Monthly letter archive

Restoring Original Christianity—for Today!

Christian Biblical Church of God

Post Office Box 1442
Hollister, California 95024-1442

Fred R. Coulter


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April 14, 2010

Dear Brethren,

My trip last month to Seattle and Spokane, Washington, was a great experience! In Seattle, we had a Bible Study on Friday night, March 19, with morning and afternoon Sabbath services the next day. We had a excellent turnout with 50 brethren showing up, including four new people attending for the first time—two of whom found us through our new Church at Home video Web site, which is designed for new people. As those of you who have viewed the videos have noted, the half-hour programs are very high quality—professionally designed by our production editor, Randy Vild. At the present time we have 46 programs recorded with 27 edited and on the site. In our last mailing we sent you a CD containing the first 20 Church at Home audio recordings from the video programs. Because of the cost, it is not possible to send out the video presentations of these programs. However, we will continue to send you the audio portions of Church at Home as they accumulate. This way you can be kept current.

In Spokane on Sunday, March 21, we had special morning and afternoon Bible studies. In spite of the threatening weather, we had a good turnout of 42 brethren. I always look forward to these regional meetings and the opportunity to meet and fellowship with the scattered brethren.

We kept the Passover and the Night to be Much Observed in Hollister, and the first holy day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread in Fairfield, California. I later traveled to Atlanta, Georgia, for the weekly Sabbath, April 3. We had over 50 brethren attend, again with five new people attending as a result of their viewing and listening to Church at Home. In Atlanta, I gave two very important sermons on God’s Grace and Commandment Keeping. This was an expanded version of the sermon we had previously sent to you for the weekly Sabbath during the feast. These vital sermons will be on the next CD. We will examine this important teaching in detail in my May letter.

For the last day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, April 5, I went to Manchester, New Hampshire, where we had 52 brethren in attendance. Again, as a result of Church at Home, we had five new people attending for the first time. In the morning service, I gave the message for the meaning of the seventh day of the feast. Then, in the afternoon, we had a Bible Study. Everywhere I travel, the brethren are filled with love and joy, showing by their fruits that they truly love God; they are zealous in serving Him and truly love one another as Jesus commanded.

In Manchester, we had a detailed study of the revealed New Testament name of God. We find that the question of God’s name is plainly answered by Jesus Christ Himself. First, one of Christ’s primary missions was to reveal the Father—since the Father is not plainly revealed in the Old Testament. (As we all realize, Jesus Christ was the Lord God of the Old Testament before He became God manifested in the flesh—the Savior of mankind and the Lamb of God appointed to take away the sin of the world.) The truth is, no one can know the Father unless Jesus reveals Him: “At that time Jesus answered and said, ‘I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent, and have revealed them to babes. Yes, Father, for it was well pleasing in Your sight to do this. All things were delivered to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; neither does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son personally chooses to reveal Him’ ” (Matt. 11:25-27). The word “reveal” in the Greek means “to reveal through teaching, accompanied by a revelation that comes through the deed and act of learning.”

When we go to the Gospel of John, we find that the revealed name of God the Father is “THE FATHER”! It is no mystery! It is not complicated! It does not require you to learn a foreign language. In the New Testament, His name was never written in Hebrew; it was written in Greek as “........”—or in English as simply “the Father.” In the Gospel of John alone, the name of God “the Father” is found 117 times. We find in Jesus’ prayer of John 17 that He used the name of the Father six times. It is in this chapter that Jesus fully reveals and makes known the sacred name of God the Father as simply “the Father.” That is the name Jesus revealed to His apostles, and hence to His Church: “And now, Father, glorify Me with Your own self, with the glory that I had with You before the world existed. I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, and You have given them to Me, and they have kept Your Word” (John 17:5-6). In the Greek, “manifested” means “to reveal or to make known.”

Again, in verses 25-26, Jesus said, “Righteous Father, the world has not known You; but I have known You, and these have known that You did send Me. And I have made known Your name to them, and will make it known; so that the love with which You have loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” The Greek “made known” means “to reveal and make known” mentally and spiritually.

There it is! THE SACRED NAME OF GOD IS “THE FATHER.” God does not require that we use Hebrew sacred names—and they were never written by the apostles in the New Testament. They fully knew the names of God in the Old Testament and how to write them in Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek—yet, they never did! The Apostle Paul, although he could fluently speak and write Hebrew, never wrote any sacred name of God in the Hebrew language in his epistles. This clearly reveals that we do not have to use the Old Testament sacred names of God. There is only one exception. In Romans 8:15, Paul did use the Aramaic word for “father,” which is abba. Notice, as Paul used it, that he did not stress that sacred names are required for salvation. “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’ ” (Rom. 8:14-15). Abba is a personal, intimate form of the word “father,” meaning Daddy, as a child would call his or her own father—or as an infant would say Da-da or Papa.

This use of “Abba” shows without a doubt that if sacred names were required for salvation, as many insist today, God would have inspired the Hebrew names of God to be written into the New Testament. Since the apostles, and hence the New Testament church down through time, were commanded by Jesus Christ to go into all the world, it is proper to use the translated names of God the Father and Jesus Christ in whatever language one speaks, writes and reads. Thus, as the Bible has been translated into nearly every major language of the world, it has used the translated names of God the Father and Jesus Christ. The truth is, salvation comes by grace from God the Father, through Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son—not by a so-called “correct” pronunciation of sacred names!

Robert Alter, in his English translation of The Five Books of Moses, explained why he did not transliterate the Hebrew name YHVH/YHWH, but followed the KJV’s use of “LORD” and “Lord,” instead. “The God of Israel is referred to through a variety of names in these texts, and it is by no means self-evident how to render the names in English. The most difficult of them is the Tetragrammaton, YHWH. Modern Bible scholarship has agreed to render this as ‘Yahweh,’ but there are problems with using that form in translation. The original Hebrew texts of the Bible were entirely consonantal, [with the] vowel-points having been added well over a millennium after the original composition of the texts. Because by then the Tetragrammaton was deemed ineffable [incapable of pronunciation] by Jewish tradition, it was re-vocalized to be pronounced as though it read adonai, Lord. The confidence of biblical scholarship that the original pronunciation was in fact ‘Yahweh’ may not be entirely warranted…. In any case, ‘Yahweh’ would have given the English Version a certain academic-archeological coloration that I preferred to avoid, and it would have introduced a certain discomfort at least to some Jewish readers of the translation. I rejected the option of using ‘YHWH’ because it cannot be pronounced, whereas the dimension of the sound seemed to me vital to translate. I have therefore followed the precedent of the King James Version in representing YHWH as the LORD, in small uppercase letters to indicate that…. Admittedly, any of the choices I have described may be debatable, but in all of them my aim has been to name the deity in English in ways that would be in keeping with the overall concert of literary effects that the translation strives to create.” This is how we also translated YHWH in The Holy Bible In Its Original Order—A Faithful Version.

Likewise, Jesus’ name reads .......... in the Greek, while the English translation is “Jesus Christ.” Again, salvation comes through belief, faith, repentance, water baptism, receiving the Holy Spirit, living by every word of God, and being faithful to the end. It does not come through the pronunciation of a Greek or Hebrew word.

Finally, during the Great Tribulation it will be impossible for the “Innumerable Multitude” of Revelation seven to know how to pronounce the so-called sacred names of God and Jesus Christ. However, there is no question that they will receive salvation.
The Christian Passover, 3rd Edition: We are completely out of The Christian Passover book, and are busy preparing a third edition. The new edition will include updated Old Testament passages from the Faithful Version. In the second edition, most of the New Testament scriptures were designated as the Author’s Translation because the New Testament was not yet completed. These likewise have been updated using the Faithful Version. We are also downsizing the pages from 8 1/2 x 11 to 7 x 10. This will make it easier to handle, as well as cost less to print and mail. We will notify you when the new edition is ready so you can order your copy.

New Book on Judaism: Philip Neal is nearing completion of the new book Judaism—Revelation of Moses or Religion of Men? This book is greatly needed because most people erroneously believe that Judaism is based on the Old Testament. Even many in the churches of God believe that the Jews are “just like us, only they don’t believe in Jesus.” As this book will show, Judaism is not based on the revelation given to Moses as the Jews claim; rather, Judaism is wholly based on traditions of men.

Philip has thoroughly researched the rabbinical writings of Judaism. Even he was astonished at what he found. Instead of directly attacking their false doctrines and foolish traditions, he has used the rabbis’ own writings from the Mishnah, the Talmud and the Code of Jewish Law to convict themselves of their own errors.

As many have learned from the series “Scripturalism vs. Judaism,” true Christianity was not an outgrowth of Judaism. Rather, Christianity developed separately from and in rejection of Judaism. Furthermore, it is much easier to understand the Epistles of Paul once you understand the truth about Judaism—particularly regarding its “works of law.”

May 23 is Pentecost, which pictures the resurrection of the firstfruits of God. As always, we will send out prerecorded sermons for the holy day. As we go forward, world problems will increase politically and economically. We will all be affected. We must stay close to God day by day. Never forget that God the Father and Jesus Christ love you and are working out Their plan for you personally.

Once again, brethren, we thank you for your continued love and prayers. Our prayers are with you all the time—for your love of God, your health and healing. Thank you for your continued support through your tithes and offerings. We pray that God will continually bless you and watch over you in everything and in all circumstances.

With love in Christ Jesus,

Fred R. Coulter