Monthly letter archive

Christian Biblical Church of God

Post Office Box 1442

Hollister, California 95024-1442


Fred R. Coulter


December 18, 2002

Dear Brethren,

Thank you for all your prayers, letters, cards and encouragement that you have sent since my operation. It has been one month since the revision operation to my right hip.  However, the operation was more extensive than I had anticipated and took a great deal more out of me than the operation last year to my left hip.  I am making good progress in my recuperation, although it is taking longer than I expected.  My mind says, “Go to work,” but my body says, “Rest, don’t over do it.”  Dolores says “Rest. Be careful.”  The doctor says, “Take it easy.”  So I have been resting and gaining strength.  However, I still have a way to go.  Now after a month, I am up and about enough to be able to do a bit of editing on the commentaries for the New Testament project and to write you a letter.

As we reckon time in the world today, the year 2002 is rapidly coming to an end and we will soon be in year 2003. For many of us “old-timers,” we never thought that time would go on this long before the return of Jesus Christ.  However, from the time of the apostles, people have expected the end of the world and the return of Jesus Christ within their lifetimes, but it didn’t happened.  Many preachers and prophets who predicted the imminent return of Christ were wrong.  As a result, through the centuries people became disillusioned and the credibility of the Word has been attacked and the Scriptures rejected and discarded.

Regardless of the thoughts of men, God the Father and Jesus Christ have Their own timetable and all the events prophesied in the Scriptures are in their hands and under their authority.  In the Olivet prophecies as recorded in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21 Jesus made this clear to His apostles and disciples.  He said, “When you see all these things [the events at the end times], know that it is near, even at the doors.  Truly I say to you, this generation [the final generation of His return] shall in no wise pass away until all these things have taken place.  The heaven and the earth shall pass away, but not one of My words shall pass away.  But concerning that day, and the hour, no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only” (Matt. 24:33-36).

Just before Jesus ascended to heaven, He again told the apostles that the time of the restoration of the kingdom of God on earth was not for them to know, but it was in the Father’s authority: “So then, when they were assembled together, they asked Him, saying, ‘Lord, will You restore the kingdom to Israel at this time?’  And He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father has placed in His own authority; but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses, both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and unto the ends of the earth.’  And after saying these things, as they were looking at Him, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight” (Acts 1:6-9).

Although, Jesus commanded this to His apostles, they still anticipated that Jesus would return within their lifetimes.   However, before the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 70 AD,  God revealed to the apostles, in 63 AD, that Jesus return would not take place until the far future.  As a result, in 67 AD the apostle Peter wrote to the brethren not to become weary, although Jesus’ return would not be any time soon.  Peter again described the last days and affirmed that God was not delaying Jesus return.  Rather, it would be according to God’s own timetable, although he did not fully understand when it would be.  Notice Peter’s words: “Now, beloved, I am writing this second epistle to you; in both, I am stirring up your pure minds by causing you to remember, in order for you to be mindful of the words that were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of the Lord and Savior, spoken by us, the apostles; knowing this first, that in the last days there will come mockers, walking according to their own personal lusts, and asking, ‘Where is the promise of His coming?  For since the forefathers died, everything has remained the same as from the beginning of creation.’  But this fact is hidden from them—they themselves choosing to ignoreit—that by the Word of God the heavens existed of old, and the earth came forth out of water and amid water, by which the world at that time, having been deluged with water, had itself been destroyed.

“But the present heavens and earth are being held in store by His Word, and are being reserved for fire in the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.  Now, beloved, do not let this one fact be hidden from you; that with the Lord, one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.  The Lord is not delaying the promise of His coming, as some in their own minds reckon delay; rather, He is long-suffering toward us, not desiring that anyone should perish, but that all should come to repentance.  However, the day of the Lord shall come as a thief in the night, in which the universe itself shall disappear with a mighty roar, and the elements shall pass away, burning with intense heat, and the earth and the works in it shall be burned up” (II Pet. 3:1-10).            

In order to understand these verses, men have tried to interpret them this way: God has given 6,000 years to men to do their work.  Then, Christ would return at the end of 6,000 years and He and the saints reign on the earth for 1,000 years, thus completing a prophetic week of seven 1,000-year days.  In the past, before 6,000 years of history could be completed, such an interpretation seemed plausible.  However, this interpretation has also failed.  Here is why: In order to come up with a 6,000 year timetable for mankind’s endeavors, the chronologies derived from the biblical histories and genealogies were examined.  These timetables set the beginning of creation that ranged from 4025 BC to 4004 BC.   Now if 4025 is correct, which it probably is, then 6,000 years ended in 1975.  And if 4004 BC, called Ushers chronology, were correct, then 1996 was the last year of the 6,000 years as reckoned in that scheme.  This is precisely why Jesus made it clear that no one except the Father knows the exact time of the end.

Men have underestimated the scope of God’s plan.  Therefore, the events in the end times will reach a far greater degree of fulfillment than anyone has ever expected. They have underestimated how powerful Satan actually is.  They have failed to realize that God is going to let mankind, under Satan’s sway, attain to great heights of achievements and power.

As we look at the world, it now appears that God will allow men develop such a civilization and technology that they will think themselves as nearly gods.  Jesus said that we will live to see a repeat of what took place before the Flood.  “Now as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it also be at the coming of the Son of man.  For as in the days that were before the Flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark; and they were not aware until the Flood came and took them all away; so shall it also be at the coming of the Son of man” (Matt. 24:37-39).

As recorded in the book of Genesis we can understand that the evil and violence filled the earth: “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them…. The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.  And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.  And God said unto Noah, ‘The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth’ ”  (Gen. 6:5-7; 11-13, KJV).  As we know, because Noah was a righteous man, he found grace in the Lord’s eyes and God saved a small portion of physical life—only those who survived in the ark—man and beast as God had determined.

From what is recorded here, we can now understand that things were so terrible that God had determined to destroy all physical life—“all flesh.”  Why had God decided to destroy all flesh?  What was going on that was so evil?  Why God was ready to destroy all flesh?  The Scriptures do not tell us directly.  However, we can get a glimpse of what men were doing before the Flood from what is recorded in Genesis 11 about their activities after the Flood: “And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.  And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shiner; and they dwelt there.  And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar.  And they said, ‘Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.  And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.

“And the LORD said, ‘Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.  Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech” (Gen. 11:1-7, KJV).

The statement, “Now nothing will be restrained from them, which they imagined to do,” is a profound statement!  We can understand this statement when we see what men are doing today.  As Jesus said, men have once again reached that point in human development where nothing is impossible for them to do.  Therefore, we can conclude that before the Flood they were doing the same evil things and were corrupting all physical life—anything they imagined to do—as they are today!  They were changing the substance of living beings and things.

Once again, in this age men are re-engineering physical life. Perhaps that is exactly what men were doing before the Flood.  Today, through genetic engineering they are creating new plants and animals.  They are changing the substance of life contrary to the creation of God.  To men, such achievements appear to be great accomplishments and are supposedly done for the good and advancement of human, animal and plant life.  However, they do not understand the profound evil of their works.

As we look back on the record in Genesis, there had to be a reason why God destroyed all physical life in the Flood, except Noah and his family and those animals that God had selected for Noah to put into the ark.  Was it because men were mixing animal and human genes before the Flood?  Remember that Jesus said, “As it was in the days of Noah before the Flood, so shall it be in the days of the coming of the Son of Man.”  What are they doing today?  What evil under the guise of “good for all mankind” are they doing?

The Human-mouse Hybrid: Here is an article from the New York Times, November 27, 2002 explaining this scientific genetic engineering:

“American and Canadian biologists are debating whether to recommend conducting stem-cell experiments that would cerate a human-mouse hybrid [they have already injected human brain cells into mice brains and the mice brains have accepted them].

“The goal would be to test different lines of human embryonic stem cells for their quality and potential usefulness in treating specific diseases.  The best way to do that, some biologists argue, is to see how the cells work in a living animal.  For ethical reasons, the test cannot be performed in people.

“But if the human stem cells were tested this way in mice, any animals born from the experiment would be chimeras—organisms that are mixtures of two different kinds of cells—with human cells distributed throughout their bodies.  Though the creatures would probably be mice with a few human cells obeying mouse rules, the outcome of such an experiment cannot be predicted.  A mouse with a brain made entirely of human cells would probably be discomforting to many people, as would a mouse that would generate human sperm or eggs.

“Dr. Irving Weissman, a stem-cell expert at Stanford University, said making mice with human cells could be ‘an enormously important experiment,’ but if done carelessly, could lead to outcomes that are ‘too horrible to contemplate.’  He gave as an extreme example the possibility that a mouse making human sperm might accidentally be allowed to mate with a mouse that had made its eggs from human cells.

“At least two biologists in the group discussing the experiment believe that it is premature or unethical and could stir policy-makers to limit further stem-cell research or ban it.  Stem cells, the clay from which all tissues of the body are generated, hold high promise as an all-purpose material for repairing many of the degenerative diseases like Parkinson’s, cancer and heart disease.

“Other scientists say such experiments would be of great value and could be conducted with human stem cells engineered so that they could not produce brain or reproductive cells.  They acknowledge that even an experiment designed with such precautions should first undergo scientific review and public debate.

“The proposal for the experiment grew out of a meeting held Nov. 13 at the New York Academy of Sciences.  It was organized by Dr. Ali H. Brivanlou, a Rockefeller biologist who studies embryology.

“The purpose of the meeting, Brivanlou said Tuesday, was to discuss setting quality standards for several new lines, or colonies, of human embryonic stem cells being developed around the world” (San Jose Mercury News, 11-29-02).

This is a chilling glimpse into the future.  True human-beasts. But, there is more! Men will not stop until they have done whatever they imagine, regardless of the evil.          

The First Human Clone Soon to be Born: From the Knight Ridder News service:

“The world’s first human clone should be born, in about seven weeks, an Italian gynecologist said at a news conference Tuesday.  Severine Antinori offered no evidence for his assertion…Antinori—who in 1994 helped a 62 year-old Italian woman become the oldest new mother in history—is part of a consortium of doctors that announced last year it would attempt human cloning.  In April, he told an interviewer that the group had successfully implanted cloned embryos in three women.

“Tuesday, Antinori said the mother of what would be the first human clone was 33 weeks pregnant.  ‘I expect it during the first week in January,’ he said.  ‘An absolutely healthy baby will be born.’  He said ultrasounds—which he did not provide—indicated the fetus weighed between 5.5 pounds and 5.9 pounds.

“Antinori refused to identify the woman who was to give birth or give her nationality.  When asked where she was going to give birth, he said only, ‘Countries where this is permitted.’  With all the bombast he could muster, Antinori also blasted the Vatican, which had roundly condemned him, and expressed concern that the Italian secret services might put a tail on him.  He scolded a German reporter, complaining that German newspapers had likened him to Adolf Hitler.  And he accused a rival scientist of planting a spy in the consortium.

“Asked why he supported human cloning, Antinori, who runs a private fertility clinic in Rome, said millions of infertile couples could benefit from the technology.  In April, he was quoted in Rome’s Il Tempo newspaper as saying that the most developed of the three fetuses came from the cell of a wealthy Arab man.  At other times, he has said the two other women pregnant with clones were in former Soviet republics.

“Cloning is designed to create the genetic twin of a life form.  Scientists remove DNA from an egg and insert DNA from the adult being cloned.  If it works, the egg cells begin to divide and grow into an embryo, which then can be transferred to a female and carried to term.  In the five years since the cloning of the famous sheep Dolly, scientists have duplicated a variety of animals.  But because of the risks of severe abnormalities and other ethical considerations, most industrialized countries, including the United States and Italy, have banned human cloning.

“Experts have dismissed repeatedly Antinori’s claims and say they doubt that he is capable of achieving a cloned pregnancy.  ‘Why be so secretive about this if it is truthful?’ said Dr. Jacques Cohen, a scientific director of assisted reproduction at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, N.J.  For now, Cohen said, ‘The pressing question for cloning is to understand why, in animals so few embryo clones survive and why those that do survive so often have serious medical problems’ ”  (Ibid., 11-27-07).

These are truly amazing reports.  Without a doubt, this is exactly what it was really like before the Flood.   Furthermore, these reports verify the truth of the Scriptures that man can do any thing that he imagines to do.  The fact that men are doing such things today, confirms the truth of God’s Word that man, indeed, was created a little lower than God.  As King David was inspired to write: “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; what is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?  For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels [Hebrew Elohim, meaning God, not angels], and hast crowned him with glory and honour.  Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet”  (Psa. 8:3-6, KJV).

God has a preset limit on mankind’s endeavors and dominion.  At the end of time, as God the Father has predetermined according to His own schedule, He will send Jesus Christ to rescue the world from the horrors of the Great Tribulation and establish the kingdom of God.  Notice Jesus’ own words: “For then shall there be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until this time, nor ever shall be againAnd if those days were not limited, there would no flesh be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days shall be limited” (Matt. 24:21-22).

Of all the things that have been prophesied to happen in the end times, man’s manipulation of the substance of life itself is, perhaps, the most significant of all.  Yes, all the events that have been prophesied by all the prophets, the apostles and Jesus Christ will come to pass in the time that God has determined.  Luke was inspired to record Jesus’ warning to the disciples and apostles about the end times: “ ‘But when these things begin to take place, look up, and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.’  Then He spoke a parable to them: ‘Observe the fig tree, and all the trees.  When they have already begun to bud, you look at themand know of yourselves that summer is near.  In the same way also, when you see these things coming to pass, know that the kingdom of God is near.  Truly I say to you, there is no way that this generation shall pass away until all these things have taken place.  Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall never pass away.

Watch yourselves, lest your hearts be occupied with high living and drinking and the cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly.  For it shall come like a snare upon all those who dwell on the face of the earth.  Watch therefore, and pray at all times, that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man”  (Luke 21:28-36).

Concerning His return, Jesus warned His disciples six different times “to watch” (Matt. 14:25; 24:49; Mark 6:48; 13:33; Luke 12:38; 21:36).  In Luke 21:36, Jesus warned that we were also to watch ourselves, not just world events as they unfold.  This is important, because if we are only watching world events, and are letting ourselves be overcome “with high living and drinking and the cares of this life,” then we are becoming spiritually lax and lazy.  If we allow that condition to develop and take root, then just as Jesus said, “That day shall come upon you suddenly.”

The apostle Paul also gave a warning about spiritual complacency and laxity: “Therefore He says, ‘You who are sleepingwake up, and arise from the dead! And Christ shall shine upon you.’  So then, take heed that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as those who are wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.  For this reason, do not be foolish, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.  And do not be drunk with wine, in which is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:14-18).

When the events of September 11, 2001 struck the nation, no one was prepared.  The entire nation was caught off-guard.  This was an awesome example of how suddenly death and destruction can strike at a time when no one is expecting it.

We can avoid this horrible spiritual pitfall, if we continue, day by day, to love God the Father and Jesus Christ with all our hearts, and to do the things that are pleasing in Their sight.  The apostle John encouraged the brethren when he wrote: “Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, then we have confidence toward God.  And whatever we may ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and practice those things that are pleasing in His sight” (I John 3:21-22).

We need to be living our lives before God, just as Paul admonished the brethren in Philippi: “So then, my beloved, even as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.  For it is God Who works in you both to will and to do according to His good pleasure.  Do all things without complaints and disputes; so that you may be blameless and without offense, innocent children of God in the midst of a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world (Phil 2:12-15).  May God bless every one of us with this attitude and determination, day by day, as we live in His love and grace.

Brethren, we are grateful to God the Father and Jesus Christ for all your love, prayers and continued support.  We pray that God will continue to bless you in everything, so that you will be growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.

With love in Christ Jesus,

Fred R. Coulter