Monthly letter archive

Monthly Letter, April 2013

Restoring Original Christianity—for Today!

Christian Biblical Church of God

Post Office Box 1442
Hollister, California 95024-1442

Fred R. Coulter,

pdfIcon - Proof: The Apostle Peter Was Never in Rome

April 16, 2013

Dear Brethren,

From all the great reports, letters and comments from the elders and the brethren, it is most evident that God the Father and Jesus Christ have blessed us with a tremendous Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread observance. Each year, this is a special time of repentance, spiritual strengthening, rededication and growth. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, God our Father and Jesus Christ inspire us to be more determined to trust Them in faith for the help we need to overcome sin and our carnal human nature. With Their help, we can continue to go forward regardless of our circumstances—because we are fully committed to trusting God, with our hearts fixed on eternal life in the Kingdom of God.

It is truly awe inspiring, yet very humbling, when we realize that God has called us to be part of His Eternal Family and to actively participate in His great plan of salvation for mankind—which He proposed before the foundation of the world. Always remember that GOD THE FATHER HIMSELF LOVES YOU—INDIVIDUALLY! As Jesus said on the night of His last Passover, "If you dwell in Me, and My words dwell in you, you shall ask whatever you desire, and it shall come to pass for you. In this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit; so shall you be My disciples. 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…. And in that day you shall ask Me nothing. Truly, truly I tell you, whateveryou shall ask the Father in My name, He will give you. Until this day, you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you shall receive, that your joy may be full…. In that day, you shall ask in My name; and I do not tell you that I will beseech the Father for you, for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God" (John 15:7-10; 16:23-24, 26-27).

This is why we are to pray directly to our Father in Jesus' name, just as He taught His disciples—and we also are His disciples (Matt. 6:9-13 and Luke 11:1-4). If you do not have the vital sermon series The Keys to Answered Prayer, be sure to order it. You can call the office, write or e-mail us and we will send it to you. The most important thing we can do daily is to pray to our Father and to study His Word. This is the key to maintaining our relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ. Because of Christ, we have direct access to our Father, as Paul writes: "For through Him we both have direct access by one Spirit to the Father. So then, you are no longer aliens and foreigners; but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of the household of God. You are being built up on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief Cornerstone in Whom all the building, being conjointly fitted together, is increasing into a holy temple in the Lord; in Whom you also are being built together for a habitation of God in the Spirit" (Eph. 2:18-22).

As spirit-begotten children of God, the power of the Holy Spirit within us leads us to do the will of God, to have His laws and commandments written in our hearts, and to develop the mind of Christ: "But if Christ be within you, the body is indeed dead because of sin; however, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 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. Now if we are children, we are also heirstruly, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christif indeed we suffer together with Him, so that we may also be glorified together with Him" (Rom. 8:10-17).

On the night of His last Passover, Jesus revealed to His disciples the most profound spiritual revelation concerning the New Covenant relationship between God and His begotten children. What He said defines our true relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ—it is personal, intimate and spiritual: "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…. If anyone 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" (John 14:21, 23). Each true Christian becomes, as it were, a "temple of God" through the power of the Holy Spirit. Notice what Paul writes: "Don't you understand that you are God's temple, and that the Spirit of God is dwelling in you" (I Cor. 3:16).

After repentance, baptism and the laying on of hands, we receive the spiritual begettal from the Father to be a son or daughter of God—and the Spirit of Christ, in order to develop the mind of Jesus (I Peter 1:1-4; II Cor. 6:16-18; Col. 1:26-27). This relationship is so personal that John defines it as fellowship in I John 1:3: "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 fellowshipindeed, our fellowshipis with the Father and with His own Son, Jesus Christ."

The bond of this fellowship is God's love for us and our love for God. Through this on-going spiritual fellowship—day by day, week by week, month by month, and year by year—we are perfected in the love of God. It is a lifelong process. As the children of God, we are to be born again at the first resurrection when Jesus returns. This is our purpose and destiny in life. "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. And everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, even as He is pure" (I John 3:1-3).

Through our fellowship with the Father and Jesus Christ, we are given the spiritual strength to grow in grace and knowledge—to overcome sin and the world. Thus, the love of God is being perfected in 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" (I John 4:16-17).

Before He was arrested to be crucified, Jesus, in His final prayer to the Father, focused His mind solely on the goal of completing God's plan for us: "I do not pray for these only, but also for those who shall believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, even as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, in order that the world may believe that You did send Me. And I have given them the glory that You gave to Me, in order that they may be one, in the same way that We are one: I in them, and You in Me, that they may be perfected into one; and that the world may know that You did send Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me" (John 17:20-23).

Brethren, in the difficult days that lie ahead, may these words be ever in our hearts and minds. May God the Father and Jesus Christ strengthen you in every way, so that you may be perfected in the love of God and the love of one another. Once again, we thank you for your love and prayers for the brethren and for us. We gratefully appreciate your continued faithful support through your tithes and offerings during these difficult economic times. We pray that God will continue to bless you, keep you in His love, and watch over you in all things.

With love in Christ Jesus,

Fred R. Coulter