Monthly letter archive

November 17, 2015

Dear Brethren,

With the 2016 presidential race in the United States well underway, all the candidates seem to believe that they can bring America back to its former greatness. While that is certainly an admirable goal, none of the candidates actually understand the root causes of our national decline. Yet some of their solutions to our economic and political problems do have merit. After all, common sense and bipartisan cooperation go a long way toward solving almost any problem.

But they will never find the real answers for America's ills! Why? Because they fail to realize that our national problems are not physical or economic, but spiritual! Their so-called solutions cannot work—as they miss this vital point: Spiritual problems cannot be solved with physical or political solutions!

Thus, their overrated debates and staged political talking-points are just so much empty TALK! And talk is cheap! The unfortunate result is that the very problems they seek to solve will continue to fester and grow until everything collapses.

The United States of America was founded upon the principles of the Bible—a special gift from our Creator. When the first permanent English colony was established at Jamestown, Virginia, the entire continent was dedicated to the glory of God and the preaching of the Gospel. This is a fact rarely taught in today's educational institutions. In 1606, King James authorized the establishment of the Virginia colony. The following account, preserved in the Virginia Charter, reveals the clear spiritual impetus behind the formation of the colony.

"We greatly commend and graciously accept their desires for the furtherance of so noble a work, which may, by the providence of Almighty God, hereafter tend to the glory of His Divine Majesty, in propagating the Christian religion to such people as yet live in darkness and miserable ignorance of the true knowledge and worship of God and may in time bring the infidels and savages living in those parts to human civility and a settled, quiet government.

"On December 20, 1606, 105 colonists and 40 seamen set sail from England to plant this new settlement to the glory of God. Hakluyt, who was now an old man, was forbidden by the crown to make the dangerous crossing. Instead, he chose his secretary, friend, and fellow Anglican priest, Robert Hunt, to be the chaplain of the colony.

"The settlers landed on the shores of Virginia on April 26, 1607. Before permitting the colonists to continue inland, Rev. Hunt required that every person wait before God in a time of personal examination and cleansing.

"Three days later, on April 29, 1607, the expedition, led by Parson Hunt, went ashore to dedicate the continent to the glory of God. They carried one item with them from England for the purpose of giving glory to God in the endeavor—a rough-hewn wooden cross. As the party landed on the wind-swept shore they erected the seven-foot oak cross in the sand.

"The colonists and sailors gathered around the cross, holding the first formal prayer service in Virginia to give thanksgiving for God's mercy and grace. As they knelt in the Virginia sand, Hunt reminded them of the admonition of the British Royal Council, taken from the Holy Scripture: 'Every plantation, which my Heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.'

"Raising his hands to heaven, Rev. Robert Hunt claimed the land for country and king and consecrated the continent to the glory of God. In covenantal language he declared, 'From these very shores the Gospel shall go forth to not only this New World, but the entire world.'

"The Virginia Company leaders declared: 'Lastly and chiefly, the way to prosper and obtain good success is to make yourselves all of one mind for the good of your country … and to serve and fear God, the giver of all goodness. For every plantation which our Heavenly Father hath not planted shall be rooted out.'

"Virginia would be settled for the glory of God, for the honor of the King, for the welfare of England, and for the advancement of the Company and its individual members. The settlers brought with them the Church of England, trial by jury, the rights of free men, and in time, representative government.

"Once settled in the fort at Jamestown, the whole company, except those who were on guard, attended regular prayer services twice a day, led by Rev. Hunt, under the cover of a tattered old sail, until a permanent church could be erected. They built the church in the center of town, where they gathered to lift up prayers twice a day." (Excerpts from Faith of our Fathers: Spirituality in Jamestown, by the Christian Broadcasting Network.)

Their declaration that the Gospel would go forth to all the world from America has been fulfilled and continues to be fulfilled. In fact, it is only from the United States that the Gospel is being preached (and published) to the world in power. America is the only country with the freedom of speech, the technology, and the financial capacity to preach the Gospel to the world. In spite of this, most churches today do not preach the full Gospel from the Bible.

As the modern-day descendants of the ancient ten tribes of Israel, the English-speaking nations are the recipients of the birthright promises given to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Accordingly, it is God Who has made us great—not our own might, wealth, or power! Plus, no other nation has possessed as many Bibles as America. Therefore, God holds us particularly responsible as a nation to acknowledge Him and to keep His laws and commandments.

When this nation was established under God's guidance, the founders took the Creator God into their covenant declarations, as did every state in the Union. And God will judge each state accordingly. When you read the prophecies concerning latter-day Israel in the Bible, they fit us perfectly—because God is talking to America and Britain! And remember, when God speaks to us through His prophets, He includes those among us who are from other nations.

Just as ancient Israel turned its back on God and forsook His laws and commandments, this nation—408 years after the Virginia dedication—has now almost fully forsaken Him. The prophet Isaiah describes ancient Israel's corrupt spiritual condition; his words are equally fitting for us today: "Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth; for the Lord has spoken, 'I have reared and brought up children, but they have rebelled against Me. The ox knows his owner, and the donkey his master's crib; but Israel does not know Me; My people do not understand.

"Ah, sinful nation, a people burdened with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children who deal corruptly! They have forsaken the Lord; they have provoked the Holy One of Israel to anger; they have gone away backward. Why should you be stricken any more? You will revolt more and more; the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even to the top of the head there is no soundness in it; only wounds and bruises and putrefying sores; they have not been closed, nor bound up, nor soothed with ointment. Your country is a desolation, your cities are burned with fire. Strangers devour your land right in your very presence, and it is wasted, as overthrown by strangers" (Isa. 1:2-7).

What were the sins that caused God to exile Israel from their promised land? How were their lifestyles so evil that God had to punish them so severely? As we will see, their sins were exactly the same ones we are committing today!

God records the following indictment against them: "Now the children of Israel secretly did things that were not right against the Lord their God. And they built high places in all their cities for themselves from the Watch Tower to the fortified city. And they set up images and groves for themselves in every high hill, and under every green tree. And they burned incense in all the high places, like the nations whom the Lord had removed from before them, and they practiced evil things to provoke the Lord to anger, for they served the idols of which the Lord had said to them, 'You shall not do this thing.'

"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 Lord their 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.

"And they left all the commandments of the Lord their God and made molten images, two calves for themselves. And they made a grove, and worshiped all the host of heaven, and served Baal. And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire [child sacrifice]. And they used divination and sorceries, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger. So the Lord was very angry with Israel and removed them out of His sight…" (II Kings 17:9-18).

Instead of repenting of their sins and returning to God, they tried to resolve their problems through political and religious schemes—exactly as today. But any "solution" that is contrary to God's Word is only so much whitewash. Notice what God said to Israel through the prophet Ezekiel: "Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel [religious and political] who prophesy. And say to those who prophesy out of their own hearts, 'Hear the Word of the Lord: Thus says the Lord GOD, "Woe to the foolish prophets [religious and political] who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing! O Israel, your prophets are like the foxes in the ruins. You have not gone up into the breach, nor built the wall for the house of Israel, that it might stand in the battle in the day of the Lord.

" ' "They have seen vanity and lying divination, saying, 'The Lord says.' And the Lord has not sent them; but they hoped to confirm their word. Did you not see a vain vision, and speak a lying divination? When you say, 'The Lord says;' although I have not spoken."

" 'Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD, "Because you have spoken vanity and seen lies, therefore, behold, I am against you," says the Lord GOD. "And My hand shall be against the prophets who see vanity and who divine a lie…. And you shall know that I am the Lord GOD.

" ' "Because, even because they have seduced My people, saying, 'Peace;' and there was no peace—and when anyone builds a weak wall [trying to solve spiritual problems with political solutions] they cover it with whitewash. Say to those who cover it with whitewash, that it shall fall; there will be a flooding rain; and you, O great hailstones, shall fall, and a stormy wind will break forth. And, behold, when the wall has fallen, shall it not be said to you, 'Where is the whitewash with which you have covered it?' "

" 'Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, "I will cause a stormy wind to break forth in My fury. And there shall be a flooding rain in My anger, and hailstones in fury to destroy it. And I will break down the wall that you have covered with whitewash, and bring it down to the ground; yea, I will expose its foundation. And it shall fall, and you shall be destroyed in her midst; and you shall know that I am the Lord. And I will fulfill My wrath on the wall and on those who covered it with whitewash. And I will say to you, 'The wall is no more;' and, 'Those who whitewashed it are no more…' " ' " (Ezek. 13:2-15).

Following the recent exposure of Planned Parenthood selling aborted babies' body parts, we witnessed a prime example of political whitewash. The U. S. Congress was unwilling to pass legislation that would defund that organization—of some $500 million a year. Eighty percent of those funds are entitlements. This means Congress would need a super majority to eliminate that portion. But they still could not muster the political will to cut the remaining 20 percent. A number of state governors, however, have eliminated their state's funding for the organization.

Approximately 1,387,000 abortions are performed each year in the United States—and few have attempted to stop this wanton killing of innocent, unborn children! For now, Planned Parenthood is refusing to accept money for the body parts of aborted babies—thus, effectively quelling the recent outcry. Instead of selling the body parts, they will simply donate them to the same companies and laboratories who previously bought them. But because Planned Parenthood is a nonprofit organization, those same companies and laboratories can make tax-deductible donations to the organization—all perfectly legal in this corrupt society.

While some are trying to combat abortion in America, the laws supporting abortion are so entrenched that for the past 40 years little headway has been made. But we can be sure of this: God will not stand idly by and do nothing. In fact, all of the troubles we face as a nation are actually judgments of God. And if there is no repentance and no return to God, He will continue to severely judge this nation.

While some aspects of America appear more or less normal, it is only superficial. The pervasive, underlying problems of sin and immorality continues to erode the fabric of the nation. It is like a beautiful building being eaten away from within by armies of termites. One day the building will fall—and great will be its fall!

While we still have some semblance of peace and freedom, we can be thankful to God for His mercy and forbearance. Perhaps there is one thing holding back God's full judgment: The churches of God need more time to preach the Gospel, warn the world, and educate the brethren in God's way. In times like these, the words of the apostle Paul encourage us: "Now consider this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour that we should be roused out of sleep; because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is almost over, and the day is drawing near; therefore, let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk decently, as in the day: not in reveling and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and emulation. But let us put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and not make any allowance for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts…. I admonish you to stir up the gift of God that is in you by the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of sound-mindedness" (Rom. 13:11-14; II Tim. 1:6-7).

When a remnant of the Jews returned to Palestine from Babylon, the leaders and the people were slack in the work of building the Second Temple. They were warned that their problems were because they were not doing the work of building the Temple. When they repented and returned to God, He stirred up their spirit—giving them zeal for the work. "And the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people. And they came and worked on the house of the Lord of hosts, their God" (Hag. 1:14). Notice God's powerful words of encouragement: " 'Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel,' says the Lord. 'And be strong, O Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest; and be strong all you people of the land,' says the Lord, 'and work; for I am with you,' says the Lord of hosts. 'According to the word that I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt, so My Spirit remains among you. Do not fear.'

"For thus says the Lord of hosts, 'Once again—it is yet a little while—I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land. And I will shake all the nations; and the desire of all nations shall come; and I will fill this house with glory,' says the Lord of hosts" (Hag. 2:4-7).
 This prophecy also applies to us living in the end times, because the last paragraph is talking about the return of Jesus Christ to set up the Kingdom of God. Therefore, we also need to ask God to stir us up spiritually and be about our Father's business of building our "spiritual temple." We need to be growing and overcoming to develop the character of God as we prepare for Jesus' return and the resurrection (I Cor. 3:10-17).

Thanksgiving: This year, Thanksgiving Day is November 26th. When the Declaration of Independence was drafted, the founders of the United States used the Word of God as their guide in establishing the Union. Interestingly, America is the only country in the world that has set aside a special day of giving thanks to the God of heaven and earth, the God of the Holy Bible. But as we look at society today, it is obvious that we as a nation have lost that original spirit of gratitude toward God that once inspired the early settlers and founders.

As the children of God the Father and the brethren of Jesus Christ, we know the true meaning of Thanksgiving—that everything we have, physically and spiritually, comes from God. We know that unparalleled blessings were given to this nation not because we as a people are more righteous than other people, but solely because of the promises given to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Keep this in mind as you observe Thanksgiving. Let us be truly thankful for the physical and spiritual blessings God has graciously bestowed upon this nation and His Church.

It is exactly as 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 love of God and your faithfulness to Him and one another. Thank you for your personal prayers for us and all the brethren. Thank you for your generosity in your tithes and offerings. We know that God will continue to bless you and watch over you in every circumstance. We continue to pray for you daily—for your health, your healing, and that God's love and grace will be upon you at all times regardless of your situation or the trials you face.

With love in Christ Jesus,

Fred R. Coulter