Monthly letter archive

Monthly Letter, February 2012

Restoring Original Christianity—for Today!

Christian Biblical Church of God

Post Office Box 1442
Hollister, California 95024-1442

Fred R. Coulter,

February 15, 2012

Dear Brethren,

Nearly 2500 years ago, God foretold through the prophet Daniel of today’s fast-paced, super-hi-tech world in single verse. It is one you have known and heard quoted for years concerning the end time: “But you, O Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, even to the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased” (Dan. 12:4).

The simple phrase “Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased” is a broad statement of how the world would be at the time of the end. The passage sets no limit to this “running to and fro” and “increase in knowledge,” nor does it convey the scale or magnitude of its fulfillment. But today this phrase is not hard to understand. As we survey the world, we can easily see that seven billion people are actively fulfilling this verse millions, if not billions, of times every day. (This shows that God never minimally fulfills His prophecies; He always fulfills them to the maximum.)

When Daniel wanted to know the meaning of the prophecies he was given, the angel told him, “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” (verses 9-10).

Why is that? God gave Daniel only the first half of these intricate prophecies in the sixth century BC. He gave the second half of these prophecies to the apostle John over 600 years later, in 96-98 AD, which are recorded in the book of Revelation. But like the book of Daniel, the book of Revelation was written in such a manner that it would not—could not—be understood until the time of the end. The “two halves” are mutually dependent; it takes one to understand the other. But, again, such understanding would be granted only at the time of the end. When John died and Jesus did not return, the people of God had no idea that it would be another 1900 years until the prophesied events of Daniel and Revelation would be fulfilled.

Since before the flood of Noah, the time in which we are now living is the only time in history that has experienced such a rapid increase in knowledge and transportation. There is instant worldwide audio and video communication; instant worldwide news; and a global integrated digital banking and financial system with trade among all nations. Furthermore, today it is possible for the first time for a single global government to rule all nations, as prophesied in the book of Revelation.

True to the promises given to Daniel, in the end time the people of God—those who are wise—willunderstand. God has revealed this knowledge through His Scriptures to the greater Church of God scattered in many nations—because they love God and keep His commandments.

As prophetic events continue to occur, more and more people are becoming aware that our world is dramatically changing. Some are actually beginning to see a connection between current events and biblical prophecy. The History Channel recently aired a series analyzing the prophesied events of the book of Revelation. These programs were amazingly accurate because they closely followed the scriptural sequence. Such programs could very well stir up interest in God and the Scriptures, and could inspire some to personally search out these things in the Bible. We certainly hope so. After all, the billions of Bibles in the world today play a vital part in preaching the gospel. Jesus said, “And the gospel must first be published among all nations…. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be proclaimed in all the world for a witness to all nations; and then shall the end come” (Mark 13:10; Matt. 24:14).

Furthermore, there are many “Christian” video, radio and Internet programs about end time prophecy, with varying degrees of truth and understanding. Yet, while claiming to believe in Jesus Christ, the fact remains that most of the “Christian” world does not follow His teachings. In spite of this interest in end-time prophecy, there is little evidence that people are genuinely repenting and turning to God. Why? They are spiritually blinded in varying degrees because they cling to religious traditions of men and to occult holidays.

On the other hand, the true people of God have a more complete understanding because they love God, believe God, and faithfully keep His commandments—particularly the Sabbath and Holy Day commandments. They are described as those who “keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ…. Here is the patience of the saints; here are the ones who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” (Rev. 12:17, 14:12).

The Word of God promises: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do His commandments.His praise endures forever” (Psa. 111:10). King David prayed to God, “Give me understanding, that I may keep Your law and observe it with all my heart” (Psa. 119:34).

Jesus confirmed the words of Daniel’s prophecies when He said, “I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent [the elite of the world], and have revealed them to babes” (Matt. 11:25).

At His last Passover, Jesus revealed how we can receive the spiritual knowledge of how to live and how to understand things to come. First, He gave this condition: “IF you love Me, keep the commandments—namely, My commandments” (John 14:15). Christ’s words agree precisely with Psalm 111:10. Here is the fundamental key: Those who truly love and obey God realize that He is the One Who reveals the meaning of His prophecies. He does so through His Word, His love for us, and our love back to Him—and through His Holy Spirit, exactly as Jesus promised: “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…. 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…. But when the Comforter has come, which I will send to you from the Father, eventhe Spirit of the truth, which proceeds from the Father, that oneshall bear witness of Me…. However, when that one has come, eventhe Spirit of the truth, it will lead you into all truth because it shall not speak from itself, but whatever it shall hear, it shall speak. And it shall disclose to you the things to come” (John 14:16-17, 21; 15:26; 16:13).

This is how God gives us understanding of His Word and of His prophecies—which the world cannot receive. Everything comes from God the Father, through Jesus Christ. As we hunger and thirst for truth and righteousness, He imparts more and more of His love—and, hence, understanding—to us. As we study, we must be careful to “rightly divide the Word of Truth” (II Tim. 2:15). If we are careless with God’s Word, we can become blinded and the truth becomes fuzzy. This happens to people who profess a belief in Jesus, but do not believewhat He taught. Thus, they do not obey Him.

When Jesus was teaching in the Temple, many Jews briefly believed in Him. However, simply believing in Jesus does not automatically make one His disciple—nor does it mean one is converted or has received the gift of salvation, as many assume. Rather, obedience is evidence of true belief. “Therefore, Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in Him, ‘IFyou continue in My word, you are truly My disciples. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.’They answered Him, ‘We are Abraham’s seed, and have never been in bondage to anyone. What do You mean by saying, “You shall become free”?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Truly, truly I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a servant of sin’ ” (John 8:31-34). Because they lived in and practiced sin, they were slaves to Satan the devil. “The one who practices sin is of the devil because the devil has beensinning from the beginning…. [And] the whole world lies in the power of the wicked one” (I John 3:8, 5:19).

This particular confrontation at the Temple intensified, with Jesus challenging the Jews: “Why don’t you understand My speech? Because you cannot bear to hear My words. You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you desire to practice. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has not stood in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he is speaking from his own self; for he is a liar, and the father of it.

“And because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me [though they professed to believe in Him]. Which one of you can convict Me of sin? But if I speak the truth, why don’t you believe Me? The one who is of God hears the words of God. For this reason you do not hear, because you are not of God” (John 8:43-47).

Powerful words by Jesus, indeed! But were these Jews not religious? Were they not at the Temple of God in Jerusalem where He had placed His name? Surely God would recognize this, wouldn’t He? Absolutely not! Jesus plainly told these pious hypocrites that they were of their father the devil—not of God, though they professed a belief in Him.

These Scriptures make it very clear: It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are, anyone who is a servant of sin—practicing sin, living in sin—will never understand the Word of God or truly believe in Jesus Christ. Why? Because they are blinded by Satan the devil, the author of sin, just as the apostle Paul writes: “[I]f our gospel is hidden, it is hidden to those who are perishing [they do not have salvation as they think]; in whom the god of this age has blinded the minds of those who do not believe…” (II Cor. 4:3-4). As God told Daniel, “None of the wicked will understand.”

Regardless of how intelligent or worldly-wise some may be, they will never understand the Word of God or the prophesies of the Bible because they continue to live a life of sin—which on the surface seems good and right to them (Prov. 14:12; 16:25). Why is that? Because they have rejected God’s Word and the revelation of Himself through His creation. Paul writes: “Indeed, the wrath of God is revealed from heaven upon all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness; because that which may be known of God is manifest among them, for God has manifested it to them; for the invisible things of Him are perceived from the creation of the world, being understood by the things that were made—both His eternal power and Godhead—so that they are without excuse; because when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but they became vain in their own reasonings, and their foolish hearts were darkened. While professing themselves to be the wise ones [the intellectual elites of the world], they became fools [the atheists of the world, Psa. 14 and 53] and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into the likeness of an image of corruptible man, and of birds, and four-footed creatures, and creeping things” (Rom. 1:18-23).

It is automatic! When people reject God, their hearts and minds are darkened; they become so deluded that they actually believe they are wise, as gods. Yes, the human heart is deceitful and desperately wicked above all things (Jer. 17:9).

The same spiritual blindness or darkness comes upon people when they hear the Word of God but do not believe—refusing to obey. It is a living law—they automatically bring spiritual blindness upon themselves. This is why Jesus spoke to the multitudes in parables: “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).

Think about how blessed we are today! The prophets of old did not even have all of the books of the Old Testament available for their use. Jesus’ apostles only had the complete Old Testament when they began their ministries—they had yet to write what would become the New Testament. But we are blessed to have the entire Bible—Old and New Testaments. We live in the time of the end. And true to God’s promise to Daniel, He has given us great understanding!

This means we are responsible:

  • We are to love God the Father and keep on loving Him.
  • We are to love Jesus Christ and keep on loving Him.
  • We are to believe and keep on believing.
  • We are to stand in the grace of God and keep on standing.
  • We are to walk in faith and keep on walking.
  • We are to believe in hope and keep on hoping.
  • We are to live in God’s love and keep on living in God’s love.
  • We are to ask and keep on asking.
  • We are to seek and keep on seeking.
  • We are to knock and keep on knocking.
  • We are to work and keep on working.
  • We are to watch and keep on watching.
  • We are to preach the Gospel and keep on preaching.
  • We are to feed the Flock of God and keep on feeding them.

Notice how Jesus instructed His disciples on these very things. Through His Word He admonishes, promises, and warns us so we will not become slack and lukewarm. We must always be watching and always be ready:

“ ‘But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you. Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father delights in giving you the kingdom…. Let your loins be girded about and your lamps burning, and you yourselves be like men who are waiting for their lord, whenever he shall return from the wedding feast; so that when he comes and knocks, they may immediately open to him. Blessed are those servants whom the lord, when he comes, shall find watching. Truly I say to you, he will gird himself, and will make them sit down, and will come and serve them. And if he comes in the second watch, or comes in the third watch, and finds them watching, blessed are those servants.

“ ‘But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. Now you, therefore, be ready; for the Son of man is coming in an hour that you do not think.’

“Then Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, are You speaking this parable to us only, or also to all?’ And the Lord said, ‘Who then is the wise and faithful steward, whom the lord shall put in charge of his household, to give to each one the portion of food in season? Blessed is that servant whom the lord, when he comes, shall find so doing. Of a truth, I tell you, he will set him over all his possessions.

“ ‘But if that servant shall say in his heart, “My lord delays his coming,” and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidservants, and to be gluttonous and become drunk, the lord of that servant will come in a day that he does not expect, and in an hour that he does not know, and will cut him asunder, and will appoint his portion with the unbelievers. And that servant who knew the will of his lord, but did not prepare, nor did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes; but the one who did not know, and did things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For to whomever much has been given, from him shall much be required; and to whom much has been committed, from him they will demand the more’ ” (Luke 12:31-32, 35-48).

Paul was relentless in preaching the Gospel and serving the brethren. He continually encouraged them in their persecutions and struggles—even when facing his own severe trials. He always pointed them toward the Kingdom of God. We need to constantly have the same attitude: “If by any means I may attain unto the resurrection of the dead; not as though I have already received, or have already been perfected; but I am striving, so that I may also lay hold on that for which I also was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not count myself as having attained; but this one thing I do—forgetting the things that are behind, and reaching forth to the things that are ahead, I 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. And if in anything you are otherwise minded, God will reveal even this to you” (Phil. 3:11-15).

In Revelation three, Jesus encourages us to continually love Him and always be faithful regardless of circumstances. We know we are weak and few in number, but God is mighty. Since He is for us, nothing can be against us! Here is His personal message to the church of Philadelphia: “I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, and no one has the power to shut it because you have a little strength, and have kept My word, and have not denied My name. Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who proclaim themselves to be Jews and are not, but do lie—behold, I will cause them to come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you.

Because you have kept the word of My patience, I also will keep you from the time of temptation which is about to come upon the whole world to try those who dwell on the earth. Behold, I am coming quickly; hold fast that which you have so that no one may take away your crown. The one who overcomes will I make a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall not go out any more; and I will write upon him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which will come down out of heaven from My God; and I will write upon him My new name. The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Rev. 3:8-13).

If we live our lives in this manner, we will, in the resurrection, hear Jesus say to us, “Well done, good and faithful servant! Because you were faithful over a few things, I will set you over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord…. Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matt. 25:21, 34).

The Appointed Times of Jesus the Messiah: While taking a bit longer than anticipated, we have finally finished the new book, The Appointed Times of Jesus the Messiah. You will note that some of the material concerning Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection has been previously published in our other books, but we have updated the information for this new publication.

This book is unique in that it is the only publication ever to accurately couple all of the “appointed times” of the Messiah with the 70-week prophecy of Daniel nine. For example, one chapter proves biblically and historically—to the very day—when Jesus began His ministry. Two chapters bring out new material on Jesus’ crucifixion, and two chapters detail the “appointed times” of His return to establish the Kingdom of God and the new heaven and earth. These are all aspects of the 70-week prophecy that have never been correctly understood.

By the time you receive this letter, Thomson-Shore Printers in Dexter, Michigan, will be printing the book. As we have done with our other books, you will receive a copy directly from Unit Packaging, a mailing firm in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Church at Home Advertising Cards: Due to overwhelming demand, we are completely out of Church at Home Advertising cards. We have reordered 45,000 cards—20,000 for the USA and 5,000 for each of our international offices—at a total cost of about $600. We should receive them in Hollister shortly after you receive this letter. The cards may prove to be one of the best ways to advertise Church at Home, as brethren all over the world have been eagerly giving them to people, placing them on community bulletin boards, leaving them in public places, etc. We can send as many as you can use—so when you run out, please order more!

Brethren, your love and faithfulness to God the Father and Jesus Christ is evident in your communications—letter, e-mail and phone. We pray every day for God’s blessings to be upon you in every area of your life—that He will help you, uplift you, and lead you with His Holy Spirit. Regardless of circumstances, remember that “all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28). We appreciate you and thank you for your steadfast support through your tithes and offerings. Thank you for continuing to reach out to brethren who are troubled by the things taking place in the churches they attend. Finally, remember to always stand in grace, walk in faith, believe in hope, and live in love.

With love in Christ Jesus,

Fred R. Coulter