Monthly letter archive

Restoring Original Christianity—for Today!

Christian Biblical Church of God

Post Office Box 1442
Hollister, California 95024-1442
(831)-637-1875

Fred R. Coulter,
Minister


November 12, 2014

Dear Brethren,

On November 4, 2014, in the United Sates, the Republican Party won a stunning, historical sweeping election over Democrats. They gained control of the Senate by picking up nine seats and increased their majority in the House of Representatives to 248, the party's largest in 85 years. They also captured 11 state governor seats, bringing the total of Republican governors to 35 of the 50 states.

Many voters are hoping that this change in Congress will bring the nation back from the brink of catastrophe at home and abroad. It is possible that there may be some improvement because the leaders and members of the new majority in Congress may be more law-abiding and less corrupt than the ones just voted out of office. However, over the next two years, as long as Obama is president, very little will be accomplished and virtually nothing of any major consequence—because the president is adamantly unwilling to admit the reality of his defeat. The truth is, this midterm election was an extensive repudiation of all of Obama's policies. Indeed, even he boasted, "Every one of my policies are on the ballot—every single one!" Then, the day after the election, Obama arrogantly threw down the gauntlet to the new incoming Republican Congress by informing them that he will continue to issue his lawless, dictatorial, unconstitutional decrees—if they do not give him what he wants, the way he wants it. Thus, he has made it virtually impossible to return sanity to the political arena.

But the problems of our nations are not political—they are spiritual. Remember: spiritual problems cannot be solved by political means!

Throughout the campaigning for this recent election, there was plenty of across-party political fighting. But there was also a very noticeable lack of discussion by the candidates about the need for "God" in the country and in the lives of people. In their campaign speeches very few candidates were even saying "God bless America." My wife, Dolores, made the keen observation that there was only one politician who actually referred to God, and that was Republican senatorial candidate Ed Gillespie from the state of Virginia.

On the other hand, there are a lot of people who are greatly concerned over the direction of the country. This was evidenced during the election campaigning. Like millions of Americans, we received a number of mailings from Protestant organizations asking us to pray for the country and its return to God. So there are some people who do realize that our problems are actually spiritual—and they can see that the nation as a whole has forgotten God. While they do not fully understand the true way of God, they realize that God does indeed judge among the nations. They know America is plagued by rampant crime, drug use, hatred, and vile sexual sins—and that the nation is fast collapsing under the weight of widespread lawlessness. Those who are concerned also understand that the destruction of the family is at the core of the destruction of society. However, they fail to realize that a return to Protestantism, or Catholicism, is not a complete return to God—it is less than a 50 percent return!

As the modern descendants of the ancient ten tribes of Israel—the USA, UK, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and northwestern Europe—we are doing exactly as they did. We have left the true God for our idols and the works of our hands. Just as God pleaded with ancient Israel through the prophet Jeremiah, these same words apply to our nations today: "Hear the Word of the Lord, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel. Thus says the Lord, 'What injustice have your fathers found in Me, that they have gone far from Me and have walked after vanity, and have become vain?...

" 'And I brought you into a plentiful country, to eat its fruit and its goodness; but when you entered, you defiled My land and made My inheritance an abomination. The priests did not say, "Where is the Lord?" And they who handle the law did not know Me; the rulers also rebelled against Me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal and walked after things that do not profit. Therefore I will contend with you,' says the Lord, 'and against your children's children I will contend…. Has a nation changed their gods who are yet no gods? But My people have changed their glory for that which does not profit. Be amazed, O heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid; be utterly desolated,' says the Lord.

" 'For My people have committed two evils; they have forsaken Me, the Fountain of living waters, and hewn out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.... Have you not brought this on yourself, in that you have forsaken the Lord your God, when He led you by the way? And now what profit is there in going the way of Egypt, to drink the waters of Sihor? Or what have you to do in the way of Assyria, to drink the waters of the River? Your own evil shall correct you, and your backslidings shall reprove you; therefore know and see that it is an evil and bitter thing that you have forsaken the Lord your God, and that My fear is not in you,' says the Lord GOD of hosts....

" 'But where are your gods that you have made for yourselves? Let them arise, if they can save you in the time of your trouble; for according to the number of your cities are your gods, O Judah. Why will you contend with Me? You all have sinned against Me,' says the Lord. 'In vain I have stricken your children; they received no correction...' " (Jer. 2:4-5, 7-9, 11-13, 17-19, 28-30).

God makes it very clear that our sins are not just with the political and religious leaders, but with all the people—from the least to the greatest, the young and the old. They have all been led away into sin and idolatry. Yet, in their times of trouble, they want God to save them. But very few are truly willing to return to God. They are like their forefathers who flattered God, as found in Psalm 78. Notice: "They did not keep the covenant of God and refused to walk in His law. And they forgot His works and His wonders which He had shown them…. When He slew them [in correction], then they sought Him; and they turned back and sought after God earnestly. And they remembered that God was their Rock, and the Most High God was their Redeemer.

"Nevertheless they flattered Him with their mouths, and they lied to Him with their tongues, for their heart was not steadfast with Him; neither were they faithful in His covenant. But He, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity and did not destroy them; yea, many times He turned His anger away and did not stir up all His wrath, for He remembered that they were but flesh, a wind that passes away and does not come again" (Psa. 78:10-11, 34-39).

Indeed, God is a God of love and mercy. Even in the midst of the most difficult, trying times of great distress and anguish, if our nations would return to God with all the heart, in meaningful, honest, humble repentance, and in an attitude of willing obedience, God will hear and He will return to us. " 'Therefore even now,' says the Lord, 'turn to Me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning. Yes, rend your heart and not your garments, and return to the Lord your God: for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and He repents of the evil' " (Joel 2:12-13). Then God would fulfill His promise to us: " 'Return to Me, and I will return to you,' says the Lord of hosts" (Mal. 3:7).

This is what it will take for God to remove His heavy hand of judgment. However, a mass return to God is most unlikely. Nevertheless, God continues His call to repentance, warning our nations of His impending correction. Jeremiah writes: " 'Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? No, they were not at all ashamed, nor could they blush; therefore they shall fall among those who fall. At the time that I punish them, they shall be cast down,' says the Lord.

"Thus says the Lord, 'Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths where the good way is and walk in it, and you shall find rest for your souls. But they said, "We will not walk in it."Also I set watchmen over you, saying, "Hearken to the sound of the ram's horn." But they said, "We will not hearken."

" 'Therefore hear, you nations, and know, O congregation [the true people of God], what will happen to them. Hear, O earth; behold, I will bring evil on this people, even the fruit of their thoughts because they have not hearkened to My words, nor to My law, but have rejected it' " (Jer. 6:15-19).

Since it is evident that there will not be any mass return to God by the modern people of Israel—though they have been and are being warned—it is up to each one of us, as God's spiritual family, to seek God's ways in all things. We are to love God with all our hearts and to stay close to God the Father and Jesus Christ through daily prayer and Bible study. The apostle Peter writes: "Therefore, beloved, since you know this in advance, be on guard against such practices, lest you be led astray with the error of the lawless ones, and you fall from your own steadfastness; rather, be growing in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and into the day of eternity" (II Peter 3:17-18).

Psalm 119 can help us continue to grow in grace and knowledge. This psalm is important because it demonstrates a loving, humble attitude of faith toward God and His way of life as expressed through His precepts, statutes, testimonies, laws, and commandments. It is actually quite amazing when this psalm is contrasted with the words of the patriarch Job. Job used 198 "I"s that were directed toward himself and how righteous he was. After he repented, he used only 14, which were directed towards God. However, in Psalm 119, there are 135 "I"s and all of them are directed toward God and His ways—in a God-centered way as opposed to Job's self-centered way. This is a pattern we should be following in our worship of God. This is a good guide to help us grow in grace and knowledge. Here we will only cover some of the first verses of Psalm 119, but it would be good for you to personally study the entire chapter. This psalm may also be a "prophetic view" of Jesus' attitude towards God's laws while He was in the flesh.

  • Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord.
  • Blessed are they who keep His testimonies and who seek Him with the whole heart.
  • They also do no iniquity; they walk in His ways.
  • You have commanded us to keep Your precepts diligently.
  • O that my ways were directed to keep Your statutes!
  • Then I shall not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all Your commandments.
  • I will praise You with uprightness of heart when I have learned Your righteous judgments.
  • I will keep Your statutes; O forsake me not utterly.
  • With what shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word.
  • With all my heart I have sought You; O let me not wander from Your commandments.
  • Your word I have laid up in my heart, so that I might not sin against You.
  • Blessed are You, O Lord; teach me Your statutes.
  • With my lips I have declared all the judgments of Your mouth.
  • I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies as much as in all riches.
  • I will meditate upon Your precepts and have respect to Your ways.
  • I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.
  • Deal bountifully with Your servant, that I may live and keep Your word.
  • Open my eyes, so that I may behold wondrous things out of Your law.

Thanksgiving: (This year it is November 27th.) The United States of America is the only country in the world that has set aside a special day of "Thanksgiving" to the true God of heaven and earth, the God of the Holy Bible. While society in general has lost most of the original meaning for this special day of thanksgiving to God, we in the churches of God know the true meaning—that everything we have, physically and spiritually, comes from God the Father and Jesus Christ.

We know that tremendous blessings were given to this nation, not because we as a people are more righteous than other people, but solely because of the promises God made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Therefore, when we observe Thanksgiving this year, let us be truly thankful for all the physical and spiritual blessings God has graciously bestowed upon this nation, His people, and His Church.

It is exactly as the apostle Paul teaches: "He is the God Who made the world and all things that are in it. Being the Lord of heaven and earth, He does not dwell in temples made by hands; nor is He served by the hands of men, as though He needs anything, for He gives to all life and breath and all things. And He made of one blood all the nations of men to dwell upon all the face of the earth, having determined beforehand their appointed times and the boundaries of their dwelling; in order that they might seek the Lord, if perhaps they might feel after Him and might find Him; though truly, He is not far from each one of us, for in Him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:24-28). And again, "Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, be walking in Him; being rooted and built up in Him, and being confirmed in the faith, exactly as you were taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving" (Col. 2:6-7).

Brethren, we thank God the Father and Jesus Christ, and you personally, for your continued faithfulness in your love for God and one another. And we thank you as well for your personal prayers for us and all the brethren, and for your generosity in tithes and offerings. We know that God will continue to bless you and keep watch over you in every circumstance. We continue to pray for you daily, for your health, for your healing, and that God's love and grace will be upon you at all times regardless of your situation or trials.

With love in Christ Jesus,

Fred R. Coulter

FRC

Attached to this letter you will find a variety of comments concerning the tremendous Feast of Tabernacles we all observed last month—enjoy!

2014 Feast of Tabernacles Summaries

Moama, NSW/Victoria, Australia

This year a group of 17 attended a very uplifting and inspiring Feast at Moama, NSW. Members enjoyed the services at the Rich River Golf Club where Fred's sermons were exciting and inspirational. What a future we have to look forward to!

On the afternoon of the Sabbath, Adrian Harris gave a message on the truth of God; he also gave a message on overcoming on the Last Great Day. Both messages were well received and timely.

During their stay at Moama, all the brethren rallied together at every opportunity to share in fellowship and potluck meals. Many took advantage of the excellent meals available at the venue. One afternoon the brethren and children visited a quaint family-run pottery factory and boutique winery located just up the road.

A fun time was had by all on the paddleboat Canberra. It has a very old steam engine that is open to public viewing. Typical steamship sounds added an air of excitement and entertainment to the voyage. The engineer could be seen shoveling in the coal as the captain gave a running commentary along the way.

On the night after the Last Great Day, we all got together for a farewell dinner at the Moama Bowling Club. As we chatted while enjoying the meal, it was obvious that everyone delighted at having had the privilege of sharing the Feast in such a peaceful and relaxing setting.—Adrian Harris

Caloundra, Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

CBCG members gathered to again celebrate the 2014 Feast of Tabernacles at Caloundra, Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia. Attendance varied from about 54 (adults and children) on each of the Holy Days and the Sabbath to about 30 on each of the remaining days.

This year's Feast was another great opportunity to enjoy both spiritual and physical food. Brethren commented that Fred's messages were excellent spiritual food and very thought provoking, particularly providing an understanding of how God's saints will work with people who enter into, or are born during, the millennium.

Transcripts of the messages were again printed and bound in folders by Derek Herold and his helpers, which were distributed at the start of the Feast. The printed format assisted everyone in following the DVD messages and gave attendees a way to review the messages during the Feast. Derek also produced transcripts for brethren at the Nelson Bay festival site.

A session was held updating the brethren on the growing mailing list, which is a result of our ongoing advertising. The meeting detailed changes being introduced to streamline and simplify the production and mailing of recorded material. It was also announced that a new sermon and study series will be mailed out once a month, drawing on the current library of 90 subjects in series format.

Sermonettes were delivered by Denis Freeman on two occasions during the Feast.

Similar to last year, brethren enjoyed a variety of cold and hot breakfasts, lunches, and desserts provided on different days during the Feast. Beef and lamb, raised on Roy Gennec's family farm, were again supplied for meals. Many of the meals were prepared by the Gennec's (and helpers) and frozen prior to the Feast. Brethren appreciated the meals and the chance to spend time fellowshipping with one another—which, for many, can only be done at the Feast. Everyone commented that this was a very uplifting Feast.

We had a number of visitors from other church of God congregations meeting at Caloundra. Such opportunities gave these brethren a chance to listen to Fred's messages and catch up with friends while enjoying a meal.—Paul Siddle

Nelson Bay, Australia

The year 2014 saw the inaugural use of the Nelson Bay Feast of Tabernacles site. We had a very nice Feast, albeit a little dampened by rain. There were 22 in attendance, averaging 17 or 18 on any given day. Certainly the highlight was Tania Ryan's baptism by Roy Assanti at Little Beach, adjacent to a flock of curious pelicans. It was truly a spiritually momentous occasion, and one well-respected member said that the angels were celebrating in heaven.

Each day of the festival we feasted on biblical knowledge presented via Fred Coulter's sermons. His sermons were very good and focused on human nature in the absence of Satan's influence during the millennium. Fred's messages were supplemented by sermonettes by Roy on the work and status of the CBCG, and on baptism. Also, Steve King, Neil Latham, and Peter Carson each gave two sermonettes. Steve spoke on the "Significance of Burnt Offerings" and "Examine Self, Then Judge"; Peter gave two sermonettes on the "Two Witnesses"; and Neil spoke on "Twelve Reasons Christ Came as a Man" and "A Jealous God."

To start the second day, many of us got up before sunrise and climbed Mount Tomaree—it is beautiful to see the sunrise over the Pacific Ocean. There were three children who attended and their favorite activity was Toboggan World, where we rode toboggans down a long, steep stainless steel semi-tube. We also did some indoor rock-climbing. Bowling and lunch at the Lighthouse Cafe (which featured awesome omni-directional ocean views) were other group activities. There was also an afternoon at Murray's Brewery, which consisted of a tour followed by product tasting and a lunch with live music. We had to cancel a few events due to the weather—jet-skiing and a ferry trip to Tea Gardens. We'll have to get back to those next year. There is certainly no lack of interesting and exciting activities in the Port Stephens area.

The intimate number of people in attendance allowed us all to get to know one another quite well, and there was good cooperation in organizing the speaking, meals, and activities. It was especially appreciated that Roy and Manola catered delicious hot lunches the first four days. Steve took on a facilitator role and managed the hymns along with Barry, and Lauris Latham opened and closed the hall every day. The ladies were enthusiastic in cleaning up each day and in restocking supplies of tea, coffee, and snacks for our intermissions.

The thing that struck me as different from other Feast sites was our love of the Bible. We spoke openly of the Scriptures and studied in group sessions on forgiveness and the millennium. I've had experiences in the past where any discussion of biblical topics was suppressed, so it was most edifying and encouraging for all involved to open our Bibles and read and talk.

We have already reserved the meeting hall for next year—and, God willing, this site will flourish.—Peter Carson

Whitianga, New Zealand

The Whitianga, New Zealand, festival site was an inspirational choice featuring a millennial setting of beautiful marinas and beaches. Numerous quality attractions were available for the whole family to enjoy. The brethren experienced peace and unity throughout the Feast as they delighted in captivating messages from Fred and enjoyed, with the children, videos of Old Testament historical events. The Oceans Resort venue, which featured a swimming pool and barbeque facilities, was perfect for our needs and the hosts spared no effort in providing refreshments. Highlights included a visit to a large aviary and animal park, a turkey feast, and a poolside BBQ! We also had a visit from our Australian elder, Roy Assanti.

The whole experience was an encouraging spiritual booster!—Roger Busch

Bozeman, Montana

Brethren enjoyed meals together at the festival hall on the first high day and on the Last Great Day. On Saturday evening the brethren enjoyed barbequed hamburgers, hot dogs, and chicken with lots of extras. On Sunday evening there was a dinner/dance with turkey, meatballs, baked potatoes, salads—and for dessert, cheesecake and chocolate cake. At the dance there was a photo booth with fun props for people to have their pictures taken. There were many leftovers, so another lunch was served Monday after services.

We were blessed to have an abundance of special music this year. There were two choirs (adult and youth), a ukulele solo, a violin solo, and two vocal performances. A song-leading workshop was provided where seven participated. Inspiring sermonettes were given every day, as well as a Bible study by Roger Tointon.

Many of the brethren enjoyed eating at a few of the 190 restaurants available in Bozeman. One of the favorites was Ted's Montana Grill—a 45-restaurant chain operated by Ted Turner, serving Montana buffalo. A close second was Applebee's, located one block from the meeting hall.

Activities included a tour of the Lewis & Clark Caverns, a trip through the Museum of the Rockies, rock climbing at a large indoor climbing establishment, laser tag, an adrenaline-charged racing experience at Go Kart Racing, a game-and-fellowship night, and a Sabbath family fellowship and barbeque night. On Tuesday, early morning services were followed by a carpooled drive through Yellowstone Park.

Kimberling City, Missouri

We met again this year at the Gathering Hall in Kimberling City with a better turnout than expected: opening night, 16; first and second days, 30; the third through the seventh days ranged between 21 and 32; and the Last Great Day, 35. There were at least 13 who didn't show up. I don't know what happened to most of them. Some called and told me they couldn't attend due to illness.

On the first day we had a catered smoked brisket dinner complete with potato salad and slaw. We had so much left over we served it up again on the weekly Sabbath.

We will not be able to use the Gathering Hall next year as they have an opportunity to sell out—and it looks like they are going to do so. I do have two other places in mind and will look into negotiating a deal.—Ken & Rose Pratt

Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

We enjoyed another successful Feast of Tabernacles in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. We had an average of just over 50 brethren attending daily. We enjoyed getting to know each other and building relationships. The festival messages were much appreciated and very fitting for the season. They gave us all more insight into God's plan and future kingdom.

Activities including a cookout, a family dance and entertainment evening, and nightly fellowship. These provided a lot of fun, laughter, and good conversation.

The feedback from the brethren was positive regarding the Feast location and facilities. The resort team that hosts this location worked hard to accommodate us. We've already begun the planning for the 2015 Feast.

We want to thank everyone who helped make this a wonderful Feast. The brethren serving, loving each other, and praying helped to make this a successful Feast.

Most of all, we thank God and Jesus Christ for answering our prayers and being our helpers.—Tom & Rhonda Fannin

Shipshewana, Indiana

We had a great Feast in Shipshewana this year. We had great weather up to the last two days—and even then it only rained slightly and didn't dampen anyone's spirit. We arrived early on Wednesday and set up the meeting room—which was perfect, very spacious. Plus, the hotel staff was very helpful throughout our stay.

The first evening got us off to a great start, and the first day we had 67 in attendance. (However, we were saddened that Gene Palm was unable to make the Feast due to some health issues.) We were all excited and inspired by the messages throughout the Feast. Fred, thanks for your hard work and for allowing God to work through you to feed and inspire us.

We enjoyed the area and all the brethren—everyone was kind and obviously converted. God's Holy Spirit was evident in everyone as we all pulled together to make it a fantastic Feast. We look forward to the next Feast.—Steve & Terry Durham

Tampa, Florida

We had a great Feast of Tabernacles and Last Great Day in beautiful Tampa, Florida. Attendance was between 28 and 35 (including 10 children) with brethren coming from Canada, New Jersey, Washington, Colorado, Texas, Pennsylvania, and, of course, Florida. Most of us stayed at the Embassy Suites next to the University of South Florida campus, which was a very nice setting. I would like to thank Nolan Joseph and his wife, Faye, for an outstanding job hosting the site and making sure everything ran smoothly.

With all the troubles and turmoil going on in the world, it was a perfect time to renew ourselves spiritually and to encourage each other to seek first God's kingdom and His righteousness. The messages were very uplifting, as was the fellowship. We were blessed with great weather and had a chance to enjoy activities together such as bowling, visiting an aquarium, and taking in Busch Gardens. We trust that all of the brethren had as great a Feast as we did!—Guilebaldo Elizondo

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

We had a great Feast of Tabernacles on Cape Cod. The sermons were encouraging and uplifting—and much appreciated. There were also two sermonettes and a bible study on the Sabbath entitled "What will be your reward in the kingdom?" We had a average daily attendance of 32 and the weather was outstanding with an average temperature in the low 70s.

Group activities included a BBQ hosted at one of the brethren's home and a narrated boat trip on the Cape Cod canal. The fellowship was great and much love was expressed between the brethren, and no one got sick. We had several attending from other churches of God. God's blessing on the Feast was apparent and many noted that it was the best Feast ever. We had the pleasure of giving the Blessing of Little Children for a family that had three little ones.

There will not be a Feast site in Cape Cod next year. Instead, we are planning one in North Conway, NH, in the heart of the White Mountains during the peak of the fall colors. Everyone was excited about the new festival site for next year.—Roger & Emy, Dewey Potter

Tulsa, Oklahoma

We had a great Feast here in Tulsa. There was rain on several days, which we were glad to get as we really need the rain in our area. The other days were typical fall weather.

We all enjoyed being at a small Feast site. We had an average attendance of around 36 (our low was 31 and the biggest day was 58). Everyone was able to meet and fellowship with one another. We had four members from Texas and a couple came from North Carolina.

Everyone enjoyed our group Feast meal. A mother and her son that I had been working with came up from Texas and I was able to baptize both of them. That always makes the Feast a little more special—God adding to His Church. I hope there were baptisms at the other sites.

The sermons were well received and the new members were really impressed with the messages and the loving welcome they received from the other members. Hope everyone's Feast went well.—Lawrence Burchfield

From a Member

This has been absolutely the most wonderful Feast ever for me. And all because I took each day and watched each of the videos without any distractions. Each day the messages built on the prior ones. And each message presented a clear picture of the amazing future ahead.

I can see the organization and inspiration that went into the production of these videos. I thank God for you, Fred, and pray continually for a blessing upon you. God has blessed many people through you. And this Feast has been especially wonderful due to your efforts.

I was not distracted by activities, events, people, or my own thoughts. I was mostly alone and totally focused on the screen in front of me, seeing only your presentation. I feel that once again you outdid yourself. I thank God for the inspiration of His Holy Spirit. Anyone who missed any of these sermons has truly missed out.

Thank you—and now to move on, heading for eternity with God, motivated and inspired as never before. Here's a recap of the festival messages:

Day one: Introduction and Welcome; Learning How to Rule (A Primer on Love)

Day two: The Great Resettling

Day three: What is Man that You are Mindful of Him

Day four: To Dwell with God

Day five: The Cycle of Human Behavior

Day six: The Cycle of Human Behavior (part 2); Solomon

Day seven: End of the Millennium

Last Great Day: On Into Eternity

SPECTACULAR! What a Feast!—D.F

 

 

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