Monthly letter archive

Monthly Letter, December 2010

Restoring Original Christianity—for Today!

Christian Biblical Church of God

Post Office Box 1442
Hollister, California 95024-1442

Fred R. Coulter,

December 15, 2010

Dear Brethren,

Our November letter was mailed a bit late because of unexpected repairs to the copy machine and delays in receiving our blue label audio CDs from the manufacturer. Then the mailing process itself was delayed because of bad weather and the Thanksgiving holiday. We hope and pray we do not have similar problems this month.

In this mailing we have included the message I gave in Arcadia, California, on the Sabbath of December 4. It is entitled “What Kind of Flesh Did Jesus Christ Have When He was Human?” We also cover this in detail in chapter 26 of TheChristian Passover. It is vital that we fully understand that Jesus—while being begotten by the Father and filled with the Holy Spirit from conception—took upon Himself the same flesh and human nature that we have. Yet, Jesus never sinned! This is how God condemned sin in the flesh—in Jesus’ flesh (Rom. 8:3). Once we fully grasp what kind of flesh Jesus had when He “became flesh,” we will then be able to come to a greater understanding and appreciation of the awesome love God the Father and Christ have for us! Please listen to the message and study the Scriptures it covers—and read chapter 26 of TheChristian Passover as well.

In spite of the great number of Bibles in the world, the Scriptures remain a great mystery even to the majority of professing Christians. Why? Because they do not truly believe the Scriptures—and thus do not obey what God commands. For example, the other day I was talking to a man who, after stating that he was an “Armenian Christian,” asked me, “Why are there so many ‘Christian’ churches in the world? Why can’t there be just one? All of this is so confusing to me!” I told him that the answer was really very simple: “People want to tell God what to do rather than do what God tells them to do. Furthermore, men believe that they can improve on God’s perfect Word by adding their own human ideas, traditions and holidays.” Although he agreed with my answer, he didn’t have a clue as to what I was actually telling him. I left him to ponder the answer I gave.

It is exactly as Jesus says of the religious leaders of this world:“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but the one who is doing the will of My Father, Who is in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day [the judgment day—and everyone will be required to come before the judgment seat of Christ to give an account of himself], ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy through Your name? And did we not cast out demons through Your name? And did we not perform many works of power through Your name?’ And then I will confess to them, ‘I never knew you. Depart from Me, you who work lawlessness’ ” (Matt. 7:21-23). Yes, they have “an outward appearance of godliness, but [are guilty of] denying the power of true godliness” (II Tim. 3:5).

The majority of “Christians” are, without a doubt, sincere in their beliefs and convinced that their pastors are correct. But their leaders do not use the entire Bible—which can (and almost always does) lead to gross error. The result is spiritual blindness—a make-believe reality, an illusion. They do not realize that Satan the devil is actively deceiving the whole world (Rev. 12:9) through his servants—religious and government leaders.

Under the sway of Satan’s deceptions, people are unknowingly living “according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit [Satan the devil] that is now working within the children of disobedience; among whom also we all once had our conduct in the lusts of our flesh, doing the things willed by the flesh and by the mind, and were by nature the children of wrath, even as the rest of the world” (Eph. 2:2-3).

The fact is, people typically live in their delusions—in a make-believe reality. It is exactly as the prophet Isaiah wrote: “It shall even be as when a hungry one dreams, and behold, he eats, but he awakes and his soul is empty; or as when a thirsty man dreams, and behold, he drinks; but he awakes, and behold, he is faint and his soul is longing…. Be stunned and amazed! Blind your eyes and be blind! They are drunk, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink, for the Lord has poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and has closed your eyes; He has covered the prophets and your rulers, and the seers. And the vision of all has become to you like the words of a book that is sealed, which they give to one who is learned saying, ‘Please read this,’ and he says, ‘I cannot, for it is sealed.’ And the book is delivered to him who is not learned, saying, ‘Please read this,’ and he says, ‘I am not learned.’ And the Lord said, ‘Because this people draw near Me with their mouth, and with their lips honor Me, but their worship of Me is made up of the traditions of men learned by rote, and their fear toward Me is taught by the commandments of men’ ” (Isa. 29:8-13).

Yes, men want to be religious, to give “lip service” to God while delighting in their own works and traditions. This world’s “Christians” have convinced themselves that God approves of their ways even when they know that such practices are actually pagan and contrary to the Word of God—such as the popular holidays of this world’s religions. Consequently, God blinds their eyes and understanding. Notice: “Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do again a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder, for the wisdom of their wise ones shall perish, and the wisdom of their intelligent ones shall vanish [they become fools—Rom. 1:19-22]” (verse 14).

The apostle Paul also writes about the blindness of the world brought about by Satan’s deception: “But if our gospel is hidden, it is hidden to those who are perishing; in whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of those who do not believe…” (II Cor. 4:3-4).

This is the broad way that leads to death, as Jesus said: “For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many [the majority of the world] are those who enter through it” (Matt. 7:13). This is the way of the world—and the world loves its own (John 15:19). On the other hand, God commands us to not love the world—that is, not to live as the world lives. John wrote, “Do not love the world, nor the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. Because everything that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pretentious pride of physical life—is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world and its lust is passing away, but the one who does the will of God abides forever” (I John 2:15-17).

While all religions claim to lead people to God, the reality is that their claims are empty and worthless. In fact, they twist and distort God’s word in rebellion—denying the true way of life of the Scriptures: “Woeto those who go deep to hide their purpose from the Lord! And their works are in the dark, and they say, ‘Who sees us? And who knows us?’ Surely, you have turned things upside down! Shall the potter be regarded as the potter’s clay; for shall the work say of him who made it, ‘He did not make me?’ Or shall the thing formed say to him who formed it, ‘He had no understanding?’ ” (Isa. 29:15-16).

Anciently, God held the prophets and priests responsible; today, He indicts modern Christianity’s ministers and pastors. The prophet Ezekiel exposes their great error and rebellion: “There is a conspiracy of her prophets in her midst, like a roaring lion tearing the prey. They have devoured souls; they have taken the treasure and precious things; they made many widows in her midst. Her priests have done violence to My law [claiming that it has been abolished] and have profaned My holy things. They have put no difference between the holy and the profane, and have not taught the difference between the unclean and the clean, and THEY HAVE HIDDEN THEIR EYES FROM MY SABBATHS, and I am profaned among them…. And her prophets have covered themselves with whitewash, seeing false visions and divining lies unto them, saying, Thus says the Lord GOD;’ when the Lordhas not spoken” (Ezek. 22:25-26, 28).

God does not view this as simple ignorance or a lack of knowledge by religious leaders. He declares it for what it truly is—a deliberate conspiracy! God has caused over eight billion Bibles to be published in nearly every language (Mark 13:10). Yet, today’s ministers and pastors have closed their eyes to the truth. If they would honestly search the Word of God, they could understand the truth. But they have refused! As a result, they remain biblical illiterates—ignorant of God’s great plan for mankind.

For example: The whole world knows that the celebration of Christmas is not found in the Bible. But since they are taught that the holiday commemorates Jesus’ birth, they willingly continue in the charade that it is an authorized Christian practice. People believe that their “goodness” is acceptable to God because they are sincere—regardless of their practices. But God will not accept it under any circumstances. His answer to them is clear: “But to the wicked God says, ‘What is it to you to declare My statutes, and to take up My covenant in your mouth? Yea, you hate to be taught, and you cast My words behind you. When you saw a thief, then you were pleased to be with him, and you have taken part with adulterers.

“ ‘You give your mouth to evil, and your tongue frames deceit. You sit; you speak against your brother; you slander your own mother’s son. These things you have done, and I have kept silence; you thought that I was like yourself, but I will rebuke you, and set them in order before your eyes. Now consider this, you who forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver’” (Psa. 50:16-22).

Next, God indicts government leaders and politicians. “Her rulers in her midst are like wolves tearing the prey, to shed blood and to destroy souls, to get unjust gain” (Ezek. 22:27). There is no question that this perfectly describes the government leaders of this world. The majority of them come into office with modest means and end up rich! How does that happen? It’s called politics—lying, cheating and stealing.

Look at the societies the so-called “Christian” nations have created as a result of all of this deception and selfish rebelliousness. Instead of love, kindness, goodness, honesty, righteousness and truth, what do we find? Isaiah gives the answer: “Woe to those who draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin with cart ropes; who say, ‘Let Him hurry and hasten His work, so that we may see it; and let the purpose of the Holy One of Israel draw near and come, so that we may know!’ Woe to those who call evil good and good evil; who put darkness for light and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink; who justify the wicked for a bribe, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him! Therefore as the fire devours the stubble, and the flame burns up the chaff; their root shall be like rottenness, and their blossoms shall go up like dust because they have cast away the law of the Lordof hosts, and despised the Word of the Holy One of Israel. Therefore, the anger of the Lordis kindled against His people, and He has stretched out His hand against them, and has stricken them…. In all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still” (Isa. 5:18-25).

The religions and governments of this world are blinded and corrupt because have rejected the Word of God as the standard for living. All the troubles we see are the result of God’s correction and judgment, which automatically comes because the living laws and commandments of God are acting upon everyone all the time—individuals, communities, nations, even the whole world. This is the world we now live in, which will continue until the return of Jesus Christ and the resurrection of the saints to eternal life.

How Are We to Live in the World, But Not be Part of the World?: While we still live in the world, God says we are not to be of the world—of this “Babylon the Great.” The apostle John writes: “ ‘All nations have drunk of the wine of the fury of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the power of her luxury.’ And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, ‘Come out of her [do not live as the world does], My people, so that you do not take part in her sins, and that you do not receive of her plagues, for her sins have reached as far as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities’ ” (Rev. 18:3-5).

Indeed, we livein the world, but are not partof the world—that is, we don’t live as the world does. In His final prayer before He was arrested, Jesus prayed to the Father for us: “But now I am coming to You [Holy Father]; and these things I am speaking while yet in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in them. I have given them Your words, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You would take them out of the world, but that You would keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.

Sanctify them in Your truth; Your Word is the truth. Even as You did send Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, so that they also may be sanctified in Your truth. 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” (John 17:13-21).

We are separate from the world and sanctified by the truth of God. In addition, we are sanctified by the Holy Spirit of God. Although we are not part of this world—this “Babylon the Great”—we must live in the world in order to be a light to the world.

What is it that we do that truly separates us from the world? The first thing is that we love God and keep His commandments. Coupled with God’s Holy Spirit in us, this is the foundation of our relationship with God. As Jesus commanded us, “The first of all the commandments is, ‘Hear, O Israel. Our one God is the Lord, the Lord. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second is like this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:29-31).

Jesus also added another “love” commandment. We are to love each other as Jesus Himself loves us: “A new commandment I give to you: that you love one another in the same way that I have loved you, that is how you are to love one another…. 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. These things I have spoken to you, in order that My joy may dwell in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment: that you love one another, as I have loved you” (John 13:34; 15:9-12).

In his first epistle, John tells us how we are to live in the love of God and love each other. “My little children, we should not love in word, nor with our tongues; rather, we should love in deed and in truth. And in this way we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him, that if our hearts condemn us [because we are missing the mark], God is greater than our hearts, and knows all things. 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.

“And this is His commandment: that we believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and thatwe love one another, exactly as He gave commandment to us. And the one who keeps His commandments is dwelling in Him, and He in him; and by this we know that He is dwelling in us: by the Spirit which He has given to us” (I John 3:18-24).

Rather than being conformed to the world, we are to have our minds renewed and transformed through the power of the Holy Spirit, as Paul writes: “I exhort you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and well pleasing to God, which is your spiritual service. Do not conform yourselves to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind in order that you may prove what is well pleasing and good, and the perfect will of God” (Rom. 12:1-2).

This is why we pray and study, as salvation is a process. We grow and overcome as we develop the mind of Christ (Phil. 2:5). We grow in love and grace, as we love God and keep His laws and commandments by the power of His Holy Spirit. As we yield to God, He writes His laws and commandments into our hearts and minds so that we will be walking in the way of the Lord: “And by this standard we know that we know Him: if we keep His commandments…. [If] anyone is keeping His Word, truly in this one the love of God is being perfected. By this means we know that we are in Him. Anyone who claims to dwell in Him is obligating himself also to walk even as He Himself walked” (I John 2:3, 5-6)

The apostle Peter wrote of our transformation from worldliness to living God’s way: “Consequently, since Christ has suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind because the one who has suffered in the flesh has finished living in sin to this end: that he no longer live his remaining time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. For the past time of our lives is sufficient to have worked out the will of the Gentiles, when we ourselves walked in licentiousness and lusts, and were debauched with wine, carousing, drinking and wanton idolatries. In seeing this difference in your behavior, they are astonished that you do not rush with them into the same overflowing debauchery [in their pagan feasts to their gods], and they revile you” (I Peter 4:1-4).

The apostle Paul also wrote about coming out of this world to live God’s way through Jesus Christ. “So then, I declare and testify this in the Lord that you are no longer to walk even as the rest of the Gentiles are walking, in the vanity of their minds, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their hearts. They have cast off all feelings, and have given themselves up to licentiousness, to work every uncleanness with insatiable desire.

“But you have not so learned Christ; if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, according to the truth in Jesus: That concerning your former conduct, you put off the old man, which is corrupt according to deceitful lusts; and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that you put on the new man, which according to God is created in righteousness and holiness of the truth” (Eph. 4:17-24).

Finally, Paul writes of the ultimate standard of our conduct: “Therefore, be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, even as Christ also loved us, and gave Himself for us as an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor” (Eph. 5:1-2).

This is how we are to live in the world, but not be part of the world.

Church at Home DVDs: We are continuing to send Church at Home DVDs every month (there are nine videos on each DVD). This month’s DVD features the series “Obsessed with Sex,” parts 1-9. Please remember that these DVDs will not play in your CD player. They must be played in a DVD video player. You can watch them on your TV, or even your computer. These half-hour video messages are designed for new people. You can show them to anyone who is truly interested. Because many brethren have requested extra DVDs to give to interested people, we keep an extra supply on hand to fill such orders.

The New Lord, What Should I Do? Book: We have not yet sent this book to the printer, Thomson-Shore, because we are still working on an appropriate cover. Our January mailing will include a coupon for you to use to request your copy/copies.

Thank you, brethren, for all your prayers for us and the rest of the brethren wherever they are in the world. We all need God’s intervention and protection. Many brethren need to be healed of various sicknesses and ailments. While we may be the weak of the world, we are to be strong in God the Father and Jesus Christ. Once again, thank you for your continued support through your tithes and offerings, especially in these difficult times. May God the Father and Jesus Christ continue to bless you in everything. May God continue to pour out His grace, love and spiritual strength on you personally. We continue to pray for you daily.

With love in Christ Jesus,

Fred R. Coulter


P.S. By the end of January 2011we will have mailed out your annual receipt for your tithes and offerings for 2010.