Monthly letter archive

December 2011 Letter

December 15, 2011

Dear Brethren,

As we approach the end of the year on the Roman Civil Calendar, some religionists say prophecy is speeding up—or, as Harold Camping trumpeted, "The Lord is coming! The Rapture is on May 21st!" Since "the rapture" didn't occur on that date, he admitted his mistake. Then he promptly announced, "It will happen on October 21st." But it didn't happen on that date either.

When interviewed concerning his second false alarm, Camping said he did not know what went wrong. But the answer is simple: Camping is a false prophet, and he does not know the true teachings of Jesus Christ. The truth is, God obeys no man, nor does He heed false prophets.

Many of Camping's followers gave him great sums of money—some selling their homes, saying they had no further need of money or material possessions since the imminent rapture meant they would soon be in heaven. Many are wondering if Camping will return the money sent by those who believed him—probably not.

It is truly amazing: If people actually believe in Jesus Christ, as they profess, why don't they believe what He said? Why do people follow a man without first proving whether his teachings are true or not? Concerning the timing of Jesus' return, a simple reading of the Gospels gives the correct answer. Jesus Himself warned,"Then if anyone says to you, 'Behold, here is the Christ,' or, 'He is there,' do not believe it. For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and they shall present great signs and wonders, in order to deceive, if possible, even the elect. Behold, I have foretold it to you. Therefore, if they say to you, 'Come and see! He is in the wilderness'; do not go forth. 'Come and see! He is in the secret chambers'; DO NOT BELIEVE IT. For as the light of day, which comes forth from the east and shines as far as the west, so also shall the coming of the Son of man be.. The heaven and the earth shall pass away, but My words shall never pass away. But concerning that day, and the hour, no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only" (Matt. 24:23-27, 35-36).

The truth is that the Bible does not teach a "rapture," let alone a specific date for such an event. Yet the whole Protestant world believes in a coming "rapture." As a doctrine, the "rapture" theory is a complete misinterpretation of the Scriptures, and is rooted in the false belief that upon death a person's "immortal soul" goes to heaven. But think about it: If immortal souls go to heaven, then why does the Bible teach, in numerous places, of a resurrection of the dead?

Today, as it was in the days of Jeremiah, the world is filled with false ministers and teachers (and some who claim to be prophets) who profess to follow Christ, but do not. Jeremiah prophesied of God's judgment against such men: " 'Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture,' says the Lord. Therefore thus says the Lord, God of Israel, against the shepherds who feed My people, 'You have scattered My flock, and have driven them away, and have not taken care of them. Behold, I will bring upon you the evil of your doings,' says the Lord.. 'For both prophet and priest are ungodly; yea, in My house I have found their evil,' says the Lord. 'So their way shall be to them as slippery ways in the darkness; they shall be driven on, and fall in their way; for I will bring evil on them, even the year of their judgment,' says the Lord.. Thus says the Lord of hosts, 'Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you. They make you vain; they speak a vision from their own heart, not out of the mouth of the Lord" (Jer. 23:1-2, 11-12, 16).

The Two WitnessesFalse Alarm: Several years ago, there was a supposed "minister" of a church of God who announced that he and his wife were the Two Witnesses. As foolish as that was, some actually believed him and followed him—sending a lot of money to him. Time went on and his claims did not transpire. Moreover, they were not in Jerusalem, they were not clothed in sackcloth, and they were not calling down plagues from heaven as often as they willed as described in Revelation 11. Furthermore, the length of the Two Witnesses' ministry is to be "1260 days," a fact they failed to remember as they ran out of time. Finally, the monies that brethren sent to him were not used for the preaching of the Gospel; rather, most of the funds were forwarded to a bank account in Switzerland. The bank reported it to the IRS, and their agents came knocking on his door with an arrest warrant. He now faces five years in prison. So much for self-appointed prophets.

Still, ministers-for-profit continually claim, "Prophecy is speeding up!" They quote passages of Scripture that appear to support such a claim. For example, they often use Matthew 24:22 from the KJV: "And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened." Using this verse in conjunction with Romans 9:28, they claim that God is going to "cut short" prophecy, thus shortening the time frame of the end: "For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth" (KJV).

However, such teachers fail to realize that both of these verses are mistranslated in the KJV. The Faithful Version renders the true meaning of these verses: "For then shall there be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until this time, nor ever shall be again. And if those days were not LIMITED, there would no flesh be saved; but for the elect's sake those days shall be LIMITED.. For He is accomplishing and LIMITINGthe matter in righteousness; because the Lord will LIMITthe matter He is doing upon the earth" (Matt. 24:21-22; Rom. 9:28). This translation accurately conveys the true meaning of these passages, and is in full agreement with other scriptures pertaining to the end times. The straightforward meaning is that God has predetermined and limited the time of the Great Tribulation to three and one-half years. These passages in no way imply that God will intervene and "cut short" His own prophecies concerning the duration of the Great Tribulation.

The fact is, prophecies are not speeding up—nor are they slowing down. Rather, they are right on time—according to God's timetable,not man's misinterpreted timetable. Indeed, we can only interpret prophetic events as we observe them unfolding. We must not attempt to set specific dates for yet-to-be-fulfilled prophecies. As Jesus told His apostles, "It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father has placed in His own authority" (Acts 1:7).

Yet, as the apostle Paul wrote, we do have a certain amount of prophetic understanding based on the framework provided by God's feasts and holy days. "Now then, concerningthe times and the seasons [as related to the return of Christ and the resurrection], brethren, there is no need that I write to you; for you yourselves understand perfectly that the day of the Lord will come exactly as a thief comes by night. For when they say, 'Peace and security,' [most likely at the beginning of the final 7 years] then sudden destruction will come upon them [when the Great Tribulation begins, at the midpoint of the 7 years], as travail comes upon a woman who is with child; and they shall by no means escape" (I Thess. 5:1-3).

Moreover, as we get closer to the time of the end, the righteous will increase in understanding. Daniel writes: "[F]or the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and refined. But the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the WISE [those who believe and obey God the Father and Jesus Christ] SHALL UNDERSTAND" (Dan. 12:9-10). This is a promise from God. However, our understanding will be based on searching the Scriptures and watching events unfold, and is not intended to enable us to "set dates."

For example, God gave Daniel the 70-week prophecy in Daniel chapter 9. Based on the rebuilding of Jerusalem after the Jews returned from exile in Babylon, we know that the prophecy's first 7 weeks (equaling 49 years) has been completed. We also know that the next segment of 62 weeks (equating to 434 years) to the coming of the Messiah has been fulfilled. However, there remains the 70th week, equating to 7 years, yet to be fulfilled: "And the people of the prince who shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. And the end of it shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall make firm a covenant with many for one week [7 years]. And in the midst of the week [after 3½ years] he shall cause the sacrifice and the offering to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations shall come one who makes desolate even until the consummation. And that which is decreed shall be poured out upon the desolator" (Dan. 9:26-27). We know this event has not been fulfilled because the final beast of Revelation 13 has not yet appeared on the scene, neither has an end-time Jewish temple been built.

When the "prince who is to come" stands in the holy place—causing the sacrifices to cease—in the coming temple in Jerusalem, then and only then will the Great Tribulation begin. Jesus warns: "Therefore, when you see the abomination of desolation [this is an event, not a set date], which was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (the one who reads, let him understand).. For then shall there be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until this time, nor ever shall be again. And if those days were not limited [other prophecies show they are limited to 3½ years], there would no flesh be saved; but for the elect's sake those days shall be limited" (Matt. 24:15, 21).

Such passages are telling us that we are to watch for these specific events to occur; they are not intended to give us specific dates. We are to watch for three specific events:

  • The coming of the final beast (Dan. 9:26; Rev. 13:1-10).
  • The rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem (Dan. 9:27; 12:11; Matt. 24:15; II Thess. 2:1-12).
  • The stopping of sacrifices at the temple and the setting up of the abomination (Dan. 9:27; 12:11; Matt. 24:15; II Thess. 2:1-12).

It is only when these three prophecies occur in this order that we will know the Great Tribulation has begun. We are not to let the predictions and declarations of men to the contrary mislead us. We are to follow the Scriptures and watch for prophesied events. While there are other prophetic events to occur, our focus should be on these three major events. The Great Tribulation cannot begin until these three events have transpired.

Transhumanism: Becoming Gods—Satan's Way: The recent messages I have given on Transhumanism (TH) actually show that God's timetable is going to be much longer than we may have anticipated. TH is a widespread philosophical, scientific, and religious movement that will bring about man's greatest achievements under the direct influence of Satan the Devil. TH combines advancements in nanotechnology with the sophisticated genetic mixing of the human and animal genome in order to create super humans. Ultimately, this is Satan's perverted plan to convince men that they can become gods and obtain immortality without God.

The movement's goals include the eradication of all disease; the ability to repair even the most devastating of disabilities; the end of suffering and starvation; improvements to the human brain; and the extension of human life—even to the point of "immortality." And they are well on their way to accomplishing many of their goals over the next 5 to 10 years. Through gene splicing and in vitro fertilization, they have already engineered the first human with two mothers. (Could this cause a split personality? Only time will tell.) Now they are ready to begin producing the first "super human" being.

Their purpose is to transform human existence, as God created it—to change humans into Satan's new humanplus (h+) or "post-human" beings—no longer only human, but enhanced humans, even super-humans. In other words, humans remodeled in Satan's image. Satan continually deceives men into believing that man's ways will bring benefits, but the result of man's way is always destruction and death (Prov. 14:12).

By combining animal genes with human genes, coupled with advanced technology, they are planning to create cyborgs—combinations of man, animals and machines. While movies, television programs, and documentaries have hinted at the developments of this movement, we have underestimated how vast and widespread it really is. TH is one of the chief research projects at almost every major university in the world, facilitated by government monies and grants. It is the major thrust behind developing military personnel into futuristic super-soldiers. Through transgenics—gene splicing to add the best of animal genes into the human genome—they plan to develop a super-soldier that can see like an eagle, hear like a fox, smell like a bear, and that has a killer instinct like a wolf—all topped off with super strength and endurance.

Transhumanism and Immortality: TH rejects God and the fact that He created us—yet the movement is quite "religious," with an end goal of immortality! They believe that man can improve himself, save himself, and obtain immortality. What follows is the beliefs of The First Church of Transhumanism—The Beliefs of the Society for Universal Immortalism:

"We have a soul and it is informational in nature. The soul, by definition, is the center of our being, the essence of who we are. In most religious systems the soul is seen as a metaphysical entity not of this world. We do not accept the supernatural definition of the soul, and instead provide a rational, scientific definition of what constitutes our soul. To us the soul does exist, but it is not supernatural. The memories we have, the thoughts we consider, the emotions we feel—these form the essence of who we are. For without these qualities we would cease to be ourselves. There need be no supernatural explanation fo­r these qualities. These memories and processes are represented in the brain biologically as information. No metaphysical or 'otherworldly' essence is involved. It is simply akin to software running on a vastly complex computer. And like software, it is the pattern of information that is important, not the medium in which it resides or is expressed. Our soul may arise from the structure of our brain, but need not strongly depend on it.


"The aim of life is to grow and improve ourselves and our 'Community.' This is a continual process with no end. We embrace the ideals of humanism. We must all strive to live meaningful and ethical lives while supporting the rights of others to do so as well. Self-improvement should be the center of our lives. We must strive to maximize and enhance the good qualities in our human nature: compassion, love, understanding, tolerance—while minimizing or eliminating the bad ones: hatred, jealousy, envy, closed-mindedness. We understand that no person lives in isolation and that we all belong to a greater 'Community.' This community consists not only of other human beings, but life as a whole. We have a responsibility to improve both our own lives, and the overall welfare of the entire community of life. The process of growth and self-improvement, for both the individual and our community, is one that has no limit. There will always be new challenges to conquer, new ideas to explore, and new ways to improve our nature. The thought that we will never reach a pinnacle or perfect state should not sadden us, but instead fill us with happiness and joy. For it is the path we follow, and not only the destination, that gives our life its meaning and purpose. And this path will extend to the very limits of time itself.

"WE ARE OUR OWN SAVIORS. We cannot rely on supernatural or external forces to guide us on our journey. Responsibility is on our shoulders to create the world in which we wish to live. Ethics, morality, and other philosophical issues must have answers that we provide for ourselves through rational exploration. No 'higher' power or supernatural entity need be turned to for these answers. All must take part in this process to the best of their abilities. It is our future and we all must lend a hand in its realization. To that end, we believe in the free flow of information and ideas, and a direct participatory democracy in which all have an equal voice. By coming together as one, in an informed and rational manner, we can arrive at the solutions to the problems that face us.

"Reason, rational thought, and the scientific method are our tools in reaching our goals. We reject divine inspiration and other metaphysical approaches to arriving at truth. Instead, we rely on reason, rational thought, and the scientific method as our tools to guide us along our path. The past century has shown us some of the wonders we can achieve when we properly direct our efforts. But these tools can also lead to destruction and chaos if put to the wrong use. We must be ever vigilant and hold to the tenets of our faith.

"We must transcend our current biological limits to ensure the continued growth and existence of our soul. While our beliefs imply that there is no limit to the progress the individual can achieve, we do find that there are practical limits. The human body, while wondrous in its current form and function, is not designed to carry our growing souls forever. Age, disease, death, and the limited capacities of our body put an absolute limit on how much an individual can achieve. But we believe that these limitations can, should, and will be overcome. To continue our growth and self-improvement, we must transcend our current biological limitations. Age, disease, and even death itself should be eliminated. Our biological form should be modified and enhanced to surpass these limits. Our mental capabilities should be enhanced by integrating new and more powerful subsystems. Our growing capacities will enable us to evolve into beings with many of the attributes of the Gods of past religions. It may become desirable to supersede our biological form entirely and express our nature through other forms of existence. But no matter what form our transcendence takes, we will always maintain our soul, the essence of who we are.

"None of this is to be achieved through prayer or divine intervention. Instead, we will be the architects of our new and greater nature. Science and reason will lead us on the path to creating a better existence. Already we see the beginnings of this with organ transplants, artificial limbs, cloning, and tissue engineering. With time on our side there should be no limit to what we can achieve. Our physical form will continue to evolve, through our own efforts, to keep pace with our ever-growing soul.

"Universal Immortalism is one of the ultimate goals of existence. All souls, past, present, and future, have a right to exist and grow and improve eternally. We regard an 'evil nature' as not permanent, and think that with proper enlightenment any soul will become a seeker of what is good and right. And we regard it as a supreme tragedy that past souls have been lost and not preserved. To that end, we dedicate ourselves to finding a way one day to bring back all persons who have ever lived, so they can join in our eternal adventure. This is the idea known as Universal Immortalism (R. Michael Perry—Forever for All). Our concern for 'persons' also extends to other life forms besides human, which may also have souls capable of unlimited growth and betterment. We hope to achieve our goal of universal revival and betterment, once again, through scientific, rational means. Based on the informational concept of the soul, it may be possible to accurately recreate souls where all information about them has been lost. At this point we do not know if it can be done. But that does not mean we should not try, and it is our 'leap of faith' that one day we will succeed." (Bold and italic emphasis added; Source: [Broken link]


What you have just read is man's agenda under the powerful influence of Satan the Devil. Indeed, the world today is exactly as Paul writes, "[W]e are not wrestling against flesh and blood, but against principalities and against powers, against the world rulers of the darkness of this age, against the spiritual power of wickednessin high places" (Eph. 6:12).

This mindset goes back to the beginning with Adam and Eve. The Serpent told them that if they ate of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they would "become like God, deciding good and evil." Not since the time before the Flood has mankind reached the point of actually pursuing God-like immortality through human means. But this is exactly the motive behind Satan's plan of Transhumanism. Interestingly, Jesus warned: "As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be at the coming of the Son of man" (Matt. 24:37). It is unfolding before our eyes. How far will God let it go before He intervenes with the return of Jesus Christ? We don't know. But at the time of the Flood, allhumanity was corrupt and evil—undoubtedly embracing the very concepts you have just read about—to the point that God had to destroy all human life, all animal life, all reptilian life, and all bird life. As Jesus said, the whole world will be in the samecondition at the time of His return. Indeed, there is nothing new under the sun!

Transhumanism—God's Way: The truth of the matter is this: God's eternal plan, as recorded in the Bible, is for men and women at the first resurrection to be transformed from human to divine, and enter into the Kingdom of God as His children—to become spirit beings through Jesus Christ. This is why God created us after His image and likeness (Gen. 1:26-27). Moreover, this meant that when the prophesied time of Jesus the Messiah came, God could be manifested in the flesh (I Tim. 3:16). He would lead a perfect life, reveal the Father and God's spiritual plan, and then become the perfect sacrifice by giving His life as the "Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29, 36).

This is the very reason for Jesus Christ's first coming and for His teachings. His life, death and resurrection would open the way for men and women to become the children of God. Following His resurrection, Jesus empowered the apostles to preach the Gospel. He inspired their writing of the New Testament so that subsequent generations would have the complete teachings of God—Old and New Testament. The Bible contains God's personal instructions on how we can become the literal sons and daughters of God as spirit beings. Men and women can only become godlike and receive immortality through God the Father and Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. Such immortality comes through the resurrection of the dead.

First, there must be repentance, baptism, and the receiving of the power of the Holy Spirit. This brings each new disciple into a covenant relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ for eternal life. Second, each newly begotten person must grow in love and obedience to God the Father and Jesus Christ to be perfected—in love, truth, and obedience—and made ready for the first resurrection of the dead when Jesus returns. Paul writes: "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 [die and be put in the grave], 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' " (I Cor. 15:49-54).

Only God can give us immortality—men with their science and technology can never attain immortality under the influence of Satan the Devil. Only Jesus Christ, Who was the "firstborn from the dead," has the "keys of the grave and of death" (Rev. 1:5, 18).

Again, Paul writes, "But for us, the commonwealth of God exists in the heavens, from where also we are waiting for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; Who will TRANSFORM OUR VILE BODIES, that they may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the inner working of His own power, whereby He is able to subdue all things to Himself" (Phil. 3:20-21). In Psalm 17:15, David also anticipated this glorious transformation: "As for me, I will behold Your face in righteousness; when I awake [in the resurrection], I shall be satisfied with [by possessing] Your likeness."

Notice how the apostle John expresses it: "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 [in His full glory]" (I John 3:1-2). Speaking of the resurrection of the righteous, Jesus said, "[T]he righteous [shall] shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father" (Matt. 13:43; see Dan. 12:3).

Becoming the children of God the Father as glorious spirit beings is the mystery or secret of God, which He revealed to the apostles to be recorded in what became the New Testament. "According to His eternal purpose, which He has wrought in Christ Jesus our Lord, in Whom we have boldness and direct access with confidence through His very own faith. So then, I beseech you not to faint at my tribulations for you, which are workingfor your glory.

"For this cause I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of Whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He may grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power by His Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; and that being rooted and grounded in love, you may be fully able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and depth and height [of God's plan], and to know the love of Christ, which surpasses human knowledge; so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God" (Eph. 3:11-19). This is God's plan of immortality for his begotten children.

Brethren, let us daily draw close to God in heartfelt prayer and in the study of His Word—so that we will always be growing in grace and knowledge. We thank God the Father and Jesus Christ for Their goodness and mercy for God's people. We thank you for your love and faithfulness to God and each other. Thank you for your prayers for us and all the brethren. We thank you for your faithfulness in tithes and offerings, especially in these difficult times. We pray that God will continue to bless you and watch over you in everything. We are praying for you daily, for your health and healing through God's love and grace.

With Love in Christ Jesus,

Fred R. Coulter