Monthly letter archive

August 19, 2020

Dear Brethren,

With so many things happening in the United States—the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the upcoming election, the burning of our cities, the rampant crime and violence—it is easy to focus on the problems and become discouraged. We may begin to slack off on prayer and study. But we need to keep our minds on our calling and on the goal of the coming Kingdom of God.

On the home pages of our websites truthofgod.org and churchathome.org, we have the following declaration of who we are and what we are doing: “We are dedicated to Restoring Original Christianity—For Today!—based on the original Gospel as revealed and taught by Jesus Christ and His apostles and preserved in the God-breathed New Testament. We believe and practice the Word of God as inspired and preserved in the Holy Bible—Old and New Testaments. Therefore, we are scripturalists. We strictly follow the Bible and strive to recapture the true meaning of the Word of God by comparing scripture with scripture—to prove all things. The Word is the truth of God from the God of truth—so we are to live by ‘every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God,’ as Jesus said.”

We also make it clear that we do not accept, teach, or practice any traditions of men, regardless of their claims—whether from Judaism, Catholicism, or Protestantism. The founding battle cry of original Protestantism, sola scriptura, meaning “the Scriptures and the Scriptures only,” has been long forgotten or ignored by Protestants—and rejected by Catholics. As a result, all of mainstream Christianity has gone astray and is now merely practicing “Christianized” pagan traditions, teachings, and philosophies of men. Today we see the results of nearly 2,000 years of Satan’s fake Christianity that began toward the end of the first century AD.

In the time leading up to the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 AD, the subversion of the churches of God by false ministers with false teachings was gaining momentum. In his urgent epistle, the apostle Jude, the brother of Jesus, sounded the alarm that an insidious apostasy was gaining power: “Beloved, when personally exerting all my diligence to write to you concerning the common salvation, I was compelled to write to you, exhorting you to fervently fight for the faith, which once for all time has been delivered to the saints. For certain men have stealthily crept in, those who long ago have been written about, condemning them to this judgment. They are ungodly men, who are perverting the grace of our God, turning it into licentiousness, and are personally denying the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 3-4).

The mission of the Christian Biblical Church of God is to faithfully undertake restoring original Christianity—for today. This includes a return to the authentic worship of God in spirit and in truth—predicated on a deep personal relationship with God. To this end, our websites offer both video and audio studies on a wide range of biblical subjects—all designed to help believers come to a full understanding of the fundamental teachings of the Bible and of apostolic Christianity as founded by Jesus the Christ.

On other sites, people can acquire The Holy Bible In Its Original Order in print or as a download for their smart phone, tablet, or computer (visit theholybibleinitsoriginalorder.org and afaithfulversion.org). This year we will have over four million people using these sites—and we are constantly growing.

These sites are designed so that students of the Bible can progress from basic teachings to more advanced, detailed studies. We have in-depth, verse-by-verse studies of nearly all the books of the New Testament. In addition, we have numerous messages explaining Bible prophecy for the end time. All topics are networked so that you may enter at any level of study and move with ease from one topic to another. Our sites are rapidly expanding, with new material being added every week.

We have had the theme Restoring Original Christianity—for Today! for nearly 12 years. It immediately informs people exactly what we are doing. By emphasizing the Word of God—and nothing but the Word of God—more people will be drawn to a restoration of true Christianity in these end times. Just as in politics, people are sick and tired of the same old teachings and hypocrisies of modern Christendom. Indeed, many people today are searching for the true God and the true Jesus Christ.

We are not only to feed the flock of God—to teach and prepare the Church for the return of Christ and the Kingdom of God—but we are also to preach the Gospel to the world: “Now the eleven disciples went into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them to meet Him. And when they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore, go and make disciples in all nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit; teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you. And lo, I am with you always, even until the completion of the age’ ” (Matt. 28:16-20).

After Jesus ascended to the throne of God to present Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world, He appeared later that same day to the disciples. He then opened their minds to understand the Scriptures and explained how to preach the Gospel to the world: “And He said to them, ‘These are the words that I spoke to you when I was yet with you, that all the things which were written concerning Me in the Law of Moses and in the Prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled.’ Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, ‘According as it is written, it was necessary for the Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day. And in His name, repentance and remission of sins should be preached to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. For you are witnesses of these things’ ” (Luke 24:44-48).

On the 40th day after Jesus’ resurrection, He appeared to the apostles for the last time. On this momentous day, He further expanded the mission of preaching the Gospel to the world: “So then, when they were assembled together, they asked Him, saying, ‘Lord, will You restore the kingdom to Israel at this time?’ And He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father has placed in His own authority; but you yourselves shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses, both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and unto the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:6-8).

The last phrase, “unto the ends of the earth,” is clearly a prophecy for the entire Church of God from that time until Jesus returns. By the time the apostles died, they obviously had not gone to the “ends of the earth” with the Gospel—nor did they understand that it would be about 2,000 more years before Christ would return. But through the publishing of the Bible itself, the Gospel has, via the writings of the apostles, reached the “ends of the earth.” Please read “Why Are There So Many Bibles in the World?” on page x in The Holy Bible In Its Original Order. This short essay shows that Jesus prophesied that the Gospel, the Word of God, would be published in all the world before the end would come: “But the end is not yet…. And the gospel must first be published among all nations” (Mark 13:7, 10).

When we tie these scriptures together, we understand that what Jesus commanded was, in fact, an age-lasting mission for the churches of God until He returns. My continuous prayer is that all the brethren and ministers in all the various churches of God would yield to God the Father and Jesus Christ and faithfully carry out these commands.

Jesus began His ministry in Galilee by “proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, ‘The time has been fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is near at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel’ ” (Mark 1:14-15). The message of the four Gospel accounts defines for the Church what we should be preaching and teaching.

Each one of us has a part in preaching the Gospel by being a “light to the world”—as well as by our participation as a part of the Church of God. Jesus promised, “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be proclaimed in all the world for a witness to all nations; and then shall the end come” (Matt. 24:14). In recent years, many ministers and brethren, not understanding what was taking place in the churches of God, have thought that this warning would be left for the “Two Witnesses” to do. While it is true that they will have a tremendous work, we should never assume that we can sit back and relax and not preach the Gospel—leaving it to the “Two Witnesses.” To do so would be a great dereliction of our duty before God.

The apostle Paul understood that he had a God-given responsibility to preach the Gospel, as he explained to the Corinthians: “For though I preach the gospel, there is no reason for me to boast because an obligation has been laid upon me. And woe to me, if I do not preach the gospel! For if I do this willingly, I have a reward; but if I do this against my will, I have been entrusted with a ministry” (I Cor. 9:16-17).

Paul also understood that his ministry was a stewardship—a sacred trust committed to him by God: “[L]et every man regard us as ministers of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Beyond that, it is required of stewards that one be found faithful” (I Cor. 4:1-2).

All of us need to view our calling in the same way—a stewardship, a calling of faithfulness—because God the Father and Jesus Christ have personally chosen to dwell in us through the power of the Holy Spirit: “ ‘The one who has My commandments and is keeping them, that is the one who loves Me; and the one who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will manifest Myself to him.’

“Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, ‘Lord, what has happened that You are about to manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?’

“Jesus answered and said to him, ‘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. The one who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word that you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s, Who sent Me’ ” (John 14:21-24).

Therefore, while we live in the world, we are not of the world. This fact is especially evident during fake Christianity’s holiday seasons. We are not to be partakers of the world’s ways and religions. Paul warned of this: “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and lawlessness have in common? And what fellowship does light have with darkness? And what union does Christ have with Belial? Or what part does a believer have with an unbeliever? And what agreement is there between a temple of God and idols?

For you are a temple of the living God, exactly as God said: I will dwell in them and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Therefore, come out from the midst of them and be separate,’ says the Lord, ‘and touch not the unclean, and I will receive you; and I shall be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters,’ says the Lord Almighty…. Now then, beloved, since we have these promises, we should purge ourselves from every defilement of the flesh and the spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (II Cor. 6:14-18; 7:1).

Therefore, we need to be faithful because we have been called to eternal life, to be a part of the Family of God—to become immortal spirit beings at the return of Christ through the first resurrection. Always remember, Jesus loves us—He died for us! The Father loves us—and answers our prayers! This is why we are to pray directly to God the Father, as Jesus said, “[Y]ou shall ask in My name; and I do not tell you that I will beseech the Father for you, for the Father Himself loves you [and therefore hears you], because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God” (John 16:26-27).

Notice again how John emphasized the fantastic love God has toward us: “Behold! What glorious love the Father has given to us, that we should be called the children of God! For this very reason, the world does not know us because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are the children of God, and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be; but we know that when He is manifested, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him exactly as He is. And everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, even as He is pure” (I John 3:1-3).

All of this is because of the love of God—His love for us first—as John also wrote: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish, but may have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

In order to receive eternal life, we must come to God on His terms. We do not come to God on our terms. The longer we live with the Spirit of God within us, coupled with continuous daily prayer and the study of the Word of God, we grow in the love of God and grow in our understanding of the depth of God’s love for us. John understood this more than the other apostles because he was the one whom Jesus particularly loved. This is why his Gospel and epistles teach us more about the love of God than any other book in the Bible. Further explaining the love of God for us, John wrote: “In this way the love of God was manifested toward us: that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, so that we might live through Him. In this act is the lovenot that we loved God; rather, that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also are duty-bound to love one another. No one has seen God at any time. Yet, if we love one another, God dwells in us, and His own love is perfected in us. By this standard we know that we are dwelling in Him, and He is dwelling in us: because of His own Spirit, which He has given to us…. And we have known and have believed the love that God has toward us. God is love, and the one who dwells in love is dwelling in God, and God in him.

By this spiritual indwelling, the love of God is perfected within us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment because even as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in the love of God; rather, perfect love casts out fear because fear has torment. And the one who fears has not been made perfect in the love of God. We love Him because He loved us first” (I John 4:9-13, 16-19).

The love of God is more than emotion, though emotion is involved. Through the Holy Spirit, our love of God is dynamic, producing fruit. The love of God in us is perfected by living God’s way of life. Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep the commandmentsnamely, My commandments” (John 14:15). John confirmed this when he wrote, “By this standard we know that we love the children of God: when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God: that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome” (I John 5:2-3).

Because deceivers had infiltrated the churches of God in his time with false doctrines and antichrist teachings, John’s writings are central for us today in restoring original Christianity. In the short epistle of II John, we find verification that the love of God, commandment-keeping, and truth all go hand-in-hand and are vital spiritual keys.

This is why we need to be deeply rooted in the Word of God and the love of God. Notice what John wrote: “I rejoiced exceedingly that I have found among your children those who are walking in truth, exactly as we received commandment from the Father. And now I beseech you, lady, not as though I am writing a new commandment to you, but that which we have observed from the beginning, that we love one another [original Christianity].

“And this is the love of God: that we walk according to His commandments [original Christianity]. This is the commandment, exactly as you heard from the beginning [original Christianity], that you might walk in it, because many deceivers have entered into the world—those who do not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh. This is the spirit of the deceiver and the antichrist.

“Watch out for yourselves in order that we may not lose the things we have accomplished, but that we may receive a full reward. Anyone who transgresses and does not continue in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. But the one who continues in the doctrine of Christ [original Christianity] has both the Father and the Son” (II John 4-9).

John’s messages encompass everything that God wants us to believe and do. On the other hand, the fake orthodox “Christianity” of this world, under the deception of Satan and the spirit of antichrist, does not have the Father and the Son. Their mixture of truth and error, their rejection of God’s Sabbath and holy days, their devotion to a counterfeit love of God—all are an exact duplicate of what John and the brethren were experiencing during their time.

Once we understand the simplicity of it—the love of God, keeping the commandments, the Sabbath and holy days—we can understand the truth of God. We can be restoring original Christianity in our lives—as John wrote, “The one who continues in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.”

Through the sacrifice of Christ, God has reconciled us to Himself personally. Paul writes: “And all things are from God, Who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation” (II Cor. 5:18). This gives us direct access to God the Father, with His Holy Spirit within us, through personal prayer and Bible study: “And that He might reconcile both [Jew and Gentile] to God in one body through the cross, having slain the enmity [of human religions and human nature] by it. Now when He came, He preached the gospel—peace to you who were far off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have direct access by one Spirit to the Father” (Eph. 2:16-18).

The Universal Deception: In the last days of the apostles, the Church itself was being engulfed with false teachings and a “universe of deception” (I John 4:6). We are experiencing the same thing today, but on a far greater scale! Indeed, the “Mystery of Lawlessness” is now fully developed around the world as a religious system. In the book of Revelation, God names this entire system of religion and government as “BABYLON THE GREAT.” Its source is Satan the devil, who is actively deceiving the whole world in nearly every aspect of life—every institution, every government, and every religion (Rev. 12:9).

Today, this “Babylon the Great” is even more intensive, more invasive, and more oppressive because of advanced technology and our modern media. It affects all nations. Just prior to Jesus’ return, this vast religious and governmental system will encompass the entire world. John describes it this way: “And after these things I saw an angel descending from heaven, having great authority; and the earth was illuminated with his glory. And he cried out mightily with a loud voice, saying, ‘Babylon the Great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a habitation of demons, and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hated bird; because ALL NATIONS have drunk of the wine of the fury of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the power of her luxury.’

“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, ‘Come out of her, My people, so that you do not take part in her sins, and that you do not receive of her plagues, for her sins have reached as far as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. Render to her as she has rendered to you; and give to her double, even according to her works. In the cup that she mixed, give her back double. To the degree that she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, give to her as much torment and sorrow. For she says in her heart, ‘I sit a queen enthroned, and am not a widow; and in no way shall I experience sorrow.’ For this very reason, her plagues shall come in one day—death and sorrow and famine; and she shall be burned with fire; for the Lord God, Who executes judgment upon her, is powerful. Then the kings of the earth who have committed fornication with her and have lived luxuriously, will weep and lament for her, when they see the smoke of her burning” (Rev. 18:1-9).

This is how we need to preach Restoring Original Christianity—For Today! Come out of “Babylon the Great”—this world’s satanic ways! Repent! Return to God! Jesus Christ is soon returning to this earth! The Kingdom of God is near!

Brethren, in our own lives, we need to draw close to God in daily heartfelt prayer and the study of His Word—so that we can grow in grace and knowledge and always be overcoming. We thank God the Father daily for His goodness and mercy; we thank Jesus Christ daily for His strength and guidance as He lives in each one of us. We thank you for your continued love and faithfulness to God and to each other. We thank you for your prayers for us and all the brethren, and for your faithfulness in tithes and offerings. We pray that God will continue to bless you and keep watch over you. We continually pray for your health and your healing—and for God’s love and grace to be upon you in all circumstances.

With love in Christ Jesus,

Fred R. Coulter

FRC

Tulsa, Oklahoma Feast update: Change of Location

Homewood Suites Tulsa-South

4900 W. Madison Place • Broken Arrow, OK 74012 • (855) 605-0320

This year in Tulsa, we will be meeting at the Homewood Suites located on south Garnett—one block north of 71 Street and Garnett. Meetings will be at 10:30 AM each day.

Homewood requires that masks be worn in all public places, but they are not required in the meeting room. For those wishing to stay at Homewood, they have suites ranging from $89 to $99 per night (plus tax). When making reservations, mention that you are with the CBCG. For information or assistance, contact Lawrence Burchfield at (918) 759-7717 (CT).

BOOKS