Monthly letter archive

Christian Biblical Church of God

Post Office Box 1442

Hollister, California 95024-1442

(831)-637-1875

Fred R. Coulter

Minister

February 19, 2008

Dear Brethren,

Earlier this month, Dolores and I were able to visit with Chad and Rachelle and see our newest, beautiful grandson Zachery, who now weighs nearly 11 pounds.  Though he had a shaky start, being 5-1/2 weeks premature, he is doing just fine—and Rachelle is an excellent mother.  It has been a trying time for all of us because of Zachery being so little and being in the hospital for over a week. During our visit, Rachelle treated us, all of Chad’s family and Ed and Belinda Davis to wonderful, home-grown Barbado Sheep leg-of-lamb and loin chops.  It was great to be able to spend the time visiting all of them.

On Sabbath, February 9, we had double services in Waco, Texas, with about 75 brethren gathered for this special occasion.  On Sunday, I went down to Houston and met with 38 brethren, holding double services there as well.  It was a most profitable trip. I returned home on Monday afternoon, while Dolores came in on Wednesday after visiting her brother in Nowata, Oklahoma.

Unfortunately, I came down with a severe case of the flu, which put me in bed for five days.  This is the first time I have been sick in nearly three years, and it really laid me low.  As I write this letter, I am about over it—but I am still hacking and coughing a great deal.  I hope and pray that all of you are doing well.

While recuperating I watched a great deal of the news. It is certainly evident—based on the ongoing political campaigns in the United States—that the majority of Americans do not really believe in the Bible, in Jesus Christ or in God the Father.  God has been virtually shut out of the government, shut out of the schools, shut out of public life—and shut out of the personal lives of most people. However, God does exist. God rules in the heavens and on the earth, and sets up over the nations even the “basest of men” (Dan 4:17).

Those who think that God does not rule in the nations and in the lives of men are greatly mistaken.  God has given mankind free moral agency and has set before us life and death—commanding us to choose which way we will follow. This applies to all nations—to every human being.  Yet, rebellious mankind refuses to recognize this fact of existence. 

Indeed, the very choices God set before the children of Israel are the same choices He originally set before Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden: “Behold, I have set before you this day life and good, and death and evil, in that I command you this day to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments so that you may live and multiply. And the Lord your God shall bless you in the land where you go to possess it. But if your heart turn away so that you will not hear, but shall be drawn away and worship other gods and serve them, I denounce to you this day that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days on the land where you pass over Jordan to go to possess it. I call heaven and earth to record this day against you that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Therefore, choose life, so that both you and your seed may live, that you may love the Lord your God, and may obey His voice, and may cleave to Him; for He is your life and the length of your days, so that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers—to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob—to give it to them” (Deut. 30:15-20).

God rules, whether for life or death—for blessing or cursing.  Those whom God has called to eternal life—blessing.  For those who shut out God or reject Him—death!  As the Old Testament amply demonstrates, time and time again—throughout their entire history as a nation—God pleaded with Israel to love Him, to obey Him and to keep His commandments. But they refused.  In the book of Hosea, God clearly shows what happens to a society when it rejects God.  In fact, Hosea’s prophecy is for the people of Israel today—and not just for the Jews, but for the modern descendants of the northern ten tribes: “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’ ” (Hosea 4:1-2). This prophecy clearly describes the United States today—as well as the whole world.  Indeed, God also has a controversy with all the nations of the world (Jer. 25:31).

Sin affects everything. The land, the oceans, wildlife—all are affected by man’s sin. Notice: “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…. And you shall stumble in the day, and the prophet also shall stumble with you in the night, and I will destroy your mother. 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 4:3-6).

Children of this generation are all but forgotten—shoved aside by negligent parents, and “dumbed down” not only by our educational institutions but by the popular media as well (including movies, television, music, publications, etc.).

Yet, in spite of all these troubles, the majority of people will not seek God.  They will continue trying to solve problems their own way—collectively and individually—without seeking God’s solution.  Human solutions will not work—because the cause is not simple human error, but the fact that we have rejected God and are living in sin.  Until there is repentance, there will be no change.  The truth is: NO ONE CAN SOLVE HIS OR HER PROBLEMS WITHOUT GOD! Hosea continues: “As they were increased, so they sinned against Me. I will change their glory into shame. They eat up the sin of My people, and they set their heart on their iniquity. And it has become, like people, like priest; and I will punish them for their ways, and reward them for their doings, for they shall eat and not have enough. They shall commit whoredom and not increase because they have stopped taking heed to the Lord. Whoredom and wine and new wine take away the heart” (verses 7-10).

God must judge sin—yet He is merciful and kind and has no pleasure in the death of the wicked.  Whenever there is true repentance, God will forgive—He will intervene and save and protect: “ ‘And you, son of man, speak to the house of Israel. Thus shall you speak, saying, “When our transgressions and our sins are on us, and we are wasting away in them, how then shall we live?” Say to them, “As I live,” says the Lord GOD, “I have no delight in the death of the wicked, except that the wicked turn from his way, and live. Turn you, turn you from your evil ways; for why will you die, O house of Israel?” ’ ”  (Ezek. 33:10-11).

As we see end-time prophecies being fulfilled before our very eyes, we need not fear.  If we are seeking God, and loving God the Father and Jesus Christ with all our hearts, He will watch over us and protect us.  In fact, God will separate the righteous from the wicked and give them special protection, even during God’s most horrible judgments. Ezekiel prophesied of this as well: “ ‘Therefore I will also deal with fury; My eye shall not spare, nor will I have pity. And though they cry in My ears with a loud voice, I will not hear them.’ And He cried in my ears with a loud voice, saying, ‘Let the executioners of the city draw near, even each with his destroying weapon in his hand.’ And behold, six men came from the way of the Upper Gate which faces north, and each had his slaughter weapon in his hand. And one man among them was clothed with linen, and a writer’s inkhorn by his side. And they went in and stood beside the bronze altar. And the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherub, where it had been, to the threshold of the temple. And He called to the man clothed in linen, with the writer’s inkhorn by his side. And the Lord said to him, ‘Go through in the midst of the city, in the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark on the foreheads of the men who are groaning and are mourning because of all the abominations that are done in her midst.’ And He said to those in my hearing, ‘Go through the city after him, and slaughter. Let not your eye spare, nor have pity. Fully destroy old men, young men and virgins, and little children and women. But do not come near any man on whom is the mark. And begin at My sanctuary.’ And they began with the old men who were before the temple” (Ezek. 8:18-9:6).

Because of God’s gracious promises, we need not fear at all.  Instead, we need to take the opportunity today to draw closer to God.   We need to yield our hearts and minds to God the Father and Jesus Christ—in love, faith and hope. Christ will help us, comfort us and be with us: “For He said, ‘In no way will I ever leave you; no, nor will I ever forsake you in any way.’ So then, let us boldly say, ‘The Lord is my helper, and I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?’… Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever” (Heb. 13:5-8).

Regardless of your circumstances—whether you are young or old, whether you are strong or weak, whether you are newly converted or a long-time saint, whether you are rich or poor—if you love God and keep His commandments, Jesus Christ promises that He will watch over you.  Notice: “I know your works.  Behold, I have set before you an open door, and no one has the power to shut it; because you have a little strength, and have kept My word, and have not denied My name [in this wicked and evil generation].  Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who proclaim themselves to be Jews and are not, but do lie; behold, I will cause them to come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you.

Because you have kept the word of My patience, I also will keep you from the time of temptation, which is about to come upon the whole world to test those who dwell on the earth.  Behold, I am coming quickly; hold fast that which you have, so that no one may take away your crown.  The one who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall not go out any more; and I will write upon him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which will come down out of heaven from My God, and I will write upon him My new name.  The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Rev. 3:8-13).

If we live in God’s love and faith every day, we can be sure that God will keep His promises to us.  Jesus Christ is the head of the Church.  Through the power of His Holy Spirit, He is in you.  He will never fail you!  God the Father and Jesus Christ love you.  You have been called to eternal glory—and they will give you eternal life.  When we keep these truths uppermost in our thoughts, we will have peace of mind—regardless of the conditions around us personally and in the world.

Update on the Bible Project: Just as they began printing the new Bible, the Chinese New Year interrupted their work.  The Chinese New Year is best compared to a combined family reunion, Forth-of-July celebration, and two-week vacation—enjoyed by the entire nation.  The holiday shut down the printing facility from February 3 to February 17.  However, they will be back to work this week and we hope to have the first sample copies around March 10. March 20 is the anticipated ship date, so you will be receiving your Bibles just before or just after the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Because of the flu, I am making this letter a bit short.  However, we are including the annual Web site report, as well as other information I have mentioned in recent sermons. 

Brethren, we love you, pray for you daily, and continually ask God to watch over you and protect you in all circumstances.  We thank you for your continued support through your love, prayers and tithes and offerings.  May God bless you with His love and grace and prosper you in all things.

With love in Christ Jesus,

Fred R. Coulter

FRC

 

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