Monthly letter archive

Christian Biblical Church of God

Post Office Box 1442

Hollister, California 95024-1442

(831)-637-1875

Fred R. Coulter, Minister

August 16, 2006

Dear Brethren,

Today, the eyes of the whole world are on the United Kingdom—Britain. Everyone is shocked to realize that 24 Muslim terrorists, third-generation British citizens of Pakistani origin, plotted the mid-flight destruction of as many as ten jumbo jetliners flying from the UK to the United States. The intelligence agencies of Pakistan and the United Kingdom, with the help of US authorities, were able to thwart their efforts. Had they been successful, it would have been, in some respects, a greater disaster than 9/11. The terrorists had devised a way to make liquid explosives that were undetectable by conventional means. Their plan was to bring the explosives on board the planes in their carry-on luggage, and to detonate them simultaneously while the planes were over the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

America and Britain have been trying to be as vigilant as possible in detecting and intercepting terrorist attacks before they happen. They have been highly successful on many occasions. However, in the final analysis, they will not be able to stop all terrorist attacks. Also, waging war against terrorists—seeking to kill and destroy them wherever they are in the world—will not end the problem nor change the fanatical resolve of the enemy. The reason is that the core problem is not the terrorists per se. The intense hatred of terrorists for western civilization—and the US in particular—continues to fuel the worldwide war on terror. But their hatred is not the real problem. Rather, God reveals that these problems are caused by the sins of the people—the modern descendants of the ten tribes of Israel—the United States and Britain, as well as the Jews.

Why Terrorist Attacks? Almost no one understands the true cause of terrorism. Most politicians believe that if we can destroy terrorists or make peace with them, then all our problems would be solved. Doing so, however, would be fighting only against the effects, rather than eliminating the cause. In His Word, God reveals the cause—the reason terrorism is a problem: It is because of the great national sins of the modern children of Israel and the Jews. When we sin, God raises up enemies to come against us in order to correct us and bring us to repentance.

As God has always done, He is using our enemies to correct us, because we have turned our backs on God, forsaking His laws and commandments and turning to other gods, just as Solomon and Israel did: “For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father.

“Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods. And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice, and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the LORD commanded. Wherefore the LORD said unto Solomon, ‘Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant’ ” (I Kings 11:4-11).

In order to correct Solomon, God raised up adversaries. In fact, today’s modern terrorists, who are against us, are descendants of the very terrorists that God anciently stirred up against Solomon and Israel because of their sins: “And the LORD stirred up an adversary unto Solomon, Hadad the Edomite: he was of the king’s seed in Edom…. And when Hadad heard in Egypt that David slept with his fathers, and that Joab the captain of the host was dead, Hadad said to Pharaoh, ‘Let me depart, that I may go to mine own country.’… And God stirred him up another adversary, Rezon the son of Eliadah, which fled from his lord Hadadezer king of Zobah: and he gathered men unto him, and became captain over a band, when David slew them of Zobah: and they went to Damascus, and dwelt therein, and reigned in Damascus. And he was an adversary to Israel all the days of Solomon, beside the mischief that Hadad did: and he abhorred Israel, and reigned over Syria” (verses 14, 21, 23-25).

It is absolutely amazing that very few people realize the truth about what is really happening today. Most people simply do not see the hand of God, that He is using the same ancient enemies of Israel and the Jews—just as He did in Solomon’s time—to correct us today, in hopes that we will repent!

Four hundred years after Solomon—just before the final destruction of Jerusalem and the temple at the hands of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon in 605-585 BC—God sent the prophet Jeremiah to warn the people of Judah of the impending war and captivity if they did not repent and turn to God. But they refused to hearken to Jeremiah’s warning: “To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? Behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of the LORD is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it.”

Nevertheless, Jeremiah continued God’s warning: “Therefore I am full of the fury of the LORD; I am weary with holding in: ‘I will pour it out upon the children abroad, and upon the assembly of young men together: for even the husband with the wife shall be taken, the aged with him that is full of days. And their houses shall be turned unto others, with their fields and wives together: for I will stretch out my hand upon the inhabitants of the land,’ saith the LORD. ‘For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely.’ ”

Just like today, the people responded to God’s warning by crying “Peace, peace!”—when there was no peace: “ ‘They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, “Peace, peace;” when there is no peace. Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down,’ saith the LORD. Thus saith the LORD, ‘Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.” Also I set watchmen over you, saying, “Hearken to the sound of the trumpet.” But they said, “We will not hearken.” Therefore hear, ye nations, and know, O congregation, what is among them. Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it’” (Jer. 6:9-19).

God had Jeremiah boldly proclaim Israel’s sins—to the ancient children of Israel in their day, and now to us, their modern descendants: “ ‘How shall I pardon thee for this? thy children have forsaken me, and sworn by them that are no gods: when I had fed them to the full, they then committed adultery, and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots’ houses. They were as fed horses in the morning: every one neighed after his neighbor’s wife. Shall I not visit for these things?’ saith the LORD: ‘And shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?’ ” (Jer. 5:7-9).

During the prophet Isaiah’s time, God also warned Israel that He was going to judge them because of their sins. The nation had become so evil and sinful, as we are today, that they literally turned every thing upside down—exalting sin as good, and despising righteousness as evil as they taunted God. But He answered them and laid bare their sins: “Woe unto them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope: That say, ‘Let him make speed, and hasten his work, that we may see it: and let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw nigh and come, that we may know it!’

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink: which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him! Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel. Therefore is the anger of the LORD kindled against his people, and he hath stretched forth his hand against them, and hath smitten them: and the hills did tremble, and their carcases were torn in the midst of the streets. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still” (Isa. 5:18-25).

The prophet Ezekiel also indited Israel for her crimes and sins when he warned of God’s impending judgment: “Make a chain: for the land is full of bloody crimes, and the city is full of violence. Wherefore I will bring the worst of the heathen, and they shall possess their houses: I will also make the pomp of the strong to cease; and their holy places shall be defiled. Destruction cometh; and they shall seek peace, and there shall be none. Mischief shall come upon mischief, and rumour shall be upon rumour; then shall they seek a vision of the prophet; but the law shall perish from the priest, and counsel from the ancients. The king shall mourn, and the prince shall be clothed with desolation, and the hands of the people of the land shall be troubled: I will do unto them after their way, and according to their deserts will I judge them; and they shall know that I am the LORD” (Ezek. 7:23-27).

Indeed, the history of mankind has been written in blood, death and destruction. It all began with Cain killing Abel. The ensuing family feud between the line of Seth and the line of Cain filled the world with sin, wickedness, corruption and evil—and ended finally with God’s judgment on all of mankind, in which He destroyed all life (except Noah and his wife, and his three sons and their wives) via the Flood (Gen. 4-6).

From the time of Abraham, other family feuds have developed—such as those between Isaac and Ishmael, and between Jacob and Esau. Through the centuries these feuds have burst forth again and again in hatred, jealousies, murder, wars and destruction. And now, their ancient spirit of competition and contention has continued to our time. Today we are indeed witnessing the same family feuds grown great—now involving many nations, made up of their descendants.

In addition to the threat of terrorism, we also need to pay special attention to the Middle East—to Lebanon and Palestine. Despite seemingly futile calls for a cease-fire, the war continues to escalate. The Jews are stepping up their invasion with additional troops and tanks, along with continued bombing and shelling. Meanwhile, the Jews’ enemies are calling the civilian casualties in Lebanon disproportionate. But disproportionate to what? They fail to mention that Hezbollah started the whole episode that has lead to this war. The terrorists have rained down thousands of rockets on Jewish cities killing many civilians as well. Because the terrorists are cowards and use women and children as human shields, there are bound to be many civilian deaths. Remember, the cruelty of war knows no boundaries or restraint. Destruction, death and injury happen alike to all—soldier and civilian, young and old, rich and poor—as war devastates everything in its path.

Once again, the great men of the world are seeking via the United Nations to bring about a settlement and a “lasting solution” to this conflict. While watching the various ambassadors deliberate—each side arguing its own political and military positions as they try to hammer out an agreement—it is evident that there will be no peace because of their implacable hatred for one another. Even if they finally hammer out a cease-fire at the UN Security Counsel it will not last. As in the past, in spite of their efforts, the “ambassadors of peace” and their agreements will ultimately fail, because they are rejecting God (Isa. 33:7).

While claiming to want peace, the nations of the world are in rebellion against God and His laws! As long as the rebellion continues there will be no peace. They are raging against God and Jesus Christ: “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed [His Christ], saying, ‘Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us’ ” (Psa. 2:1-3). As a result, men are cut off from God. In rejecting God and His laws, man will never be able to find peace.

The prophet Isaiah foretold of the results of man’s efforts. While these words applied historically to Israel, they equally apply today to all the nations of the world—especially to the leaders gathered at the United Nations: “None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity. They hatch cockatrice’ eggs, and weave the spider’s web [each seeking his own way]: he that eateth of their eggs dieth, and that which is crushed breaketh out into a viper [it ends up worse than at the beginning].

“Their webs [agreements for a cease-fire and peace] shall not become their garments, neither shall they cover themselves with their works: their works are works of iniquity, and the act of violence is in their hands. Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths.

The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace. Therefore is judgment far from us, neither doth justice overtake us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness. We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes: we stumble at noon day as in the night; we are in desolate places as dead men. We roar all like bears, and mourn sore like doves: we look for judgment, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far off from us” (Isa. 59:4-11).

This is a result of sin and rebellion by the entire world against God and Jesus Christ: “In transgressing and lying against the LORD, and departing away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood. And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment” (verses 13-15).

Agreements devised by men—as well as solutions and “calls for peace” by religious leaders—will fail because they are in rebellion against God. Such “solutions” are like a wall built with untempered mortar (Ezek. 13:10). Such will be the fate of any agreement the nations of the world devise.

Jeremiah foretold of this controversy between God and the nations of the world, which will culminate in the great tribulation and, finally, with the return of Jesus Christ. These are worldwide events, and no nation will be exempt from God’s correction and wrath: “ ‘A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for the LORD hath a controversy with the nations, he will plead with all flesh; he will give them that are wicked to the sword,’ saith the LORD. Thus saith the LORD of hosts, ‘Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth. And the slain of the LORD shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground’ ” (Jer. 25:31-33).

Even if there were a great national repentance today by all modern-day descendants of Israel and the Jews, it would only delay God’s final judgment—just as occurred during King Josiah’s reign. Josiah was a righteous king. When he heard of God’s impending judgments, he repented and caused all the Jews to likewise repent. God then deferred executing His judgments against them as long as Josiah lived. But twenty years after Josiah’s death, God did indeed complete His judgments against them and they were carried away into captivity into Babylon (II Chron. 34-36).

The Old Testament Project: Since we completed The New Testament In Its Original Order—A Faithful Version over two years ago, nearly everyone has asked if we were going to produce an Old Testament as well and have a complete Bible in the original order. At first, I did not see how it would be possible. However, five months ago, John and Hiedi Vogele, who do the page formatting for our books and publications, suggested that we consider using the Modern King James Version of the Old Testament as a basis from which to produce a complete Bible in its original order.

The MKJV, now in its fifth edition, is published by Sovereign Grace Publishers in Lafayette, Indiana, and is a translation by Jay P. Green Sr. In addition to the MKJV, Jay P. Green Sr. has published 450 books, most notably an Interlinear Bible and—just coming off the press—a literal translation of the Bible. I contacted the family and talked with his son, Jay P. Green Jr., about the possibility of using the MKJV Old Testament for our project. In cooperation with his father Jay P. Sr., who is now 87 years old, we obtained permission to use the MKJV for our Bible project for a fee of $20,000.00. We also received permission to make any revisions that we felt were necessary.

Since then, I have made progress in updating and revising critical passages in order to create more accurate readings. I have finished Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, I & II Samuel and I & II Kings. Presently, I am working on Isaiah. Our goal is to finish the project in about a year from now.

As we witness events unfolding in the world, we all feel a real sense of urgency to get this project completed. We have to work while we have the time and the financial ability to do so. Jesus warned us that the time is coming when no one will be able to work: “I must work the works of Him Who sent Me while it is still day. When the night comes, no one is able to work” (John 9:4).

Below are some of the more critical passages in Genesis, Exodus and Leviticus that we have revised in order to reflect a more accurate reading—and especially to give the most precise rendering of key Hebrew words. In critical passages pertaining to the Passover and to the count for Pentecost, we have translated the verses correctly, eliminating any confusion about the timing of these events, or the counting of days.

Gen. 1:1-2: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. And the earth became without form and void. And darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved on the face of the waters.

Gen. 2:1-3: Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And by the beginning of the seventh day God ended His work which He had made. And He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made.

Gen. 3:1-3: Now the serpent was more cunning than any creature of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Is it true that God has said, ‘You shall not eat of any tree of the garden?’ ” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of all the trees of the garden. But of the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ”

Exodus 12:1-6: And the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, “This month shall be to you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying, ‘In the tenth of this month they shall take to them each man a lamb for a father’s house, a lamb for a house. And if the household is too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take according to the number of the souls, each one, according to the eating of his mouth, you shall count concerning the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You shall take from the sheep or from the goats. And you shall keep it up until the beginning of the fourteenth day of the same month. And the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it between the two evenings.*’ ”

Margin: Hebrew ben ha arbayim—between sunset and dark at the beginning of the fourteenth day. (See Ex. 16:8-13 which conclusively proves that ben ha arbayim begins immediately after sunset, Hebrew ba erev, which ends the day.)

Exodus 12:16-18: “And in the first day there shall be a holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be a holy convocation for you. No manner of work shall be done in them, except that which every man must eat, that only may be done by you. And you shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread. For in this same day I have brought your armies out of the land of Egypt. Therefore you shall keep this day in your generations by a law forever. In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at sunset*, you shall eat unleavened bread, until the twenty-first day of the month at sunset.*”

Margin: Hebrew ba erev—sunset, which ends the day (see Lev. 23:32).

Exodus 16:8-13: And Moses said, “You will see when the LORD shall give you flesh to eat at sunset* and bread to the full at daybreak, when the LORD hears your murmurings which you murmur against Him. And what are we? Your murmurings are not against us, but against the LORD.” And Moses spoke to Aaron, “Say to all the congregation of the children of Israel, ‘Come near before the LORD. For He has heard your murmurings.’ ” And it happened as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the children of Israel, they turned toward the wilderness. And behold! The glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud! And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel. Speak to them, saying, ‘Between the two evenings* you shall eat flesh, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread. And you shall know that I am the LORD your God.’ ” And it came to pass, at sunset,* that the quails came up and covered the camp. And at daybreak the dew lay all around the camp.

Footnote: God spoke these words on the Sabbath day, the 15th day of the 2nd month. The Sabbath day ended at “sunset,” Hebrew ba erev. God then sent quail at sunset and the children of Israel ate the quail after sunset and before dark, in the time period “between the two evenings,” Hebrew ben ha arbyim. In using these two Hebrew terms, God has firmly established that the time period “between the two evenings” (ben ha arbyim) comes immediately after sunset (ba erev) and not before. Therefore, this proves that “between the two evenings” (ben ha arbyim) is the first time period of a day after sunset (ba erev) which ended the previous day.

Leviticus 23:4-5, 10-11, 15-16: These are the appointed feasts of the LORD, holy convocations which you shall proclaim in their appointed seasons. In the fourteenth day of the first month, between the two evenings,* is the LORD’S Passover.

Margin: Hebrew, ben ha arbayim—between sunset and dark at the beginning of the fourteenth day.

Verses 10-11: Speak to the children of Israel and say to them, “When you have come into the land which I give to you, and shall reap the harvest of it, then you shall bring the premier sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest. And he shall wave the the premier sheaf before the LORD to be accepted for you. On the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it.”

Verses 15-16: “And you shall count to you beginning with the day after the Sabbath, beginning with the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven Sabbaths shall be complete. Even unto the day after the seventh Sabbath you shall number fifty days. And you shall offer a new grain offering to the LORD.”

As you can see, these revisions reflect a more accurate translation of key Hebrew words, eliminating the confusion caused by other, flawed translations.

Once we complete the Old Testament project, we will publish the entire Bible, making it the only Bible in English assembled in the proper, original order. We will have it printed by a Bible printer—with a 100% leather cover and a wide margin. With God’s blessing it will be a tremendous tool for the brethren and ministers of God, as well as for anyone else seeking to understand the Word of God.

Brethren, pray for all those involved—the Vogeles, Philip Neal, our editor, and myself—that God will lead us with His Holy Spirit in making this the most accurate English Bible possible. Thank you for all your continued love, prayers and support through your tithes and offerings. May God continue to bless you with His grace, love and blessings in everything.

With love in Christ Jesus,

Fred R. Coulter

FRC

 

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