Monthly letter archive

Christian Biblical Church of God

Post Office Box 1442

Hollister, California 95024-1442


Fred R. Coulter, Minister

June 14, 2005

Dear Brethren,

Since the first of the year I have traveled monthly to various parts of the United States visiting with the brethren, preaching sermons and conducting Bible studies on the Sabbath and holy days, as well as having special studies on other days of the week when I was traveling. This past Sabbath, June 4, I traveled to Valdosta, Georgia. I met in the very fine civic center with 38 brethren. We had morning and afternoon services with a meal between. It was great to meet with everyone.

Then on Sunday, June 5, I flew to Manchester, New Hampshire. I roomed at the Highlander Inn and also met with 36 brethren there. Not only did we have morning and afternoon Bible studies with a meal between services, but we also had enough food leftover for a second meal. In addition, we had a third Bible study, finally finishing around 6 PM. Flight schedules and weather delays necessitated late hours, and by the time we finished the third session on June 5, I was really tired. However, I was able to get a good night’s sleep before heading out from Manchester on Monday at noon.

At both locations we studied the prophecy of the great image of Daniel 2. This was the beginning of a short series on Daniel, going through all the essential prophecies of Daniel in order to understand the Book of Revelation. Actually, we have already completed a Revelation series from sermons and studies I did in past years. However, because of the recent surge in TV shows on “Revelation” as well as different movies and videos about the end times, people have a high interest in this topic, and it is an appropriate time to do these series. At the present time, we have 31 tapes on Revelation. However, we had nothing on Daniel in the archives, though I know that I had given sermons covering some of the prophecies. It appears that by the time we finish with the Daniel series and other updates, we will probably have 35 + tapes.

It is essential to have the new series on Daniel along with the series on Revelation because Daniel gives the first part of God’s prophecies concerning the end times and the return of Jesus Christ, and Revelation gives “the rest of the story.” In fact, as we find in Daniel 2, God revealed to Daniel the starting point of this prophecy with the Babylonian Empire and King Nebuchadnezzar. The prophecy ends with the return of Jesus Christ and the establishment of the Kingdom of God.

King Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream: When King Nebuchadnezzar asked that the dream, as well as the interpretation of it, be told to him, his chief counselors and top advisors could not do it, claiming that what the king wanted was impossible: “The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is not a man upon the earth that can show the king’s matter: therefore there is no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked such things at any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean. And it is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is none other that can show it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh” (Dan. 2:10-11).

After God revealed the dream and interpretation of it to Daniel and his three companions, he was brought before the king. Daniel made it absolutely clear to the king that it was God and God alone who had revealed the dream and the interpretation of it: “The king answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, Art thou able to make known unto me the dream which I have seen, and the interpretation thereof? Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, show unto the king; but there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these; as for thee, O king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter: and he that revealeth secrets maketh known to thee what shall come to pass. But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart” (verses 26-30).

After Daniel told the king what his dream was, he told him the interpretation of it that God had given to him: “Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold. And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. And in the days of these kings [the final kings pictured by the ten toes] shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure” (Dan 2:37-45).

Extra-biblical historical records can verify the dates of these four kingdoms:

  1. Babylonian/Chaldean Empire – 625-538 BC
  2. Persian Empire – 558-330 BC
  3. Greece –Alexander the great and four divisions began in 333 BC
  4. Roman Empire – beginning 31 BC with ten phases until the end and the establishment of the Kingdom of God.

In connection with this series, I have updated the two Charts of Revelation and the two sermons that go with them. We will send these new tapes on Revelation #1 and #2 to you along with the updated chart after the chart is finished and printed. We will also be updating the chart on the Book of Daniel. It was not until I gave the first study on Daniel during the trip to Valdosta and Manchester that I realized that much of the understanding we have had of the book of Daniel goes back to a much earlier time—at least 1960. The chart that we have came from WCG, and it was taken from the SDA’s. While some of the information on this chart is still valid, it is evident that much of it is outdated. When we finish this series, it will be the most complete series on Daniel and Revelation that we have ever put together.

We will put these new series on the Website, together with the book of Revelation from the New Testament and the book of Daniel from the KJV along with the charts, sermons and studies. Anyone will be able to download these to a computer. In addition, we will have all the sermons and studies available in both “Wave” and “MP3” formats.

Pentecost: By the time you receive this letter, we will already have finished observing the feast of Pentecost. The harvest of the firstfruits began with Jesus Christ. He was resurrected from the dead as the weekly Sabbath was ending, during the Feast of Unleavened in 30 AD. This makes Jesus Christ the firstborn from the dead. Then, on the morning of the first day of the weeks, Jesus ascended to the Father to be accepted as the sacrifice for the sins of the world. From that point, including the day that Jesus ascended to the Father, we are to count 50 days to Pentecost, which pictures the first resurrection—the rest of the firstfruits unto God (Jas. 1:18).

The ceremony that God commanded the children of Israel concerning the wave sheaf-offering day actually foretold the resurrection of Jesus on the weekly Sabbath and His ascension to God the Father on the morrow after the Sabbath. Everett Fox’s literal translation of Leviticus 23 gives a much clearer picture than the KJV does of the actual ceremonies that the priest conducted at the temple on the wave sheaf offering day and fifty days later on Pentecost. When you read it you will more clearly understand the symbolism of these rituals and how they are actually prophesies of these events: “Speak to the Children of Israel and say to them: When you enter the land that I am giving you, and you harvest its harvest, you are to bring the premier sheaf [the special temple dedicated sheaf picturing the resurrected Christ] of your harvest to the priest. He is to elevate the sheaf before the presence of YHWH for acceptance for you; on the morrow of [after] the Sabbath the priest is to elevate it [a type of Jesus’ ascension to the Father on the first day of the weeks] (Lev. 23:10-11 Shocken Bible, Vol. 1, bracketed comments added). The elevation of the sheaf is a type of Jesus’ ascension to the Father on the wave sheaf offering day.

Fox’s translation of how to count to Pentecost is perhaps the clearest of all because it removes any doubt whatsoever that the 50th day is on the first day of the week—a Sunday— and not on the second day of the week, a Monday. “Now you are to number for yourselves, from the morrow of the Sabbath [Hebrew meaning includes that first day in the count], from the day that you bring the elevated sheaf, seven Sabbaths-of-days, whole (weeks) are they to be; until the morrow of the seventh Sabbath you are to number fifty days, then you are to bring-near a grain-gift of new-crops to YHWH” (verses 15-16).

Notice that Pentecost is to be on “the morrow of [after] the seventh Sabbath.” The only day that comes after the seventh Sabbath day is the first day of the week—a Sunday as it is called today. It is impossible that Monday could ever be “the morrow of [after] the seventh Sabbath.” Monday is always the morrow after the first day of the week, and therefore is the second day of the week!

God has never reckoned the second day of the week as the day after the seventh day Sabbath; yet, there are those who erroneously believe that Pentecost is to be observed on a Monday. This error goes back fifty years and is due to the work of an evangelist who changed the translation of Sabbath(s), Hebrew Shabbat, to weeks, Hebrew Shavuah. He later confessed to this when the truth about the correct counting of Pentecost became known in 1974. He made this translational error because someone he believed to be an apostle miscounted and declared that Pentecost was on a Monday. However, this left the problem of partial weeks, when the Hebrew clearly states complete weeks—days 1-7. So, he then decided that not only could “Sabbaths” mean “weeks” but also partial weeks, which occur all seven weeks of the count. However, Sabbath, Hebrew Shabbat, can never mean a week. In spite of the fact that this truth has been known for over 30 years, there are some brethren who still observe Pentecost on a Monday, refusing to acknowledge this error.

There must be seven complete weeks and seven Sabbaths. Then on the day after the seventh Sabbath is the feast of Pentecost. The Pentecost new-grain offering was a special offering that each one was to offer on the fiftieth day, Pentecost. God commanded this special new-grain offering to be made with leavened dough and baked in loaves: “From your settlements you are to bring bread as an elevation-offering, two (loaves of) two tenth-measures of flour are they to be, leavened you are to bake them, as firstfruits to YHWH … The priest is to elevate them [the animal sacrifices], together with the bread of the firstfruits as an elevation-offering before the presence of YHWH … And you shall make-proclamation on that same day [the 50th day, not the 51st day ] a proclamation of holiness shall there be for you” (verses 71-21).

The only other offering that God commanded to be leavened was the peace offering (Lev. 7:13). All others were to be offered with only unleavened bread. These two wave loaves or elevation loaves that they offered on Pentecost were leavened for a special reason.

It is clear that these leavened Pentecost offerings could not be reckoned to represent sin, as this occurs during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Therefore, what does the leaven in these loaves represent?

In the New Testament Jesus revealed another meaning for leaven: “The kingdom of heaven is compared to leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of flour until all was leavened” (Matt. 13:33). In this parable we see that leaven is counted as something good, because it is compared to the kingdom of heaven—a sinless kingdom.

Whenever leaven is added to dough, it raises the dough and changes it. When the dough is baked, the change is permanent—a finished loaf. In the same way, we might compare the baked leavened loaves of the Pentecost offering to the saints, who on Pentecost are raised from the dead and permanently changed to enter into the Kingdom of God.

Also, on Pentecost leavened loaves were to be brought out of every household. There were literally thousands of baked leavened loaves elevated, or waved to the Lord by the priests. The elevation of the loaves by the priests perhaps pictures the angels who carry the resurrected saints up to meet Christ in the air on the Sea of Glass. These resurrected saints as depicted by the two loaves are 1) all those who enter into the Kingdom of God, who were called of God before the first coming of Christ, and 2) all those who were called of God from the time of Christ until His second coming. Of course, these are those who endured and were faithful unto death.

A Glimpse of the First Resurrection to Eternal Life—the Firstfruits to God: In writing of the resurrection to eternal life the apostle Paul compared our bodies to seeds of grain. The physical body must die, and at the resurrection it will be changed to an immortal spiritual body: “Nevertheless, someone will say, ‘How are the dead raised? And with what body do they come?’ Fool! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body that shall be; rather, it is bare grain—it may be of wheat, or one of the other grains; and God gives it a body according to His will, and to each of the seeds its own body.

Likewise, not all flesh is the same flesh. Rather, there is one flesh of men, and another flesh of beasts, and another of fish, and another of birds. And there are heavenly bodies, and earthly bodies; but the glory of the heavenly is different, and the glory of the earthly is different. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body; Accordingly, it is written, ‘The first man, Adam, became a living soul; the last Adam became an ever-living Spirit.’ However, the spiritual was not first, but the natural—then the spiritual. The first man is of the earth—made of dust. The second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the one made of dust, so also are all those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly one, so also are all those who are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the one made of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly one.

“Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I show you a mystery: we shall not all fall asleep, but we shall all be changed, in an instant, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruptibility, and this mortal must put on immortality. Now when this corruptible shall have put on incorruptibility, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’ O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?” (I Cor. 15:35-55.)

This is the glorious future that we have to look forward to. The first resurrection to eternal life is our hope! This is why God the Father and Jesus Christ have called us and given us Their Spirit. This is why we love and obey God. The apostle John was inspired to write: “Behold! What glorious love the Father has given to us, that we should be called the children of God! For this very reason, the world does not know us because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are the children of God, and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be; but we know that when He is manifested, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him exactly as He is. And everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, even as He is pure” (I John 3:1-3).

Once again, brethren, thank you for all your prayers, love and continued support. May God continually bless you with His love, grace and blessings in all things.

With love in Christ Jesus,

Fred R. Coulter