Monthly letter archive

April 14, 2021

Dear Brethren,

We have just concluded a tremendous Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread. We all learned many things that will help us to trust in the power and grace of God; to use the Holy Spirit to resist sin and temptation; and to utilize the full armor of God in protecting ourselves against Satan and this evil, corrupt society. We were inspired this Passover season to draw closer to God the Father and Jesus Christ through heartfelt daily prayer and serious Bible study. On the last day of the Feast we learned that regardless of the circumstances we face, God is always with us and will help us. The Church will be facing difficult times with numerous troubles in the near future—such as the “cancel” culture’s attack on all forms of Christianity. But God the Father and Jesus Christ have always seen the saints through difficult times. They love us and want us to enter into the Kingdom of God—into the Family of God as the sons and daughters of God the Father. Indeed, we will be changed into spirit beings to live forever!

The apostle Paul writes of this great hope—our very destiny: “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons [and daughters (II Cor. 6:18)] of God. Now you have not received a spirit of bondage again unto fear, but you have received the Spirit of sonship, whereby we call out, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit itself bears witness conjointly with our own spirit, testifying that we are the children of God. Now if we are children, we are also heirs—truly, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if indeed we suffer together with Him, so that we may also be glorified together with Him.

“For I reckon that the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation itself is awaiting the manifestation of the sons of God; because the creation was subjected to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of Him who subjected it in hope, in order that the creation itself might be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.

“For we know that all the creation is groaning together and travailing together until now. And not only that, but even we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, also groan within ourselves, awaiting the sonship—the redemption of our bodies. For by hope we were saved; but hope that is seen is not hope; for why would anyone still be hoping for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we ourselves wait for it with patience. Now in the same way also, the Spirit is conjointly helping our weaknesses because we do not fully understand what we should pray for, according as it is necessary, but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groanings that cannot be expressed by us.

“And the one Who searches the hearts comprehends what the strivings of the Spirit are because it makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:14-28).

What Does it Mean to Believe “in” or “on” Jesus Christ? In John chapter 6 we find that for three days Jesus was preaching to the people and healing thousands who were sick with all kinds of ailments. Afterwards He miraculously fed five thousand men, plus women and children, from five barley loaves and two small fish. Later, some from the crowd went looking for Jesus, wanting to make Him a king—but He slipped away. They finally found Him, apparently hoping for more food. Notice Jesus’ response: “Truly, truly I say to you, you do not seek Me because you saw the miracles, but because you ate the bread and were satisfied. Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures unto eternal life, which the Son of man shall give to you; for Him has God the Father sealed.”

They answered Him: “What shall we do, in order that we ourselves may do the works of God?” (John 6:26-28). Like many, they wanted to “do a work” for God—undoubtedly so they might receive more food. But Jesus was thinking spiritually: He directed them to the “work” they needed to do in order to receive eternal life. And that “work” begins with believing in Christ. Notice: “Jesus answered and said to them, ‘This is the work of God: that you believe in [Greek eis] Him [Jesus] Whom He [God the Father] has sent’ ” (verse 29).

What Jesus is actually revealing is a fundamental truth: that to believe is a work.” And it is a greater work than any physical work, because it comes from your innermost being—your heart and mind that directs everything you think and do!

Jesus also reveals that to receive eternal life we must come to Him—and believe “in” or “on” Him in order to be raised up or resurrected “in the last day.” Notice: “I am the bread of life; the one who comes to Me shall never hunger; and the one who believes in [eis] Me shall never thirst at any time” (John 6:35; also see verse 47).

What does it mean in verse 35 to come to Jesus? First, it means that we answer the Father’s call (verse 44). However, a deeper meaning is revealed as we analyze this verse. In the Greek, the phrase “comes to Me” actually means “coming to Me”—on an ongoing basis, i.e., daily. Similarly, the phrase “believes in Me” conveys the idea of continuously believing—on an ongoing or lifelong basis, not just a one-and-done “profession” of Jesus’ name.

The word “in” or “on” is translated from the Greek eis. This word has a stronger force than simply meaning in or on, because eis shows motion or action toward and into something. In fact, it is often translated as into. Thus, it spiritually carries the force of believing from within yourself out into Jesus—pointing to one’s faith in or into Christ, as well as the Father.

Paul expressed the same idea: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ because it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes [Greek: is continuously believing]—both to the Jew first, and to the Greek. For therein [in this manner] the righteousness of God is revealed from faith unto [eis, “into”] faith, according as it is written: ‘The just shall live by faith’ ” (Rom. 1:16-17). This means the faith of Christ is coming into us, combining with our faith. Then, by the power of the Holy Spirit, our “believing” goes from within us back “into” (eis) God the Father and Jesus. This is how true spiritual faith from God comes back to us—in an ongoing cycle as we are led daily by the Holy Spirit, coupled with prayer and study!

In the account of Jesus cursing a fig tree, Peter was amazed that it shriveled so quickly. Notice Jesus’ answer to the disciples: “Have faith from God” (Mark 11:22). The Greek actually means “have God’s faith.” In other words, faith from God.

According to Paul, after baptism and receiving the Holy Spirit, Christ begins to live in us. We are given a portion of the faith of Christ, added to our own faith—thus strengthening our own faith. Notice: “I have been crucified with Christ [through baptism], yet I live. Indeed, it is no longer I; but Christ lives in me. For the life that I am now living in the flesh, I live by faith—that very faith of the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal. 2:20). Yes, Christ’s own faith in us!

In writing to the Colossians, Paul shows that we must “continue in the faith,” further proving that we are given a portion of Christ’s own faith, because He dwells in us: “For you were once alienated and enemies in your minds by wicked works; but now He has reconciled you in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblamable and unimpeachable before Him. If indeed you continue in the faith grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which you have heard, and which was proclaimed in all the creation that is under heaven; of which I, Paul, became a servant…. For though I am indeed absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing and beholding your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ. 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. 1:21-23; 2:5-7).

Pentecost and the First Resurrection: As the Passover and Unleavened Bread were early this year, Pentecost will also seem early. Here is why: The first holy day fell on the first day of the week, making that day also Wave Sheaf Offering Day—thus a day with double meaning. Accordingly, Pentecost will fall on May 16, the 50th day from March 28.

Pentecost has great meaning for us because it pictures the first resurrection. It is also the day of the blowing of the Seventh Trumpet, the last trumpet to sound. Jesus actually called it the “last day.” Some think He meant the “Last Great Day” following the Feast of Tabernacles. But as we will see, Jesus was speaking of a different “last day.”

In John 6, Jesus uses the phrase “I will raise him [them] up in [at] the last day” four times, referring to the first resurrection. “All whom the Father gives Me shall come to Me [all who are the called, chosen, and faithful], and the one who comes to Me I will in no wise cast out. For I did not come down from heaven to do My own will, but the will of Him Who sent Me. And this is the will of the Father Who sent Me: that of all whom He has given Me, I should not lose any, but [I] should raise them up in the last day. And this is the will of Him Who sent Me: that everyone who sees the Son, and believes in Him, may have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day…. No one can come to Me unless the Father, Who sent Me, draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day…” (John 6:37-40, 44).

“ ‘I am the living bread, which came down from heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread that I will give is even My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.’ Because of this, the Jews were arguing with one another, saying, ‘How is He able to give us His flesh to eat?’ Therefore, Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, you do not have life in yourselves. The one who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up in the last day; for My flesh is truly food, and My blood is truly drink. The one who eats My flesh and drinks My blood is dwelling in Me, and I in him. As the living Father has sent Me, and I live by the Father; so also the one who eats Me shall live by Me’ ” (verses 51-57).

The book of Revelation shows that the phrase “the last day” is the day of the first resurrection, which will occur when the Seventh Trumpet is blown. In fact, the Two Witnesses are raised from the dead first, before the rest of the saints. This takes place just moments before the Seventh Trumpet—the last trump—sounds. Notice: “Then after the three and a half days, the spirit of life from God entered into them and they stood on their feet; and great fear fell upon those who were watching them. And they heard a great voice from heaven, say, ‘Come up here!’ And they ascended into heaven in a cloud; and their enemies saw them rise.

“And in that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell; and seven thousand men were killed in the earthquake. And the rest were filled with fear, and gave glory to the God of heaven. The second woe [the Sixth Trumpet] is past. Behold, the third woe [the Seventh Trumpet] is coming immediately. Then [in that hour] the seventh angel sounded his trumpet [the last trumpet (I Cor. 15:51-52)] and there were great voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and His Christ, and He shall reign into the ages of eternity.’ And the twenty-four elders, who sit before God on their thrones, fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying, ‘We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, Who is, and Who was, and Who is to come; for You have taken to Yourself Your great power, and have reigned. For the nations were angry, and Your wrath has come [Rev. 16], and the time for the dead to be judged, and [the time] to give reward to Your servants the prophets, and to the saints, and to all those who fear Your name, the small and the great; and to destroy those who destroy the earth’ ” (Rev. 11:11-18).

The account of the first resurrection picks up again in chapter 14. Here is what John saw in vision: “And I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and one like the Son of man sitting on the cloud, having a golden crown on His head; and in His hand was a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him Who was sitting on the cloud, ‘Thrust in your sickle and reap, because the time has come for You to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.’ And He Who was sitting on the cloud thrust forth His sickle upon the earth, and the earth was reaped” (Rev. 14:14-16).

This is the first resurrection! As we are resurrected, Jesus will “send [out] His angels with a great sound of a trumpet [the seventh/last trumpet]; and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” (Matt. 24:31). The angels will bring all those in the first resurrection to a gigantic Sea of Glass that will be located in the clouds above the holy land. John writes: “And I saw a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having the lyres of God. And they were singing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, ‘Great and awesome are Your works, Lord God Almighty; righteous and true are Your ways, King of the saints. Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You only are holy; and all the nations shall come and worship before You, for Your judgments have been revealed’ ” (Rev. 15:2-4).

The saints will remain on the Sea of Glass from Pentecost until the Feast of Trumpets. The world will be stunned when the first resurrection occurs. They will see the great Sea of Glass and assume that it is an invasion of “ancient aliens” from outer space. On Trumpets we will all come back on white horses to the earth, with Christ leading the way in the final battle against the forces of evil—Satan the devil, the demons, and their vast armies. We will cover all of these awesome events in more detail on Pentecost and Trumpets.

Brethren, world conditions are steadily worsening. It is vital that we stay close to God the Father and Jesus Christ through daily heartfelt prayer and serious Bible study. God will bless us with the understanding His Word, strengthen us with His Spirit, and protect us with His angels.

Once again, thank you for your love and your prayers. Thank you for your faithfulness in serving God and helping brethren and others. We are praying for you every day—for your health, your healing, the comfort of God in your trials, the understanding of His Word, and that you grow in grace and knowledge to ultimately attain eternal life. Once again, thank you for your continued support through your tithes and offerings, which we put to work doing the will of God. Remember, Jesus said: “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode [dwelling place] with him.”

With love,

Fred R. Coulter