Monthly letter archive

Christian Biblical Church of God
Post Office Box 1442
Hollister, California 95024-1442

Fred R. Coulter

January 4, 2006

Dear Brethren,

We are at the beginning of the civil and business calendar year 2006. While God determines time, starting in the spring of the year, because we live in the world we conduct our business by the civil calendar. We all pay taxes to the government—local, state and national—based on the civil calendar. Likewise, we send out annual receipts for all tithes, offerings and contributions based on the same cycle.

From a business perspective, it has always been our practice to live within our means as God provides the resources. We do not spend beyond our means or borrow money. We operate only on a cash basis and retain a prudent reserve. The only debt we incur is short term—which is paid monthly.

In addition, we always endeavor to keep our expenses low, and we do not get involved in lavish spending for expensive or frivolous things. This way the maximum amount of tithes and offerings that God provides through the brethren goes right back to serve and upbuild them in Christ Jesus. The most important thing is for them to grow in grace and knowledge and develop the spiritual character through the power of the Holy Spirit of God, so they may progress to attain the goal of faithfully enduring to the end.

Plans for 2006

Books and Publications

Because we do not know how much time there is until the end, we need to press forward to publish vital books. It is essential that we do this, not only for the brethren now, but also for future brethren and ministers, so they will have the truth of the Word of God available to live by and teach others. Since there is no longer a college of any substance to teach new people, or new ministers and elders, we must do our part to make sure that the knowledge of the truth of God is preserved for the next generation.

The best way to so this is by publishing books. Given the way the world is and what it will become in the future, there is no doubt that God expects us to continue to do our part, regardless of the circumstances; because Christ is always with us, will always help us and will never forsake us (Matt. 28:20; Heb. 13:5).

Consequently, Jesus exhorted His disciples to always continue working: “Now as they were listening to these things, He went on to speak a parable, because He was near Jerusalem, and they thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear immediately [as many people today think]. Therefore, He said, ‘A certain nobleman set out to a distant country to receive a kingdom for himself, and to return. And after calling ten of his servants, he gave to them ten pounds, and said to them, ‘Trade [work, do, accomplish] until I come back’ ” (Luke 19:11-13).

In addition, we are to watch as Jesus admonishes us: “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 coming 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” (Matt. 24:42-46).

God also instructs us to, “Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days” (Eccl. 11:1). This is part of preaching the Gospel—individually and collectively. As we do so in faith, God will accomplish what He desires to do, even if we are no longer alive to see it happen. Consider how much God has done through His Word, after those He inspired to write it have died! This is why we need to take the long view of things, as God does. We need to realize He has things that He is going to do beyond what we think or imagine. This is why we must faithfully continue doing what God has set before us. We must provide for those who come will after us—the next generation that will succeed us: “Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

“For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it” (Isa. 55:6-11).

May we all understand that all the churches of God are a part of what God is doing. While we have the time and the means, we must all be serving the brethren and preaching the Gospel! A major part of what God has given us to do is to publish books and other detailed literature that explains the true doctrines and teachings of the Bible—especially the New Testament.

The New Testament: Of 10,000 New Testaments printed, 9,500 hardcover and 500 softcover, we have nearly 2,000 hardcover left, but only 24 softcover. Most of the soft- cover NT's have been sent to inmates in various prisons in the USA at no cost. This has been a big help to them and their families as well, because we have also sent the NT to their wives, husbands, mothers and fathers. If it can help them get their lives squared around and keep them out of jail in the future, that is good, and it is what God would have us do. Perhaps, through the knowledge contained in the NT, as God’s Spirit leads them, some may be called to repentance and baptism—that is even better. Because we are almost out of the softcover NT, we have reordered an additional 1,500 to 2,000 be printed by Thomson-Shore, Inc. This has been paid for out of our 2005 in income.

Of the remaining hardcover NT, we encourage you to feel free to give them to other brethren in other churches of God at no cost to them. We may be one of the smaller churches of God, but because God has blessed us and we have used His money wisely, we are in a position offer NT to them without cost—after all they are brethren. As Jesus instructed His disciples, “Freely you have received; freely give” (Matt. 10:8).

So that you may give the NT to brethren in other churches of God, you may order as many as you need. Remember that there are 8 in a box. We will send them to you and you can personally give the NT to them. We hope that the information contained in it, as well as the new translation, will help them to withstand the onslaught of false doctrine that will surely come. (It has already begun with the official sanctioning of the observance of Hanukkah)

Harmony of the Gospels: At the present time, in the USA we are completely out of the Harmony of the Gospels—third edition. The last printing of 7,000 lasted 3 years. The only thing that we need to complete is an appendix detailing the Seventy-week Prophecy of Daniel 9. As soon as it is finished, we will have the books printed.

In this second printing of the 3rd edition of the Harmony, we have replaced all the scriptural texts of the four Gospels from the New Testament. This means that there are some slight changes from the first printing of the third edition. We will have 5,000 printed—3,500 hardcover and 1,500 softcover. Beginning with the first edition in 1974, a total of 22,000 have been distributed. Funds for this book have also been set aside from the 2005 income.

Occult Holidays or God’s Holy DaysWhich?: This is going to be a tremendous book of about 230 pages—the same size as The Day Jesus Died. As some have suggested, we did consider making two books out of it, but decided to keep it as a single book. The main reason is that most people realize that the holidays of the world have pagan origins. However, they pass over those obvious facts and continue to observe them. Furthermore, they would be provided with no knowledge of God’s feasts and holy days and would simply continue to assume that the holy days are for the Jews only. Consequently, they would not bother to order the second book or examine the Scriptures to learn that the New Testament teaches, upholds and expands the meaning of God’s holy days.

However, with this book, once they fully understand the depths of the satanic origin of these holidays from the first part of the book, then they will more apt to read and examine the information about the feasts and holy days of God in the second part of the book. This is why the information about the holidays and holy days needs to be in one book. We hope to get this to the printers in early February. We will print 9,000 to 10,000 of this book. Funds from 2005 have already been allocated for it.

A More Detailed Feast and Holy Day Book: We are also nearing completion of a more in-depth book on God’s feasts and holy days. It will be a compilation of transcripts of the best sermons of each of the feasts and holy days. This book will be about 350-400 pages. All the audio sermons will be recorded in MP3 digital format on CD’s and sent with the book. This way the reader can listen to the sermons and follow along with the transcripts. Jim and Betty Hyles have been compiling the sermons and transcripts. Those who have listened to these sermons, while reading the transcripts at the same time, really like this format and study method. We should be ready to send this book to the printer in April or May at the latest.

A Complete Bible: Since we have published the New Testament, many brethren have asked, “Will we have a complete Bible that we can take to church, because the New Testament book is too heavy to carry to services?” The answer is, YES! What we are working on is to have the Old Testament from the KJV combined with the Faithful Version of the New Testament.

We are doing this because it would be impossible for us to redo the Old Testament from scratch with a new translation. Furthermore, we do not have the expertise in Hebrew to attempt to do it. However, we will put all the books of the Bible in their original order. We have been working on this for some time and have an initial target date of December 2006 for completion.

Websites: This year our two websites have been doing exceptionally well. For the year we will have had nearly 350,000 visitors use the sites. Remember that the websites are up and running 24/7 around the world every day of the year.

At the present time, we are in the process of making improvements, so the websites will be more user friendly. To accommodate those who download the audio sermons, we have completed converting all the audio sermons to MP3 format. This will make it much easier to download them to a computer or an I-Pod.

Recently, we had an offer from a radio station in the Tampa Bay, Florida area to play our sermons, an hour-and-a-half slot, on their station between midnight and five AM. They would charge us $40 per tape. However, after studying the situation, we realized that while talk shows have increased their listening audiences, those for other radio programming have declined nearly 1/3 in the past decade. Furthermore, if we did go to a radio format, that would make additional work, to conform the tapes to the station’s specifications. Furthermore, we would be on only at a specified early morning time for an hour and a half on a single station. Over a period of a month, the radio time for one station would cost more than six months of website time, which is up and running 24/7 all year long. As a result, we declined the radio station’s offer.

Conversion From Audio Tapes to CD’s

In the last half of 2005, the work in Australia began converting the audiocassette tapes to CD’s. Roy Assanti reports that at the present time about half of the brethren are receiving CD’s instead of audiocassette tapes. Those who receive them are extremely pleased. Ron Whitford initially began the conversion this past summer. He is able to get as many as 9 MP3-formatted sermons on one CD.

Extended Series: For over 13 years Freeman Scott, in Cortland, Ohio has been duplicating all the audio tapes of our extended series: the Gospel of John--29 tapes, the Seven General Epistles--79 tapes, Romans--32 tapes, Hebrews--41 tapes, the Grace of God--8tapes, the Love Series--15 tapes, etc. Through the years we have sent out thousands of these series to brethren. Scottie has been extremely faithful and diligent in doing this service for all these years. At times it has been quite a load for him.

But now the time has come to convert all these series to MP3 format and duplicate them to CD’s. We will be able to get 8-10 sermons onto one CD. It will not take much more time to duplicate a 10-sermon CD than a single audio tape. Think of the time it will save Scottie to be able to duplicate CD’s instead of all those audio tapes. We anticipate having this accomplished by the end of February.

When I go down to Monrovia for Sabbath services on January 14, 2006, I will leave earlier in the week, so I can visit the company in Alhambra, California that sells the CD duplicating equipment. If the equipment is high enough quality and has the latest technology for duplication, we will buy it.

Care Packages: After we complete the transition from tapes to CD’s for the extended series, we will begin to convert the Care Packages to MP3 CD’s. At the present time we have four Care Packages—Introductory-27 tapes, Beginners-30 tapes, Care Package I-23 tapes and Care Package II-28 tapes. We plan to have this conversion completed by late May to mid-June.

On the other hand, we do not know when we can convert the regular mailing list from audiocassettes to CD’s. The main reason is that we need to find a direct CD label printer that will do more than 50-60 per hour.

This coming year we should be able to handle the added costs of obtaining the new equipment and make the conversion to CD’s as outlined. This will give us the experience and knowledge of what we need to do and what additional equipment we need to make the conversion from audio cassette tapes.

We are looking forward to this coming year and accomplishing as much as we can and continuing to serve all of you with the Word of God, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, in every way possible.

Brethren, as you can see, we need to continue to go forward in doing the things that God has set before us, personally and collectively. We greatly appreciate your love, prayers and continued support through your tithes and offerings. We are praying for you daily and asking God to continue to bless you in everything and strengthen you in time of need or trial. May God the Father’s and Jesus Christ’s love and grace be with you in all that you do.

With love in Christ Jesus,

Fred R. Coulter

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