is in secret; and your Father Who sees in secret shall reward you openly.

“And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions, as the heathen do; for they think that by multiplying their words they shall be heard. Now then, do not be like them; for your Father knows what things you have need of before you ask Him” (Matt. 6:5-8).

Next, Jesus gives us the general outline for prayer. Since this is only an outline, we are not to repeat this prayer over and over. “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’ ” (verses 9-13).

In addition to asking God for our personal needs and for His help in overcoming sin, our daily prayers should include praying for others—for those who are sick or who are in need; for God’s blessings, grace and favor on others; for understanding of the Word of God; for help in developing the mind and character of Christ; for blessing the preaching of the Gospel and the spreading of the Word of God.

There are many more things you can pray about. In fact, Paul writes that we are to pray unceasingly—that is, pray silently many times during the day, asking God for help, guidance, protection and blessings. He writes: “Pray unceasingly. Give thanks in everything, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (I Thess. 5:17-18). (We have a series of sermons and studies on prayer—“The Keys To Answered Prayer.” These are online at, or you may request them by contacting the office.)

4). Daily Study: When we pray we are talking to God. When we study God’s Word, since these are the words of God, He is talking to us. This is why we are to be as the Bereans: “Now these [the Bereans] were more noble than those in Thessalonica, forthey received the Word with all readiness of mind and examined the Scriptures dailyto see if these things were so” (Acts 17:11).

When Paul wrote to Timothy, he admonished him to study the Scriptures: “Diligently study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of the truth” (II Tim 2:15).

As we do these things daily, we are led by the Spirit of God; He is with us in everything we do, as Paul writes: “Now if the Spirit of Him Who raised Jesus from the dead is dwelling within you, He Who raised Christ from the dead will also quicken your mortal bodies because of His Spirit that dwells within you. So then, brethren, we are not debtors to the flesh, to live according to the flesh; because if you are living according to the flesh, you shall die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you shall live.

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God. Now you have not received a spirit of bondage again unto fear, but you have received the Spirit of sonship, whereby we call out, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit itself bears witness conjointly with our own spirit, testifying that we are the children of God” (Rom. 8:11-16). (We have a short article entitled “The Fourteen Rules of Bible Study” that you can request by contacting the office, or by downloading it from or It is included as Appendix A in The Holy Bible In Its Original Order.)

A Personal Relationship With God the Father and Jesus Christ: When we combine these four Christian spiritual works of loving God, keeping the commandments, daily prayer, and daily study, we develop a true relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ. This is how we grow and overcome. This is how we develop the character of God for eternal life.

John writes on how and why we are to love God the Father and Jesus Christ: “In this waythe love of God was manifested toward us: that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, so that we might live through Him. In this act is the love—not that we loved God; rather, that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins…. By this standard we know that we are dwelling in Him, and He is dwelling in us: because of His own Spirit, which He has given to us…. And we have known and have believed the love that God has toward us. God is love, and the one who dwells in love is dwelling in God, and God in him. By this spiritual indwelling, the love of God is perfected within us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment because even as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in the love of God; rather, perfect love casts out fear because fear has torment. And the one who fears has not been made perfect in the love of God. We love Him because He loved us first” (I John 4:9-10, 13, 16-19).

This is how we have a relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ. John calls it “fellowship” with God. “That which was from the beginning, that which we have heard, that which we have seen with our own eyes, that which we observed for ourselves and our own hands handled, concerning the Word of life; (and the life was manifested, and we have seen, and are bearing witness, and are reporting to you the eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested to us.) That which we have seen and have heard we are reporting to you in order that you also may have fellowship with us; for the fellowship—indeed, OUR FELLOWSHIPis with the Father and with His own Son, Jesus Christ. These things we are also writing to you, so that your joy may be completely full” (I John 1:1-4).

The truth is, the “church” is the collective body of baptized, “converted” brethren. We are all in the body of Christ (I Cor. 12:13-14). Hence, though we may meet in a building of some kind, we don’t “go to church”—we are the church. We may be few and scattered, but we are living God’s way. When we have the opportunity to fellowship with brethren, it is a joy—and brotherly love abounds through the love and Spirit of God. We don’t need to be “churched” in the popular sense. We are individual members of the collective Church of God, and Jesus is the head of His Church, which is His body (Eph. 1:22-23).

May we all continue to grow in love, grace and knowledge in order to attain the final conversion—from flesh to spirit—at the resurrection of the dead when Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, returns!

Church at Home Advertising: We have had the Church at Home Web site for just over two years, and now have 220 complete half-hour segments online. We have an additional 22 that are yet to be professionally edited and produced by Randy Vild of Vild Productions. While the number of visitors coming to Church at Home has been increasing in these past two years, we have needed an inexpensive way to promote the site.

Some suggested we use bumper stickers—but those are hard to read. A great suggestion was to utilize special Church at Home business card-sized “handout” cards. This way, brethren could give these cards to people, post them on local bulletin boards, etc.

We found that for $130 we could have 10,000 four-color cards printed—so we did just that. Several of the brethren have already had great success in distributing the cards. We have enclosed three of these beautiful cards in this mailing. We can send you as many cards as you would like so you too can pass them out and post them in various places. There is an order coupon on the last page of this mailing that you can use to request cards.

Digital Bible: Since completing the Bible, many brethren have asked if we had a digital version they could load into their computers. It has taken us some time, but we have finally completed the digital version of The Holy Bible In Its Original Order—A Faithful Version with Commentary. We had 5,000 CDs made. In addition to the complete Bible (with commentaries and appendices), we have also included commentaries and appendices from The New Testament In Its Original Order that we were not able to include in the complete Bible. An additional coupon is included so you can order your own digital version of the Bible.

Once again brethren, we are happy to be able to continually serve you and provide the spiritual tools you need to continue to love God and grow in grace and knowledge as we all “press toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. So then, let as many as be perfect be of this mind” (Phil. 3:14-15).

We thank God the Father and Jesus Christ daily for Their goodness and mercy for all His people. We thank you personally, for your continued love and faithfulness to God and to each other. We thank you for all your prayers for us and all the brethren, and your faithfulness in your tithes and offerings. We pray that God will continue to bless you and keep watch over you in everything. We continue to pray for you, for your health, your healing, and that God’s love and grace will be upon you in all circumstances.

With love in Christ Jesus,

Fred R. Coulter