Monthly letter archive

Christian Biblical Church of God

Post Office Box 1442

Hollister, California 95024-1442


Fred R. Coulter, Minister

January 18, 2004

Dear Brethren,

We are already well into the "New Year." Jesus Christ promised that He would return (John 14:3). But, when will He return? Many of us who have been in the Church since the 60's, and before, thought the Kingdom of God would be here by now—we would be spirit beings ruling with Jesus Christ. However, we have learned that God's timetable is not our timetable.

The apostles asked Jesus about the coming of the Kingdom when He appeared to His disciples during the forty-day period after His resurrection, before He ascended to heaven. "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'" (Acts 1:6-7).

It is evident that after 1974 years we are closer than ever to Jesus' return, but the end is not yet. When will the end be? How much time we do have left? We don't know. God the Father alone knows the time. However, we are always to be watching and to be ready (Mark 13:33-37).

We need to realize the final world system will be the greatest, most glorious human system Satan has ever devised. Remember, "pride goes before a fall" and "he who exalts himself will be abased." As an example of how God works, we have the account of the children of Israel in Egypt. Before God intervened to rescue the children of Israel from their Egyptian slavery, He allowed Pharaoh to exalt himself highly. Pharaoh was considered to be god in the flesh—the divinity and manifestation of the sun god. As the apostle Paul wrote, God did this to show His greatness and power: "For the Scripture said to Pharaoh, Tor this very purpose I raised you up in order that I might show in you My power, so that My name may be declared in all the earth' " (Rom. 9:17). So likewise in the end, God will allow mankind to exalt itself highly by developing the greatest society ever seen. Surely, because of their accomplishments men will imagine themselves to be gods.

The events in the Middle East are laying the foundation for the fulfillment of the end time prophecies to be fulfilled. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the war on terrorism have a part in setting the final stages of prophecy. As long as the Arab countries are hostile and militant towards the rest of the world and produce terrorists, there will never be a time when peace can be proclaimed—as tenuous as it may be (I Thes. 5:3, Ezk. 13).

At the present time God is using the sons of Joseph—Ephraim and Manasseh, the United States and Britain—to bring peace to the sword-wielding brothers of Ishmael and Esau. As a result of the war in Iraq, the Arab world is now beginning to moderate their teachings of hatred, and they are beginning to work together to form a free trade zone among themselves. This will undoubtedly work very well for awhile. But in time, it will also pave the way for the "king of the south" to arise out of Egypt, not Iraq. Before the first Iraqi war in 1991, many people thought that Saddam Hussein was the king of the south but he wasn't. Now he is a POW.

Today, in 2004, as we look at the world scene there is no "king of the south" or "king of the north." The Scriptures show that in order for the end-time prophecies to be fulfilled, as the book of Daniel reveals, these two kings must be in power: "And at the time of the end shall the king of the south 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 pass over" (Dan 11:40).

The Beast and the False Prophet: The king of the north will undoubtedly be the leader of Europe. As we look at Europe today, the stage is being set for him to arise, but there is much that has to be fulfilled before he makes his appearance. In addition to being the king of the north, he will undoubtedly be the leader of the world, perhaps the leader of the UN as well. He will have great powers and will be proclaimed to be the manifestation of God in the flesh. He will be the one who goes into the temple—which the Jews have yet to build—and proclaims himself to be God, as Paul wrote: "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. 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" (II Thes. 2:1-4).

When this man, the "son of perdition," goes into the temple proclaiming himself to be God, this will be the "abomination of desolation" spoken of by Daniel the prophet: "And he {the Beast] shall confirm the covenant [of world peace] with many for one week [seven years]: and in the midst of the week [at the end of three and one-half years during the seven year period] he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate" (Dan. 9:27).

This entire system will be empowered by Satan the devil and the whole world will worship him. The apostle John was given the vision of this awesome event as recorded in Revelation 13: "And I stood on the sand of the sea; and I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, 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; and the dragon gave him his power, and his throne and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as if it were slain to death, but his deadly wound was healed; and the whole earth was amazed and followed the beast. And they 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 the deadly wound was 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. 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" (Verses 1-8).

The book of Revelation shows the fulfillment of the things Daniel foretold concerning the coming of the Beast: "And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practice, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand" (Dan. 8:23-25, KJV).

In order to make this system work, the final false prophet must arise. There is little question that he will be the pope of Rome. Pope John Paul II is now 83 years old, very frail, and it appears that he could die at any time. Many have speculated as to who the next pope will be. Will he be the last one, or is another yet to arise after him? Catholics say that there are two more popes to come. If that assessment is correct then another will arise after him. If the next pope is an old man when he is elected, then he is most likely not the last one. But whoever the last pope is, he will be performing great miracles which will convince the world that the Beast is the manifestation of God and the savior of mankind: "And I saw another beast rising out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, but spoke like a dragon; and he exercises all the authority of the first beast before him; and he causes the earth and those who dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he performs great wonders, so that he even causes fire to come down to the earth from heaven in the sight of men" (Rev. 13:11-13).

The false prophet will be so convincing that the whole world will be deceived into accepting the Mark of the Beast, perhaps even claiming it is God's will. The po.wer of the Beast combined with the miracles of the false prophet will make it hard to refuse the Mark of the Beast. Those who refuse it will be killed: "And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by means of the wonders that were given to him to perform in the sight of the beast, saying to those who dwell on the earth that they should make an image for the beast, which had the wound by the sword, yet was alive. And he was given power to give life to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast also could speak; and he causes everyone who will not worship the image of the beast to be killed. And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free and the bond, to receive a mark in their right hands, or in their foreheads; so that no one may have the ability to buy and sell unless he has the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let the one who has understanding count the number of the beast; for it is a man's number, and his number is 666" (Rev. 13:13-18).

Technology has already given us digital/informational/identification chips, which can be placed under the skin. However, we can be sure that more advanced versions of these chips will not be just a means of identification. Rather, they will be a means of satellite control through electronic sender/receivers built into the chip. As a result, those who receive the Mark of the Beast will be giving their free will over to the control of the Beast.

The Temple and the Two Witnesses: We know that God will raise up two witnesses, who will stand before Him. Through the years there has been much wrong speculation about who the two witnesses will be. In one case, a man called me and told me that he was one of the two witnesses. In another case, it was thought that a prominent evangelistic father/son team from a church of God would be the two witnesses. However, they are now dead. There was even a man who claimed that he himself was the two witnesses. These were all cases of men vainly seeking power.

Who are the two witnesses? What does the Bible tell us? Revelation Eleven tells us that the temple must be rebuilt before the two witnesses make their appearance. "Then the angel gave me a measuring rod like a staff, saying, 'Arise and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and those who worship in it. But leave out the court that is within the temple area, and do not measure it because it has been given up to the Gentiles; and they shall trample upon the holy city for forty-two months' " (Rev. 11:1-2). These verses tell us that the temple must be fully functional with the reinstitution of the priesthood, the animal sacrifices and all the rituals. The Jews have been preparing for this for years. However, the rebuilding of the temple will not take place until God has determined that the time is ready. When the Jews begin to build the temple, we can know that the time is really short—perhaps less than seven years.

No man will select the two witnesses or proclaim to the world that they are the two witnesses. God will supernaturally appoint them as Revelation shows: "And I will give power to My two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two lampstanƒW§£K”¾-EH ±÷hšóÎœWÊ×/¹‹?ƒ[ËlÇvᯁ޹¯ÆügSŒSvB;; w w÷b<Á¹¦€&"5 ÿ/¬Ñ®G®;ú)JDWëJr£,qî‰`Ïm_µÆ+Uí ÷U•|U§„Ï.P´›,¦Æ!æÇéPtO›¡WïïþË|[èZ¥þ­°x|ò.N Kþ…¦¿ ̇G€í½9“‚׎“fLõ`?!Ï[ F’ò^±)F‹eñ®o"æ iÂ(ÑìÆŽ•Äló4.<+íÆ›ñ+¡ËD„Ž[ó©‹€…Ôa\96¢?B™9l=£‡osn[×Õ?ï²=Dù֍8Õ‘ÌÄsÛ˜3Qõ>"Ó+ùÈéYN†X•'ÔµÅãªÕeƒò=(› Ë—®nÃâŽáZŸofÁž=w8¨ù·UøaÖöýT_Ç샗³Y Ä.Ê9^KCŒ ùÀN®wES¡Ñ9¯MW„–3“þcgÜ„·E½ý9‰²·X#¸ÄØ°ì6gPaªyãÍâæy~Ú¯!u¾J(‚û–s*67'‚5„È4Î,ê5ÍâëXGýȱs Vbž(’ñóC1ý>y}ðô×QŸéœµ(~—,íw¼+šç_!wÖ’¯ÊœÅÕ’§¾ZºÛMkežÊž&MС+æþ&¡¯9ÊØYîÐçú‰šV[Ìb>by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof. So I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me, saying, What are these, my lord? Then the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord. Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel [the governor of Judah], saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. Who art thou, O great mountain [the Beast power]? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it [the return of Jesus Christ]" Zech. 4:1-7, KJV).

Acoming governor of Judah of what is called Israel today is identified as one of the two olive trees. As the book of Haggai shows, Zerubbabel was the governor of Judah who built the second temple in Jerusalem when the Jews came back from Babylon. He is a type of one of the two witnesses to come.

The second witness is the other olive tree. As Zechariah Three shows, he will be the high priest of the coming temple who is saved from Satan the devil: "And he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments [a type of sin], and stood before the angel. And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment [he repents and accepts Jesus Christ as Savior]. And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the LORD stood by. And the angel of the LORD protested unto Joshua, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by. Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH [the return of Jesus Christ]" (Zech. 3:1-8, KJV).

Zechariah clearly shows that the setting of this prophecy is the return of Jesus Christ. In the book of Isaiah, He is also identified as the Branch: "And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots" (Isa. 11:1). Next, God reveals to Zechariah who the two olive trees are: "Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof? And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves? And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord. Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth" (Zech. 4:11-14, KJV).

Again the book of Haggai shows that the governor Zerubbabel and the high priest Joshua were the ones who built the second temple. Therefore, they were types of the two witnesses to come, identified in Revelation 11 as the two olive trees.

They will have mighty power and authority directly from God. God will probably raise them up before the Beast stops the temple sacrifices. John describes their ministry and powers: "And if anyone attempts to harm them, fire will go out of their mouths and devour their enemies. For if anyone attempts to harm them, he must be killed in this manner. These have authority to shut heaven so that no rain may fall in the days of their prophecy; and they have authority over the waters, to turn them into blood, and to smite the earth with every plague, as often as they will" (Rev. 11:5-6).

The two witnesses will directly confront the Beast and the false prophet, perhaps all during the great tribulation. At the end of their ministry, God will allow the Beast to kill them. The world will then think that they have defeated the two witnesses and rejoice. The awesome plagues they caused will cease for three and one-half days, but God will raise them from the dead - the first two of the first resurrection. "And when they have completed their testimony, the beast who ascends out of the abyss will make war against them, and will overcome them, and will kill them. And their bodies will lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. Then those of the peoples and tribes and languages and nations shall see their bodies three and a half days, for they will not allow their bodies to be put into tombs. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, and will make merry, and will send gifts to one another, because these two prophets had tormented those who dwell on the earth. Then after the three and a half days, the spirit of life from God entered into them and they stood on their feet; and great fear fell upon those who were watching them. And they heard a great voice from heaven, say, 'Come up here!' And they ascended into heaven in a cloud; and their enemies saw them rise. And in that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell; and seven thousand men were killed in the earthquake. And the rest were filled with fear, and gave glory to the God of heaven" (Rev. 11:7-11).

The Seven Lamps: What do the seven lamps represent? Since the two witnesses stand before the Lord, the seven lamps must also be before the Lord. In fact, that is the case. The book of Revelation shows that they are before the throne of God. John was given this vision: "After these things I looked, and behold, a door opened in heaven; and the first voice that I heard was as if a trumpet were speaking with me, saying, 'Come up here, and I will show you the things that must take place after these things.' And immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one was sitting on the throne. And He Who was sitting was in appearance like a jasper stone and a sardius stone; and a rainbow was around the throne, like an emerald in its appearance. And around the throne were twenty-four thrones; and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white garments; and they had on their heads golden crowns. And proceeding from the throne were lightnings and thunders and voices; and seven lamps of fire, which are the seven Spirits of God, were burning before the throne" Rev. 4:1-5).

These seven spirits are controlled by Jesus Christ as the eyes of God, sent forth into all the earth: "Then I saw, and behold, before the throne and the four living creatures, and before the elders, was standing a Lamb as having been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God that are sent into all the earth" (Rev. 5:6).

During the reign of Asa, King of Judah, the seer Hanani was sent by God to give His judgment against Asa because he failed to rely on God to fight his battles. Hanani explained how God uses the seven spiritual eyes to know what is happening on the earth: "And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said unto him, Because thou hast relied on the king of Syria, and not relied on the LORD thy God, therefore is the host of the king of Syria escaped out of thine hand. Were not the Ethiopians and the Lubims a huge host, with very many chariots and horsemen? yet, because thou didst rely on the LORD, he delivered them into thine hand. For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars" (II Chron. 16:7-9).

The prophecy in Zechariah Four confirms that the seven lamps are the seven eyes of God that He uses to know what is happening on the earth at all times: "For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth" (Zech 4:10, KJV).

The two witnesses will be the most powerful prophets of God in the history of the world. This is why no man should take it upon himself to proclaim that he or anyone else is one of the two witnesses or to designate certain men as the two witnesses. They are God's special chosen witnesses. When the time comes, God will select them, and their witness will be confirmed by the power of God's Holy Spirit. At that time there will be no doubt about who they are.

The Nations of the North and East: After the king of the north comes against the king of the south, he will enter into the holy land and into the temple, proclaiming himself as God. Shortly after that the great tribulation will begin. "He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon. He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape. But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps. But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many" (Dan 11:41-44, KJV).

Later, when the trumpet plagues begin, the king of the north, the Beast, will unleash a secret weapon with the help of Satan and legions of powerful demons: "And the fifth angel sounded his trumpet; and I saw a star that had fallen from heaven to the earth, and there was given to him the key to the bottomless abyss. And he opened the bottomless abyss; and there went up smoke from the pit, like the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by the smoke from the pit. Then locusts came onto the earth from the smoke; and power was given to them, as the scorpions of the earth have power. And it was said to them that they should not damage the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only the men who did not have the seal of God in their foreheads. And it was given to them that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months; and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings a man. And in those days men will seek death but will not find it; and they will desire to die, but death will flee from them. And the appearance of the locusts was like horses prepared for war; and on their heads were crowns like those of gold; and their faces were like the faces of men; and they had hair like women's hair; and their teeth were like those of lions. And they had breastplates like iron breastplates; and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots drawn by many horses running to war; and they had tails like scorpions, and stingers; and they were given power to injure men with their tails for five months. And they have over them a king, the angel of the abyss; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, but the name he has in Greek is Apollyon [Satan the devil]. The first woe is past. Behold, after these things two more woes are still to come" (Rev. 9:1-12).

All the nations to the north and east of Jerusalem, including Russia, all the Moslem world and all of Asia must become economically developed in order to support their armies, which will total 200 million. This economic development is happening right now. In fact, it has been taking place for many years. But in the future we will see China become even more powerful economically and militarily. China will become a world power and probably a space power. Soon India, as well as Southeast Asia will develop even further and become a great power in the world. When this amalgamation of nations sends their armies against the Beast, it will be the greatest army the world has ever seen. John saw this war in the vision: "And the sixth angel sounded his trumpet; and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar that is before God; and it said to the sixth angel, who had the trumpet, 'Loose the four angels who are bound in the great river Euphrates.' Then the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were loosed, so that they might kill a third of men; and the number of the armies of the horsemen was two hundred thousand thousand; and I heard the number of them. And so I saw the horses in the vision, and those sitting on them, who had fiery breastplates, even like jacinth and brimstone. And the heads of the horses were like heads of lions, and fire and smoke and brimstone shoot out of their mouths. By these three, a third of men were killed: by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone that shoot out of their mouths. For their power is in their mouths; for their tails are like serpents, and have heads, and with them they inflict wounds. But the rest of the men who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the works of their hands, that they might not worship demons, and idols of gold and silver and brass and stone and wood, which do not have the power to see, nor to hear, nor to walk. And they did not repent of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornications, nor of their thievery" (Rev. 9:13-21).

Israel Will Be Brought Down: At the present time Israel, mainly the sons of Joseph -Ephraim and Manasseh - are the world powers as it was prophesied they would be in the last days: "Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall: the archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him: but his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:) even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb: The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren" (Gen. 49:22-26, KJV).

Many other prophecies in the Bible show that Israel will be brought down and eventually go into captivity, along with the rest of the tribes of Israel. Even now we see the signs of their downfall. In addition to the myriad of problems we face, two things are happening economically and ethnically that are very profound: "The stranger that is within thee [all the foreigners] shall get up above thee very high; and thou shalt come down very low. He shall lend to thee, and thou shalt not lend to him [we have the greatest debt ever in the history of the world]: he shall be the head, and thou shalt be the tail. Moreover all these curses shall come upon thee, and shall pursue thee, and overtake thee, till thou be destroyed; because thou hearkenedst not unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which he commanded thee: and they shall be upon thee for a sign and for a wonder, and upon thy seed for ever. Because thou servedst not the LORD thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things" (Deut. 28:43-47).

Because of these two prophecies, we can anticipate some major happenings in the areas of immigration and the currency. We will have to see how it will all work out. But we are near to their fulfillment.

The Ten Commandment Controversy: We have been following the Ten Commandment controversy since last summer when it came to a head with the removal of Judge Roy Moore as chief justice of the state of Alabama. As we have understood it, this battle is about more than displaying the Ten Commandment monument in the courthouse. It is about whether this nation will acknowledge God or reject Him. The following report by Joseph Farah Who Makes the Rules? clearly defines this spiritual war: "For many months I've been telling you the federal court order removing the Ten Commandments from the Alabama courthouse was a violation of the First Amendment.

"After reading an interview with Judge Roy Moore, I now realize my position on this case has been wrong. To reduce this issue to a First Amendment violation does it a grave disservice. It underestimates the importance of what is at stake. Instead, the issue, as Moore points out in the January-February issue of Business Reform magazine, is the question of who provides the standard for our nation's law and morality.

"Ask yourself that question. Who provides the standard for our nation's law and morality? Moore doesn't just argue that the Constitution is on his side in this fight. His argument is that God Himself—and His Word—is the foundation for all the laws upon which the court operates and upon which we as a people determine right from wrong.

"And if you think this debate doesn't touch your life directly, Moore has news for you. Moore makes a persuasive case that if this ruling is permitted to stand unchallenged, it will affect every single American in terrible ways they cannot yet even imagine. 'When government excludes God, there is no ownership of property, life and liberty given to man,' he says. 'Once government takes over that ownership, God's order is greatly disrupted. And part of God's order is private property.'

"If the federal government can move into what is clearly a sovereign state's jurisdiction and strip away a monument in the state courthouse—one mandated by state law and approved by the people—then Washington can clearly do the same to private individuals, to private businesses. In fact, Moore says, it would be easier for the federal government to do that than interfere in a matter left to the states under the Constitution. 'Men must be controlled by God and His law, not by the government,' says Moore. 'What happens when the Ten Commandments are taken from our lives is that control over men is lost and the government then comes in to regulate everything.'

"Instead of men governing their own lives guided by the moral standards of the Bible, arbitrary government force becomes the decisive factor in the life of society. Moore says there are only two choices—God's way or man's way. And I think he's right. Federal Judge Myron Thompson, who ordered the Ten Commandments monument removed from the Alabama courthouse, ruled there can be no reference to God in a government building - state, local or federal. If Thompson's ruling is permitted to stand, it will be the beginning of the end of any mention of God in the public square. Period. End of story.

"It's amazing to me that so many otherwise sensible people cannot understand what is at stake in this conflict. It is profound. It is as monumental as any great debate this country has ever had. This is much bigger than the washing-machine-size granite monument in the Alabama courthouse. Simply, we will not recognize America a decade from now if Thompson's ruling stands. It will open the floodgates of litigation that will strip the country of its national spiritual heritage. It will distort and destroy the meaning of the First Amendment. But, most importantly, it will turn us from a nation established on the rule of law and self-governance to a nation ruled by men, ruled by elites. I don't want to live in that kind of a country, do you? It's time to Take America Back" (© 2004 January 6, 2004, bold emphasis added).

Taking back America sounds good. But that is not the real issue; the real issue is a return to God! There can be no return without repentance! If there is no repentance by Americans, then God will remove Himself and His blessing from this nation. We live in a Laodicean era—the whole nation, all Christian professing churches and the churches of God! A partial return, a partial repentance is not enough! Now is not the time to flatter God as Israel has always done when God's hand of correction came upon them: "The wrath of God came upon them, and slew the fattest of them, and smote down the chosen men of Israel. For all this they sinned still, and believed not for his wondrous works. Therefore their days did he consume in vanity, and their years in trouble. When he slew them, then they sought him: and they returned and inquired early after God [as the nation did because of 9/11].

"And they remembered that God was their rock, and the high God their redeemer. Nevertheless they did flatter him with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues. For their heart was not right with him, neither were they steadfast in his covenant. But he, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time turned he his anger away, and did not stir up all his wrath. For he remembered that they were but flesh; a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again. How oft did they provoke him in the wilderness, and grieve him in the desert! Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel" (Psa. 78:31-41, KJV).

This is how the children of Israel have always responded to God. We are facing serious problems that cannot be resolved until there is true godly repentance—especially among Protestants. Unless there is a general repentance by the Protestants of Sabbath breaking and Sunday keeping, observance of pagan holidays, as well as consumption of unclean foods, there will probably not be a turning back of God's hand of correction against this nation. God always gives space and time for repentance; only time will tell whether it will be repentance and mercy, or hard-heartedness and wrath.

Likewise for the churches of God, Jesus Christ has a specific warning that we all need to heed. Now is the time to pay attention and to take the spiritual action of repentance as Jesus has commanded: "And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans, write: These things says the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginner of the creation of God. I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot; I would that you be either cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and are neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth. For you say, 'I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing'; and you do not understand that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from Me gold purified by fire so that you may be rich; and white garments so that you may be clothed, and the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and to anoint your eyes with eye salve, so that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore, be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me. To the one who overcomes will I give authority to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and sat down with My Father in His throne. The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches" (Rev. 3:14-22).

The way to repent and be zealous is to seek God with the whole heart. "Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart. They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways" (Psa. 119:2-3, KJV). Instead of loving the world and the things in the world, we are to love God and keep His commandments (I John 5:2-3). As we grow in grace and knowledge and develop a truly intimate relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ, we will come to love God with all our hearts as Jesus said: "And one of the scribes who had come up to Him, after hearing them reasoning together and perceiving that He answered them well, asked Him, 'Which is the first commandment of all?' Then Jesus answered him, 'The first of all the commandments is, "Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one 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.' Then the scribe said to Him, 'Right, Master. You have spoken according to truth that God is one, and there is not another besides Him; and to love Him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbor as oneself, is more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.' And Jesus, seeing that he answered with understanding, said to him, 'You are not far from the kingdom of God'" (Mark 13:28-34).

God the Father and Jesus Christ alone know how much time we have left. We must be about our Father's business of growing and overcoming. I am convinced that through this intense spiritual war over acknowledging God, Jesus Christ will open doors to preach the Gospel. We must be ready! We must endure to the end of our lives or the end of time, which ever comes first, in order to receive salvation (Matt. 24:13).

Jesus Christ commands us always to watch and be doing His will: "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 coining 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).

The New Testament Project: As I am writing this letter, the New Testaments are being printed. We should be mailing them out by the end of the month. We realize that this project has taken a long time to complete, but it will be worth it when you receive them. There is nothing better than to give this New Testament to brethren and to all who truly desire to understand the Word of God. I am sure that this New Testament will become a major evangelistic tool as we reach out to new people.

We thank God for the opportunity to participate in making this New Testament possible and for the financial support of the faithful brethren of Jesus Christ. May God the Father's love, grace and blessings be upon you in everything.

With love in Christ Jesus,

Fred R. Coulter


Sign Up For the New CD List

For the past four months we have been running a trial CD project. We have been making 25-30 CD's per week and mailing them out to various brethren so we could work out any bugs in the production of the CD's. We now have a very sophisticated computer program and CD burners that can produce 20 CD's in 10-12 minutes—nearly comparable to the audiocassette reproduction time. It has taken my son, Stephen, this length of time to perfect the system.

We are able to put a 90-minute sermon on a single CD in wave format. Now we are ready to make CD's of the weekly sermons on the same basis that we have done the cassettes in the past and mail them to you instead of the audiocassettes.

Because the 90-minute CD's are new, having just come out this year, you may need a newer CD player. If yours is over two years old, you may need to purchase a new one. If you purchase a new CD player, make sure that it is MP3 compatible, because in the future we will put all extended sermon series on DCs in the MP3 format. This will enable us to put between 15-20 sermons on one CD.

Please Note: When playing the CD and you desire to stop it and rewind back a bit, do not push the stop button and attempt to back up because it will automatically revert back to the beginning of the track. With a CD, if you want to back up, or fast forward from a certain place, push the pause button first, then press the rewind or fast forward button. This way you will not lose you place on the CD.

If you have previously written or called the office to be put on the CD list, you must to fill out this form and return it in order to be placed on the list. We will begin mailing the CD's to you beginning in mid-February.

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Christian Biblical Church of God P.O. Box 1442 Hollister, California 95024-1442

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