Monthly letter archive

Restoring Original Christianity—for Today!

Christian Biblical Church of God

Post Office Box 1442
Hollister, California 95024-1442

Fred R. Coulter,

July 17, 2014

Dear Brethren,

On July 4, 1776, the United States of America was born, beginning with these words: "The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America"—which set in motion the separation of the colonies from the Crown of Britain and the British Empire. They further declared, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed" (The Declaration of Independence, Action of the Second Continental Congress, July 4, 1776).

In addition to the above declaration, central to the development of the nation was the "Bill of Rights"—the first ten amendments to the Constitution. The First Amendment is of paramount importance.No other nation in the world has such a basic constitutional law as this: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

This first amendment did not simply originate with the framing of the Constitution (September 17, 1787) or the Bill of Rights (September 25, 1789). Rather, its roots are found in the fundamental reason the Pilgrims and early immigrants left Britain to come to America in the 1600s. As religiousminorities, they abandoned Britain because of persecution by the Crown of England and the state religion—the Church of England. Those who left possessed a deep desire to live by the Word of God, which was growing more and more difficult because of the lack of freedom of speech and assembly in Britain—especially for Sabbath-keepers. Early on, many first fled to Holland, then to America.

Importantly, the First Amendment makes it possible to preach the Gospel in powerful ways from the United States. It could not be preached from Britain because of interference from the Crown and the state-run Church of England. Today, the true Gospel is powerfully preached from America through the various churches of God (though some preach varying degrees of the truth). As we view the world scene today, it is clear that the preaching of the Gospel to the world is not being done—nor could be done—in meaningful ways from any othernation.

As you will see in our forthcoming book, America & Britain—Their Biblical Origin and Prophetic Destiny, written by our editor, Philip Neal,the founding of the United States was not accomplished by the actions of men alone. Rather, it was brought to pass by the hand of God in direct fulfillment of promises He made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. These promises were ultimately to be fulfilled through the sons of Joseph—Ephraim and Manasseh (Gen. 48:11-20; 49:22-26; Deut. 33:13-17). (This book is now at Thomson-Shore printers in Michigan. Those on our mailing list should receive their copies by mail via Unit Packaging about the third or fourth week in August.)

From the wording of the Constitution, it is evident that the framers were well grounded in the Bible and were astute students of history. While they clearly did not want to establish a state religion, they purposely gave substantial honor to the Creator, frequently referring in their writings to divine "Providence." In fact, America's founding documents are fundamentally based on sound biblical principles. Likewise, nearly every constitution of the 50 states of the Union makes direct reference to "the Almighty God" as the One granting the unparalleled blessings of this great land and the exceptional rights of self-determination. God Himself said to Moses, "I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as God Almighty" (Ex. 6:3). So it is no coincidence that their modern-day descendants, having the Bible, use this same term for God in acknowledging Him in their constitutions.

Not many people today want to admit it, but it is a fact that our founders opened every session of their work on the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution with prayer to Almighty God. They felt the hand of God. Indeed, several of the signatories of the Constitution acknowledged God's involvement by using such phrases as "the hand of God," "the finger of Providence," "Divine interposition," "beneficent Ruler," and "the gift of Heaven." Here are some notable examples:

To the constitutional delegates, George Washington gave this foundational statement: "If, to please the people, we offer what we ourselves disapprove, how can we afterwards defend our work? Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair. The event is in the hand of God."

"[The adoption of the Constitution] will demonstrate as visibly the finger of Providence as any possible event in the course of human affairs can ever designate it."—George Washington

"I regard it [the Constitution] as the work of the purest patriots and wisest statesman that ever existed, aided by the smiles of a benignant [gracious] Providence … [so that] it almost appears a Divine interposition in our behalf."—Daniel Webster

"I have so much faith in the general government of the world by Providence that I can hardly conceive a transaction of such momentous importance [as the framing of the Constitution] … [and no such undertaking] should be suffered [allowed] to pass without being in some degree influenced, guided, and governed by that … beneficent Ruler in whom all inferior spirits live and move and have their being."—Benjamin Franklin

While the founders understood that it was God's hand guiding the establishment of this nation, they also realized, as the Bible shows, that if and when the people themselves become corrupt, they will eventually abandon the Constitution—exactly as is happening today. Thus, they warned:

"Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters."—Benjamin Franklin

"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."—John Adams

"The sum of all is, if we would most truly enjoy the gift of Heaven, let us become a virtuous people; then shall we both deserve and enjoy it. While, on the other hand, if we are universally vicious and debauched in our manners, though the form of our Constitution carries the face of the most exalted freedom, we shall in reality be the most abject slaves."—Samuel Adams

These selected quotes reflect the founders' knowledge of the biblical blessings and cursings that God gave to ancient Israel, as recorded in Deuteronomy 28 and Leviticus 26. When we understand the Old Testament, we realize that God's covenant with Israel, beginning with the Ten Commandments, was actually a kind of "constitution." However, this "constitution" was not between men—it was between God and the children of Israel. Notice God's proposal to the people at Mount Sinai: " 'Now therefore, if you will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.' And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before them all these words which the Lord commanded him. And all the people answered together and said, 'All that the Lordhas spoken we will do.' And Moses returned the words of the people to the Lord" (Ex. 19:5-8).

After the people accepted God's condition to obey His voice, He then personally spoke the Ten Commandments—the foundation of His special covenant with Israel. Next, He gave Moses the laws, statutes, ordinances, and judgments—which were the details of the covenant as found in Exodus 21-23.

Moses then gave the complete proposal to the children of Israel: "And Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord, and all the judgments. And all the people answered with one voice and said, 'All the words which the Lordhas said, we will do.' And Moses wrote all the words of the Lord, and rose up early in the morning, and built an altar at the base of the mountain, and twelve pillars according to the twelve tribes of Israel. And he sent young men of the children of Israel who offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace offerings of bullocks to the Lord. And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basins, and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the ears of the people. And they said, 'All that the Lordhas said we will do, and be obedient.' And Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, and said, 'Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord has made with you concerning all these words' " (Ex. 24:3-8). Thus, the covenant was ratified.

In the book of Deuteronomy we find another vital requirement that completes Israel's covenant with God: "Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments which the Lord our God commanded to teach you so that you might do them in the land where you go to possess it, that you might fear the Lord your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, you, and your son, and your son's son, all the days of your life, and so that your days may be prolonged.

"Hear therefore, O Israel, and be diligent to observe it, so that it may be well with you, and that you may greatly multiply, as the Lord God of our fathers has promised you, in the land that flows with milk and honey.

"Hear, O Israel. Our one God is the Lord, the Lord. And you shall love the Lordyour God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words which I command you this day shall be in your heart" (Deut. 6:1-6).

Thus, the foundation for the covenant/constitution for the twelve-tribe nation of Israel was the love of God and the Law of the Lord God. It contained the laws of worship (religion) and civil laws—the administration of law with the execution of penalties, including death for capital crimes. The history of Israel, and later of Judah, in the Bible shows that the people repeatedly failed to obey God and adhere to their "constitution"—their covenant with God.

Today, we see the same thing in America (as well as in other parts of the world). We do not adhere to the Constitution (covenant) of the United States. Moreover, in spite of having more Bibles than any other country in the world, the government and the majority of Americans have turned their backs to God and now disobey Him with impunity!

While we are rejecting the true God of Israel, His law, and His commandments, atheism is growing and becoming more and more militant against Christians of any persuasion. We are repeating the same sins as our ancient forefathers. Notice: "And the Lord testified against Israel and against Judah, by all the prophets, by all the seers, saying, 'Turn from your evil ways and keep My commandments and My statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by My servants the prophets.'

"Nevertheless they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like the neck of their fathers who did not believe in the Lordtheir God. And they rejected His statutes and His covenant which He made with their fathers, and His warnings that He testified against them. And they went after vanity, and became vain, and went after the nations around them, concerning whom the Lord had charged them not to do like them" (II Kings 17:13-15).

Hosea was one of the prophets who warned Israel of God's impending judgment for rejecting Him: "Hear the Word of the Lord, children of Israel, for the Lord has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land: 'There is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and the committing of adultery they break out; and blood touches blood. Therefore shall the land mourn, and everyone who dwells in it shall languish, with the beasts of the field and with the birds of the heavens. Yes, the fish of the sea shall also be taken away…. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you from being as a priest to Me. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your children'" (Hosea 4:1-3, 6).

Indeed, our mammoth sins are rising up before God. And just as ancient Israel suffered the judgment of God for failing to love and obey Him, we, as their descendants, are likewise suffering the judgment of God. God made it clear that the blessings and cursings He gave to Israel would follow them in every generation—from the time of the giving of the Law until the time of the end.

A Summary of the Blessings: "And it shall come to pass, if you shall hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lordyour God to observe and to do all His commandments which I command you today, the Lord your God will set you on high above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you if you will obey the voice of the Lord your God" (Deut. 28:1-2). All of the blessings are then listed in verses 3-14.

A Summary of the Curses: "And all these curses shall come on you, and shall pursue you and overtake you, until you are destroyed because you did not obey the voice of the Lord your God to keep His commandments and His statutes which He commanded you. And they [the blessings and the curses] shall be on you for a sign and for a wonder, and on your seed forever because you did not serve the Lord your God with joyfulness and with gladness of heart for the abundance of all things" (Deut. 28:45-47). All the curses are enumerated in verses 15-68.

Yet, the New Covenant/Christian "Constitution" based on the promise of eternal life is so much greater—even supremely superior—to the one God gave to Israel. Of this, Paul writes in Hebrews: "He [Jesus Christ, as our High Priest] has obtained a supremely more excellent ministry, as much greater as the superior covenant of which He is also Mediator, which was established upon superior promises" (Heb. 8:6). However, there is not enough room in this letter to write a summary of the New Covenant; we will save that for a future letter.

There is no question that we are facing very difficult times. All of us need to stay close to God in prayer and study, claiming the promises of His protection (see Psalm 91). However, we must continue to feed the flock of God, the brethren of Jesus Christ, with the truth of the Word of God—so that we may all be strengthened through God's Holy Spirit.

We must continue preaching the Gospel to the world. This we are doing with an ever-increasing presence through the Bible, our books and publications, and especially through our Web sites. God is continuing to give us a substantial increase in the number of people who use our sites—over 600,000 distinct visitors over the past few months. (We have included a six-month report on the Web sites, as well as a good number of e-mails, letters, and comments.)

Brethren, all of this is made possible as God opens the doors and calls new people. In addition, we are reaching many brethren who are wanting to return to God! We thank you for your tithes and offerings that you faithfully give. As you will see from these reports, we use all of God's tithes and offerings for feeding the flock of God and preaching the Gospel to the world. Remember to Stand in grace, Walk in faith, Believe in hope, and Live in love.

With love in Christ Jesus,

Fred R. Coulter

P.S. Roger Kendall will be Festival Elder for Cape Cod, MA