Monthly letter archive

December 12, 2018

Dear Brethren,

The Roman year 2019 is about to begin in the midst of great turmoil. In most of our lifetimes, we have never seen such enormous problems and troubles, with crisis after crisis confronting the entire world—financial, political, and religious. It seems as though there are troubles on every side, which affect nearly everyone in different ways. Look around the world and you will find affliction, calamity, and sorrow sweeping from nation to nation. Each one is called a crisis. Yet there is more to the word crisis than people realize, because crisis (or krisis in the Greek) means judgment. In each case, the crisis represents a judgment of God! In fact, all of the following situations are “automatic judgments” of God because of sin and lawlessness:

  • Wars,revolts, and riots
  • Famine and plagues
  • Terrorists attacks and bombings
  • Mass illegal immigration—in Europe & America (modern Israel)
  • All sorts of crime and criminal activity
  • Mammoth earthquakes
  • Extreme weather—heat, drought, cold, rain, and flooding
  • Murder, shootings, killings, genocide, and death
  • Lying, stealing, and looting
  • Sexual depravity and perversion
  • Abortion—the greatest sin around the world, with hundreds of millions killed

Truly, all of these are judgments of God. With the daily avalanche of 24/7 news, it is almost overwhelming—too much to handle. Those who cannot cope try to hide their eyes from it, or turn off the TV and radio. Some drown themselves in diversions, drugs, music, entertainment, and various pleasures—hoping that the miseries and calamities will somehow go away. But they don’t—they only seem to be multiplying. It is reminiscent of the song, “Stop the World, I Want to Get Off!”—or the psalm about flying away like a bird in order to avoid the trouble and wickedness on every side. David wrote, “Give ear to my prayer, O God, and hide not Yourself from my supplication. Attend to me, and hear me; I am distraught in my trouble and moan in my complaint, because of the voice of the enemy; because of the oppression of the wicked—for they cast mischief upon me, and in wrath they hate me. My heart is pained within me; and the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fear and trembling have come upon me, and horror has overwhelmed me. And I said, ‘Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. Lo, then I would wander far off; I would lodge in the desert. Selah. I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest’ ” (Psa. 55:1-8).

Without a doubt, it would be nice to “get away from it all”—to avoid the stress, tension, and frustration these things may cause us. Be we can seldom do so. However, we can face these situations with the strength and faith of God the Father and Jesus Christ and the counsel of Scripture: “Do not fret yourself because of evildoers, and do not be envious against the workers of iniquity, for they shall soon be cut down like the grass; and wither as the green herb.

Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and cherish faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way unto the Lord; trust also in Him, and He will bring it to pass. And He shall bring forth your righteousness like the light, and your judgment like the noonday.

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; do not fret yourself because of him who prospers in his way; because of him who carries out wicked schemes. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; do not fret yourself, it leads only to evil, for evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth. It is but a little while, and the wicked shall be no more; yea, you shall diligently consider his place, but he shall not be there” (Psa. 37:1-10).

Jesus put it another way: “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation. But be courageous! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

We can fully trust in Jesus’ words and promises because God is watching over us: “Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon those who fear Him, upon those who hope in His lovingkindness, to deliver their soul from death and to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield, for our heart shall rejoice in Him because we have trusted in His holy name. Let Your lovingkindness, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in You” (Psa. 33:18-22).

Yes, in spite of all these things, we can have real peace of mind—because we know God’s plan and purpose. Through the power of the Holy Spirit within us we can control our minds and emotions and not let the problems and troubles of this world control our thoughts and feelings. Remember, the end times are going to be filled with peril and distress—as fully prophesied by God in the Bible. But we have to live through it; we have to endure to the end. And we can only do so with faith and confidence in God! We can have peace of mind when we understand from God’s Word why these things are happening, realizing that God is in complete control. Just because these events are unpleasant, disturbing, and distressing does not mean we have to let them control our thoughts and emotions.

The Power and Comfort of Psalm 91: King David wrote this tremendous psalm, which God has preserved for our inspiration and comfort in times of trouble and distress. He shows that we can trust in God, even in the most severe circumstances, because of His unseen “shadow” and “wings”—the holy angels of God: “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in Whom I will trust.’ Surely He will deliver you from the fowler’s trap and from the destroying pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge. His truth shall be your shield and buckler.

“You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor for the arrow that flies by day, nor for the plague that walks in darkness, nor for the destruction laying waste at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand; it shall not come near you. Only with your eyes you shall behold and see the recompense of the wicked.

“Because you have made the Lord, Who is my [David’s] refuge, even the Most High, your habitation, no evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling, for He shall give His angels charge over you to keep you in all your ways. They shall bear you up in their hands, lest you dash your foot against a stone.

“You shall tread upon the lion and asp; the young lion and the jackal you shall trample underfoot. ‘Because he [the one trusting in God] has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high because he has known My name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation’ ” (Psa. 91).

Why Such Evil? We need to realize that all the troubles in the world are the result of Satan, sin, and human nature. Therefore, what we are witnessing are the active judgments of God against those sins—so that people may have an opportunity to repent. But they must choose. If they choose to continue in sin, the judgments of God will become more and more severe—and God is no respecter of persons, or of nations. But He always gives warnings and time for repentance. If people repent, He will honor that by lifting and easing His judgments.

Imagine if you could fly over America, or the whole world for that matter, and that you had the ability of God to know everything that goes on in every government, institution, and religion—and in the lives of every person—whether good or evil. What would you see?

Without a doubt you would see almost exactly what God saw in Jerusalem and Judah, as He reported to Jeremiah. As we read God’s words to Jeremiah, we can liken the city of Jerusalem to Washington, D.C. or London, and Judah to America and the UK. “Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem [Washington, D.C.], and see now, and know, and seek in her open places, if you can find a man, if there is one who does justice, who seeks the truth; and I will pardon her [God is ready to pardon upon repentance and righteous conduct]. And though they say, ‘As the Lord lives [in God we trust];’ surely they swear falsely” (Jer. 5:1-2).

Jeremiah answers God: “O Lord, are not Your eyes on the truth? You have stricken them, but they have not grieved; You have destroyed them, but they have refused to receive correction; they have made their faces harder than rock; they have refused to return. Therefore I said, ‘Surely these are poor; they are foolish; for they do not know the way of the Lord, nor the judgment of their God. I will go up for myself to the great men, and will speak to them; for they have known the way of the Lord and the judgment of their God.’ But these had altogether broken the yoke and had torn off the bonds! Therefore a lion out of the forest shall kill them, and a wolf of the deserts shall rob them; a leopard shall watch over their cities. Everyone who goes out from them shall be torn in pieces because their sins are many and their backslidings are multiplied” (verses 3-6).

God answers him: “ ‘How shall I pardon you [Judah and Jerusalem] for this? Your children have forsaken Me, and have sworn by them that are not gods. When I had fed them to the full, then they committed adultery, and gathered themselves by troops in a harlot’s house. They were like lusty, well-fed stallions in the morning; every one neighing after his neighbor’s wife. Shall I not punish for these things?’ says the Lord. ‘And shall not My soul be avenged on such a nation as this?’ ” (verses 7-9).

“ ‘For the house of Israel and the house of Judah have dealt very deceitfully against Me,’ says the Lord. ‘They have lied against the Lord and said, “It is not He; neither shall evil come on us; nor shall we see sword nor famine.” And the prophets [the ministers and teachers of today] shall become as wind, for the word is not in them; thus it shall be done to them’ ” (verses 11-13).

Though God pleaded with them to repent—the people, their leaders, their prophets and priests—and warned them to turn from their wicked ways, they refused: “But this people has a revolting and a rebellious heart; they have revolted and are departed from Me. And they do not say in their heart, ‘Let us now fear the Lord our God, Who gives both the former and the latter rain in its season; He reserves to us the appointed weeks of the harvest.’

Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withheld good things from you. For among My people are found wicked ones; they lie in wait, as one who sets snares; they set a trap, they catch men. Like a cage full of birds, so their houses are full of deceit; therefore they have become great and grown rich. They have become fat, they have become sleek. Yea, they excel in evil deeds; they do not plead the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and they do not defend the right of the needy. Shall I not punish for these things?… Shall not My soul be avenged on such a nation as this?

An astounding and horrible thing has happened in the land. The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and My people love to have it so, and what will you do at the end of it?” (verses 23-31).

God’s judgments are not coming for the sins of the few—but for the gross sins of the vast majority of people. Because of all the lying, cheating, and stealing; for all the scheming, treachery, and deceit; for all the covetousness, gambling, and financial fraud; for all the adultery, fornication, and homosexuality; for all the rejection of God in individual lives, in the schools, in the governments, and in the courts. From the common man and woman to the rich and famous—all are satiated in selfish, narcissistic covetousness: “ ‘For everyone from the least of them even to the greatest of them is greedy for gain; and from the prophet even unto the priest everyone deals falsely. [Who can tell the truth anymore?] They have also healed 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? No, they were not at all ashamed, nor could they blush; therefore they shall fall among those who fall. At the time that I punish them, they shall be cast down,’ says the Lord” (Jer. 6:13-15).

Again, God pleads with the people to repent, but they would not listen. “Thus says the Lord, ‘Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths where the good way is and walk in it, and you shall find rest for your souls. But they said, “We will not walk in it. Also I set watchmen over you, saying, “Hearken to the sound of the ram’s horn.” But they said, “We will not hearken.” Therefore hear, you nations, and know, O congregation, what will happen to them. Hear, O earth; behold, I will bring evil on this people, even the fruit of their thoughts because they have not hearkened to My words, nor to My law, but have rejected it’ ” (verses 16-19).

This is why America—and so many other nations—is besieged with so many calamities. Most people do not have a clue. However, the few who read and study their Bibles can know why these problems keep slamming the nations of the world like giant ocean waves—coming one after the other. There is no question: we are living in perilous times. But the end is not yet!

The world does not grasp this fundamental biblical truth: No one, whether a person or a nation, can continue to live in sin and expect to receive the blessings of God. Yet most people in the world, and even some in the churches of God, do not comprehend this basic truth. Satan the devil has deceived them. As the god of this world, he has blinded their minds (II Cor. 4:4). The apostle John further verifies this: “We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the wicked one” (I John 5:19). There is no question that a “covering of deception” has been cast over the world. Isaiah describes it as “the covering which covers all people, and the veil that is woven over all nations” (Isa. 25:7). This is all masterminded by Satan, the “ancient serpent who is called the Devil and Satan, who is deceiving the whole world” (Rev. 12:9).

This deception is so pervasive that most professing Christians, while giving lip service to God, actually embrace numerous pagan practices. Some even agree with atheistic ideologies. They love their Sunday-keeping and their occult holidays—all of which are linked to Baal (or sun) worship, the worship of Satan. Yet they have been led to believe that they are doing the will of God. However, their actions testify that they are wicked: “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, and have worked out abominable wickedness; there is no one who does good. God looked down from heaven upon the children of men to see if there were any who understand, who are seeking after God. Every one has turned away; they have altogether become filthy; no one is doing good, no, not even one. Have the workers of iniquity no knowledge?... [T]hey have not called upon God” (Psa. 53:1-4).

Isaiah prophesied precisely of these times: “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened that it cannot save, nor is His ear heavy that it cannot hear [God has not gone away]. But your iniquities have come between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear, for your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue has muttered perverseness. None calls for justice, nor does anyone plead for truth; they trust in vanity and speak lies. They conceive mischief and bring forth iniquity. They hatch adders’ eggs and weave the spider’s web; he who eats their eggs dies, and that which is crushed breaks out into a viper” (Isa. 59:1-5).

This is true to the old proverb, “Oh, the webs that we have weaved, since we first decided to deceive.” Those who do so always get caught in their own deceitful traps. “Their webs shall not become clothing, nor shall they cover themselves with their works; their works are works of iniquity, and the acts of violence are 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. They have not known the way of peace, and there is no justice in their ways. They have made crooked paths for themselves; whoever goes therein them shall not know peace.

“Therefore justice is far from us; nor does righteousness overtake us. We wait for light, but behold, darkness; for brightness, but we walk in deep shadows. We grope along the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes. We stumble at noonday as in the night; among those who are strong, we are like dead men. We all roar like bears, and mourn grievously like doves; we look for justice, but there is none, we look for salvation, yet it is far off from us.

For our transgressions are multiplied before You, and our sins testify against us; for our transgressions are with us; and as for our iniquities, we know them; in rebellion and denial of the Lord, and turning away from our God, talking perversity and revolt, conceiving and speaking from the heart words of falsehood.

“And justice is driven backward, and righteousness stands afar off; for truth has fallen in the street, and uprightness cannot enter. Yea, truth fails; and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey. And the Lord saw, and it was evil in His eyes that there was no justice” (verses 6-15).

Because of the evil proclivity of human nature, and Satan deceiving the whole world, all the efforts of men—their governments and religions, whether individually or collectively—are futile and cannot solve the problems facing mankind. THE ONLY SOLUTION IS THE RETURN OF CHRIST AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE GOVERNMENT OF GOD OVER MAN. JESUS WILL BE KING OVER ALL THE EARTH (Zech. 14:9).

He shall rule from Jerusalem: “And it shall come to pass, in the last days the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow into it. And many people shall go and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob. And He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths.’ For out of Zion shall go forth the Law, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (Isa. 2:2-4).

The saints will be resurrected at Jesus’ return and rule over the world under Him: “And I saw thrones; and they that sat upon them, and judgment was given to them; and I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus, and for the Word of God, and those who did not worship the beast, or his image, and did not receive the mark in their foreheads or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years…. Blessed and holy is the one who has part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power. But they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years” (Rev. 20:4, 6).

Brethren, in these critical times we need to truly draw close to God the Father and Jesus Christ with this ultimate spiritual goal in the forefront of our minds. We need to continue to build and maintain our spiritual relationship with them through constant prayer and daily Bible study. If we do, there is no doubt that we can endure whatever the future holds—with the faith, hope, and love of God as we develop godly character and true righteousness.

Thank you for your love and your prayers for us. We pray for you every day. Thank you for reaching out to other brethren and to new people by giving them CDs, literature, and directing them to our Web sites. Thank you for your continued support through your tithes and offerings. God will surely bless you with His love and grace, and will provide you with sufficiency in all things, just as He has promised. May God bless you with His love and grace in every way.

With love in Christ Jesus,

Fred R. Coulter

FRC

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