Monthly letter archive

Monthly Letter, July 2012

Restoring Original Christianity—for Today!

Christian Biblical Church of God

Post Office Box 1442
Hollister, California 95024-1442

Fred R. Coulter,

July 17, 2012

Dear Brethren,

Most people in the USA were expecting the Supreme Court to strike down "Obamacare" as unconstitutional. But when the court's decision upheld the legislation as constitutional under the taxing powers of Congress, everyone was caught off guard. It has taken about a week for reality to sink in: the "Affordable Care Act" is now part of the law of the land. If it is not repealed by a new president and a new Congress, it will result in the greatest tax increase in the history of this country. Remember, the American colonies began their efforts for independence from Britain with a tax revolt. Will there be a revolt over this, the largest tax increase in U.S. history?

If President Obama is reelected, a Republican-led Congress would not be able to repeal the "Obamacare" tax because they would not have enough votes to override a presidential veto. Moreover, if the Bush-era tax cuts are allowed to expire, the new tax rates—combined with the Obamacare tax—could result in taxes as high as 30-50 percent (or more) for the average person.

Beginning in 2014, the average American could see higher taxes, higher healthcare costs, limited services, and bureaucratic death-panels making decisions to deny major care and surgeries for those 75 and older—as it would be deemed "unaffordable." To compound matters, thousands of doctors will no longer continue their practices, and hospitals and medical centers will have to downsize because they will not have the necessary funds to continue their current services. Consequently, many nurses and healthcare providers will lose their jobs.

Today, the United States of America is at a spiritual, generational, ethnic and financial turningpoint—as are many other nations. If things continue as they are, especially with unemployment as high as 13 to 15 percent, we could soon go beyond the "point of no return." America could end up like Greece (and other failing nations of Europe) with an unemployment rate of 25 percent or more. We would be burdened with an impossible tax load, enslaved to our lenders—who are our enemies—and crushed by an incomprehensible national debt that can never be paid back. Finally, we would be ruled over by evil, godless national and world governments.

Meanwhile, the USA continues to face increasing "natural disasters" of fire, wind, rain, floods, and unheard-of "power outages" of extended duration. As such disasters drain financial resources, the "well" of printed and borrowed money will eventually dry up. Most people are aware of these problems to some degree. But the reality is that the financial problems facing states, cities, and governmental agencies are overwhelmingly complex. Indeed, the gigantic, deceptive "house of cards" is about to fall, just as God prophesied thousands of years ago in Deuteronomy 28 and Leviticus 26.

Religious and secular leaders have warned our politicians and government leaders to stop these destructive practices—but few will listen. The prophet Hosea lays bare our national sins, showing why God brings these things upon us as an expression of His judgment. Clearly, it is not because of a few sinners; rather, it is the majority that has accepted deceit, lawlessness, sin, perversity (homosexuality and same-sex marriage), and immorality. "Hear the Word of the Lord, children of Israel, for the Lord has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, 'There is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and the committing of adultery they break out; and blood touches blood [murder, abortion and war].

" 'Therefore shall the land mourn, and everyone who dwells in it shall languish, with the beasts of the field and with the birds of the heavens. Yes, the fish of the sea shall also be taken away…. My people are destroyed for lack of [true, spiritual] knowledge. Because you have rejected [such] knowledge, I will also reject you…. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your children. As they were increased, so they sinned against Me. I will change their glory into shame. They eat up the sin of My people, and they set their heart on their iniquity.

" 'And it has become, like people, like priest; and I will punish them for their ways, and reward them for their doings; for they shall eat and not have enough. They shall commit whoredom and not increase because they have stopped taking heed to the Lord. Whoredom and wine and new wine take away the heart' " (Hosea 4:1-3; 6-11).

The prophet Isaiah, a contemporary of Hosea, also prophesied concerning Israel. Again, notice the widespread, systemic nature of our sins and the degree to which we are overburdened with our iniquities and transgressions. "Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth; for the Lord has spoken, 'I have reared and brought up children, but they have rebelled against Me. The ox knows his owner, and the donkey his master's crib; but Israel does not know Me; My people do not understand. 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' " (Isa. 1:2-7).

Yet, in spite of our sins, God always offers repentance. He will accept heartfelt repentance and hold back His hand of correction against our nations. God pleads with His people! " 'Hear the Word of the Lord, rulers of Sodom; give ear to the law of our God, people of Gomorrah…. Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes; cease to do evil.

" 'Learn to do good; seek judgment, reprove the oppressor. Judge the orphan, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together,' says the Lord. 'Though your sins are as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land. But if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured with the sword;' for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it" (Isa. 1:10; 16-20).

What choices do the modern, descendant-nations of Israel face today?

  1. In the USA, there is an election in November. Will the people come to their senses and elect men and women who are basically honest—who are willing to honor the constitution and follow biblical principles? If so, there will be a glimmer of hope for a while. If not, the vortex of overwhelming oppression and lawlessness will be unleashed, devouring everything in its path.
  2. Will enough people forsake their sins and turn to God—so that He, in mercy, will hold back His judgment and correction? We know that most will not repent to the point of baptism. However, if they would actually keep the principles of God's Law in the letter, this might be enough to recover themselves from their overt sinful behavior. God would then hold back His judgment and correction.

If they would turn to God and confess their sins—as brought out in Solomon's prayer for the dedication of the Temple—God will hear and answer. Notice: "And if Your people Israel be put to the worse before the enemy because they have sinned against You, and if they shall return and confess Your name, and shall pray and cry before You in this house, then hear from heaven, and forgive the sin of Your people Israel…. When the heavens shall be shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against You, yet,if they pray toward this place, and confess Your name, and turn from their sin when You afflict them, then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of Your servants and of Your people Israel when You have taught them the good way in which they should walk. And send rain upon Your land which You have given to Your people for an inheritance.

"If there is famine in the land, if there is a plague, if blasting or mildew, locusts or grasshoppers, if their enemies besiege them in the gates of their land; or there may be whatever plague or sickness; then whatever prayer, whatever cry shall be made by any man, or by all Your people Israel, when everyone shall know his own plague and his own grief, and shall spread forth his hands in this house; then hear from heaven, Your dwelling place, and forgive, and render to every man according to all his ways, whose heart You know; for You only know the hearts of the sons of men" (II Chron. 6:24-30).

How God the Father and Jesus Christ View the Churches of God

The spiritual condition of the churches of God is also a factor. From God's perspective, the seven churches described in Revelation 2-3 accurately depict the spiritual condition of His churches today. We need to recognize the individual and collective importance of the various groups that make up the Church—their teachings and doctrines, the spiritual condition of their ministries, and the spiritual condition of their memberships.

While only God the Father and Jesus Christ know the hearts of the ministers and brethren, we read that Jesus admonishes five of the seven churches to repent of their various sins and false doctrines. This means the spiritual conditions and works of the various churches of God are important factors in His judgment and correction on the nation. This is why God declares through Isaiah: "Except the Lord of hosts had left us a very small remnant [the churches of God, and those who have not bowed the knee to Baal], we would have been as Sodom; we would have become like Gomorrah" (Isa. 1:9).

We all need to heed Jesus' warnings to the seven churches: "The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches" (Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22).

Remember, while we are confronted with many physical problems, we are fighting a spiritual battle. The enemy is Satan the devil, "who is deceiving the whole world" (Rev. 12:9). As Paul wrote, we need to be on guard and strong in the Lord: "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the might of His strength. Put on the whole armor of God so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Because we are not wrestling against flesh and blood, but against principalities and against powers, against the world rulers of the darkness of this age, against the spiritual power of wickednessin high places.

"Therefore, take up the whole armor of God so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having worked out all things, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girded about with truth, and wearing the breastplate of righteousness, and having your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Besides all these, take up the shield of the faith, with which you will have the power to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one; and put on the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God;praying at all times with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and in this very thing being watchful with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints" (Eph. 6:10-18).

With this in mind, each of us needs to set aside a day that we can devote to prayer and fasting—asking God to intercede for our nations and once again extend mercy to them. We need to ask God to grant repentance to all the ministers and brethren in the churches of God so that we will have the spiritual strength and grace to let God the Father and Jesus Christ continue their spiritual work in us as we prepare not only for the difficult times ahead but for our entrance into the Kingdom of God at the return of Christ.

The Major Keys to Understanding End Time Prophecies

Much is happening in the Middle East with prophetic implications, as Muslim countries are unknowingly preparing for the coming "king of the south." For the first time in history, Russia, China, Iran and Syria will be conducting joint naval exercises this summer off the coast of Syria. At the same time, there is the ongoing threat of war with Iran (Persia in prophecy). Iran does not represent the "king of the north" or the "king of the south," as it is too far east and north. However, these events do not bode well and certainly help set the stage for the fulfillment of end time prophecy.

Moreover, we see Turkey—a prophetically vital Muslim country—coming into prominence in the Middle East. The Ottoman Empire (1300-1919 AD) was centered on what is Turkey today. It ruled the Muslim world (except for Arabia) for 600 years, falling to the British at the end of WW I. Aside from the oil-rich Arab nations, Turkey is the most secular and most prosperous Muslim nation today. As part of the NATO alliance, it has a well-equipped standing army of over 500,000 and a fairly powerful air force. This past month, a Syrian air force jet shot down a Turkish training jet over the Mediterranean Sea (to its southeast, Turkey shares a common border with Syria).

Throughout the Syrian government's carnage of its own people during the last year and a half, many Syrians (as well as rebels) have fled to Turkey for safety. There is every reason to believe that Turkey would like to regain some of the power it had during its "imperial" days. Perhaps this could happen if NATO would allow Turkey—with the backing of other Muslim nations—to invade Syria and end the government's slaughter of its own people. Such an event could be an important factor in bringing the Muslim world into a future global government, thus setting the stage for the "king of the south." The main Muslim caliphate could be reestablished in Cairo, Egypt.

The Following is From my December 13, 2007

Letter About the Middle East—With Updated Notes


The prophecies described in this letter have yet to be fulfilled. They are important in understanding how the Muslim nations, Europe, and the nations of the world will align themselves in order to fulfill end time prophecy.

The King of the North and the King of the South: With each new crisis—be it monetary, war or crime related, or a natural disaster—we wonder, "When will the end come? How much time do we have left?" We need to realize that there are many things which must yet appear on the "prophecy stage," so to speak, before the final events of the end times can unfold and the Great Tribulation can begin. One thing is certain, the Tribulation cannot begin until there is a "king of the north" and a "king of the south."

Concerning end time events leading up to His return, Jesus commanded His disciples to watch: "Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branches have already become tender, and it puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. In like manner also, when you see all these [prophesied] things, know that it [the end] is near, even at the doors. Truly I say to you, this generation shall in no wise pass away until all these things have taken place. The heaven and the earth shall pass away, but My words shall never pass away. But concerning that day, and the hour, no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only" (Matt. 24:32-36). The key is that we must "see all these things"—which includes all the Old Testament prophecies pertaining to end time events. It is a grave mistake to get all excited when we see some of "these things"—instead of all of "these things"—and proclaim that the Tribulation will suddenly come upon us. This is why we are to constantly watch.

Perhaps the two most important end time events to watch for are the rise of the "king of the north" and the rise of the "king of the south"—because the Great Tribulation cannot begin until they first come on the scene. God inspired the prophet Daniel to write: "And at the time of the end, the king of the south shall push at him. And the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind with chariots and with horsemen and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries and shall overflow and sweep through. He shall also enter into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown. But these shall escape out of his hand: Edom and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon. And he shall stretch out his hand also upon the countries. And the land of Egypt shall not escape" (Dan. 11:40-42).

These prophecies clearly tell us that at the time of the end there will be a "king of the north" and a "king of the south" on the geopolitical "prophetic stage." They are not yet on the horizon [and are still not, in July of 2012].

With the continuing development of the European Union, we can readily see that the political power base has already been established for the "king of the north." As this development progresses, the United Kingdom will not be part of the EU. Several years ago, the EU failed to get a new European constitution approved by the voters of the 12 key member nations. Since then, however, the EU has completed a treaty which contains nearly the same wording as the previously rejected constitution. [However, as of 2012, they must solve the systemic financial problems of the eurozone—as well as the Muslim problems within the various European countries—before the power base can be fully established for the "king of the north" to come on the scene.]

There will be the "Beast" power of the "king of the north" who will come on the scene. Remember, Napoleon, Bismark and Hitler all dreamed of a United Europe stretching from the Atlantic to the Urals—established through conquest and war. Apparently, the dream will now be achieved through trade agreements and treaties—all signed in Rome.

The Coming Union of Islamic Nations: This same pattern of "regional trading unions" is being used to bring the other nations of the world into 10 regional trading areas. It is a little-known fact that the seven-member "Gulf Cooperation Counsel" (GCC) was initially established in 1981 by Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Yemen, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. In 1991, after Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, the GCC invited the United States to send their armed forces to liberate Kuwait. They also requested that the U.S. not go into Iraq to fully conquer the country. Thus, the second Iraq war followed in 2003.

In addition to the GCC, the Greater Arab Free Trade Agreement (GAFTA) was ratified in 1997 and implemented in 1998 by the following 17 Islamic nations: Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. Notice that the original seven GCC nations are included. When GAFTA becomes more fully developed, it will undoubtedly include all Islamic nations in the Middle East and North Africa. Perhaps it will eventually include Pakistan and Afghanistan as cooperating Islamic nations. [Turkey will undoubtedly be a power player in implementing its final form].

This union will, in turn, become the foundational power base for the "king of the south." Now we can understand why the second Gulf war in Iraq is being fought. With Saddam Hussein having been eliminated as a threat to the GCC nations—and with success in the Iraq war—the way will be open for Islamic nations to form a prosperous "Pan-Arab Union" through GAFTA. With key components in place, we can now see how the political and territorial foundation for the "king of the south" will come together.

ASEAN—Association of Southeast Asian Nations: The ten nations that make up ASEAN include: 1) Brunei Darussalam; 2) Cambodia; 3) Indonesia; 4) Lao PDR (Laos); 5) Malaysia; 6) Myanmar-Burma; 7) Philippines; 8) Singapore; 9) Thailand; and 10) Vietnam. Representatives of these nations—which comprise a third of the world's population—meet annually for ASEAN business. Here is an excerpt from a press report (dated 11-29-2004) dealing with an ASEAN-China trade and economic summit:

"Vientiane, Laos: China and the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are expected to make substantial progress in advancing Free Trade Areas (FTAs) at their summit to be held here today. The two sides will sign a series of agreements, the most prominent of which are the two known as the Agreement on Trade in Goods of the Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Co-operation between ASEAN and China, and the Agreement of Dispute Settlement Mechanism. Chinese Premier Wen Jiaboa arrived in Vientiane yesterday [December 2007]. He is in Laos Sunday through Tuesday for a group summit between China and ASEAN, [and] a three-way meeting between China, Japan and the Republic of Korea [which probably laid the groundwork for greater cooperation between the three, as well as for a separate future FTA between them]…. Wen will witness the signing of all agreements."

More Regional Trading Unions of Nations: In addition to the development of the "regional trading unions" of nations for the "king of the north" and the "king of the south," other regional alliances are being developed through trade agreements and treaties that, in all probability, will lead eventually to ten major regions of the world. From what we already know concerning the development of these regional groupings of nations, we can anticipate the formation of certain "regional unions." While the following proposed alignment of nations into regions is currently at various stages of development, and others are not yet clearly defined, this tentative list can at least give us a preliminary idea of how they might align into ten regions.

They are: 1) European Union; 2) Islamic nations West—Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Jordan, Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco; 3) Islamic nations East—the rest of the Islamic nations; 4) North American Union (NAU); 5) South American Union; 6) Africa—Sub Sahara, called AFTA; 7) Russia and the nations along its southern border; 8) Southeast Asian nations, already organized as ASEAN, probably with Japan joining later; 9) China—with Tibet, Mongolia and Korea (or Japan could join the China group); and 10) India and the Himalayan nations.

How the Jewish nation in Palestine, which today is called "Israel," will fit in is rather difficult to determine at this point. It could be tied to all ten regions, perhaps more prominently to Europe.

Perhaps this tentative framework of ten "regional trading unions" of nations can give us a better understanding of the alignment of nations in the end times. Notice that the modern end-time nations of the ten tribes of Israel would lose most of their sovereignty in such "regional unions"—and would be taken over by strangers within their gates, who could then easily rise high above them and bring them into slavery within their own countries.

To tie all these alliances together, all trade agreements and treaties would be regulated through the World Trade Organization (WTO), located in Geneva, which now comprises 150 nations worldwide. In fact, all these preliminary "Free Trade Areas" are made up of WTO members and are thus subject to its regulations and Trade Dispute Settlement Court. From their 2007 Annual Report, the WTO declares: "The challenge over the next few months is to deliver the final Doha [the capital city of Qatar] Development Agenda agreement which better integrates developing countries into the global trading system, while expanding trade opportunities for all WTO members…. The main mission of the WTO is to open markets and regulate world trade."

A New Look at Daniel Two: If we reexamine the prophecies of Daniel two, which begin with Nebuchadnezzar as the head of gold, it is possible to make more sense out of the final kingdom of ten toes. If we view the ten toes as ten "regional trading unions" of nations—partly weak and partly strong because of their alignments—it may give us greater understanding: "And whereas you saw the feet and toes, part of potters' clay and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided. But there shall be in it the strength of the iron, because you saw the iron mixed with miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly broken [or weak]. And whereas you saw iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mix [or join] themselves with the seed of men [other nations]. But they shall not cling to one another, even as iron does not combine with clay. And in the days of these kings, the God of heaven shall set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed. And the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever" (Dan. 2:41-44).

It is apparent that we are witnessing the development of ten "regional trading unions" of nations rather than simply ten nations in Europe, as has been postulated in the past. Remember, the EU currently has 12 members nations [now 27]. This makes it impossible to interpret the ten toes of Daniel as ten European nations—five from western Europe and five from eastern Europe. Rather, we are looking at a worldwide system. Indeed, end time prophecies show worldwide events, not just those taking place in Europe and the Middle East.

The Seven Heads that are With the Ten Horns: Revelation 13 speaks of seven heads in addition to the ten horns. Who are these seven heads? It is very possible that the nations of the G-7—meaning Group of Seven—are the seven heads. In 1975, the seven most powerful economic nations of the world began holding annual meetings. But it was not until 1985 that they were officially established as an independent power block in the world. In 1998, the G-7 added Russia as a guest observer. These seven nations continue to meet without Russia on certain worldwide economic issues. The G-7 nations are: the United States, the UK, Canada, Germany, France, Japan and Italy.

We must also consider that another possible fulfillment of the seven heads could involve the seven permanent members of the UN Security Council. At present there are only five permanent members: the U.S., the UK, France, Russia and China. However, there have been recent proposals to add two more members—Japan and Germany—which would make seven permanent Council members.

Either way, we must realize that all geopolitical and economic alliances are subject to change. The G-7 and the UN Security Council of today may be composed of entirely different nations in the future.

A One World Government: The book of Revelation also shows that there will be a worldwide government headed up by the Beast—one of the seven heads of Revelation chapter 13. This will probably be a reconstituted United Nations, perhaps moved from the U.S. to Europe: "And I stood on the sand of the sea [nations, peoples and languages; see 17:15]; and I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads [the seven leading nations of the world at that time] and ten horns [the ten "regional trading unions" of nations], and on his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast that I saw was like a leopard, and his feet like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion [diversity and amalgamation, or unions of nations using the best features of past civilizations of men—described in Daniel]; and the dragon [Satan the devil] gave him his power, and his throne and great authority. And I saw one of his heads [the one who ends up as the leader of the entire world system] as ifit were slain to death, but his deadly wound was healed; and the whole earth was amazed and followed the beast.
"And they [all the people of the world] worshiped the dragon, who gave his authority to the beast. And they worshiped the beast, saying, 'Who is like the beast? Who has the power to make war against him?' And a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies was given to him; and authority was given to him to continue for forty-two months [after his deadly wound is healed].

"And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. And he was given power to make war against the saints, and to overcome them; and he was given authority over every tribe and language and nation [a worldwide government]. And all who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Rev. 13:1-8).

There is no question that these verses are describing a one-world government with full power and authority over all the people of the world! The saints will not submit to this satanic government, refusing the "mark" of the Beast—and will be martyred! With the "false prophet," who is also empowered by Satan the devil (Rev. 13:9-18), the Beast will lead the whole world into the ultimate rebellion against God the Father and Jesus Christ—the worship of the Beast as God! The Beast will undoubtedly be the "king of the north" of Daniel eleven. The "false prophet" will proclaim the Beast to be God manifested in the flesh—in reality, the Anti-Christ!

Daniel describes him this way: "And the king [of the north] shall do according to his will. And he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak astonishing things against the God of gods, and shall prosper until the indignation be accomplished, for that which is decreed shall be done.

"He will not regard the gods of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god, for he shall magnify himself above all. But in his place he shall honor the god of forces; and a god whom his fathers did not know shall he honor with gold and silver, and with precious stones and costly things. So he shall deal against the fortresses of the strongest with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge; and shall increase with glory. He shall cause them to rule over many and shall divide the land for a price. And at the time of the end, the king of the south shall push at him. And the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind with chariots and with horsemen and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries and shall overflow and sweep through" (Dan. 11:36-40).

Notice how the apostle Paul was inspired to describe this final Beast: "Now we beseech you, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, that you not be quickly shaken in mind, nor be troubled—neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by epistle, as if from us, saying that the day of Christ is present [this is the exact expression the New Age Religion uses to describe their false Christ].

"Do not let anyone deceive you by any means because that day will not come unless the apostasy shall come first, and the man of sin shall be revealed—the son of perdition, the one who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is an object of worship; so that he comes into the temple of God and sits down as God, proclaiming that he himself is God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you, I told you these things? And now you understand what is holding him back in order for him to be revealed in his own set time.

"For the mystery of lawlessness is already working; only there is one Who is restraining at the present time until it arises out of the midst. And then the lawless one will be revealed (whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth, and will destroy with the brightness of His coming [Rev. 19, when Jesus and the saints return to the earth from the Sea of Glass]); even the one whose coming is according to the inner working of Satan, with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in those who are perishing because they did not receive the love of the truth, so that they might be saved.

"And for this cause, God will send upon them a powerful deception that will cause them to believe the lie, so that all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but who took pleasure in unrighteousness" (II Thess. 2:1-12).

As we have seen, Revelation 13 describes him this way: "And a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies was given to him; and authority was given to him to continue for forty-two months [after his deadly wound is healed]. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven" (verses 5-6).

Perhaps these explanations will help us to have a clearer focus on prophetic world events as we see them develop and unfold before our eyes in the years ahead.

Jesus Commanded Us to Watch and be Ready at All Times: We must always be watching and ready—whether we live to see the ultimate fulfillment of these events or whether we die in the faith and pass from the scene. We must always heed Jesus' admonition: "Watch, therefore, because you do not know in what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have been watching, and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore, you also be ready. For the Son of man is coming at a time that you do not think.

"Who then is the faithful and wise servant whom his lord has set over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he comes shall find so doing. Truly I say to you, he will set him over all his property" (Matt. 24:42-47). Then He will say of each one of us, "Well done, good and faithful servant; enter into the joy of your Lord."

New BookletWhat the Bible Teaches About "Clean" & "Unclean" Meats: We are pleased to be able to send you this new booklet, written by Philip Neal, our editor. It has a beautiful cover designed by Randy Vild, our video editor for Church at Home. It is well researched and informative—a quick read. We are sure you will derive helpful information from it. If you desire additional copies to give to other brethren and interested people, you may order them from the office. We will be happy to send them to you.

Brethren, thank you for your love and prayers for us and all the brethren. We all need your prayers. We love you and are praying for you daily—for your health and healing, and that you might continue to grow in grace and knowledge. We thank you for your support through your tithes and offerings, as God blesses you. Remember, every day we are to stand in grace, walk in faith, believe in hope, and live in love. May God continue to bless you and yours in every way.

With love in Christ Jesus,

Fred R. Coulter