Monthly letter archive

June 17, 2020

Dear Brethren,

Living in a world of instant communication, we are able to watch various events as they are unfolding in real time—from nearly any place on earth. News updates are available to us every hour of every day via radio, television, the Internet, and cell phones. These include reports and analyses concerning local, national, or world events. We can see and hear about such events in newscasts or read the coverage in various publications. For months we have been “locked in” because of the Wuhan virus. But now, just as our states have begun to reopen, we have been overwhelmed with well planned demonstrations and rioting—with looting, arson, and destruction of property—in our major cities.

We are witnessing exactly what Jesus prophesied of when He warned the apostles of major events that would occur in the latter days: “And you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you do not let these things disturb you. For it is necessary that all these things take place, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be famines and pestilences and earthquakes in different places. Now all these things are the beginning of sorrows [or throes].

“Then shall they deliver you up to affliction, and shall kill you; and you shall be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then shall many be led into sin, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another; and many false prophets shall arise, and shall deceive many; and because lawlessness shall be multiplied, the love of many shall grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, that one shall be saved” (Matt. 24:6-13).

As we can see, these prophesies are being fulfilled right before our eyes—and it can be quite unsettling to us emotionally and spiritually. This is especially true when such things come at us one after the other, like giant rolling waves. When we add our own problems into the mix, we can be easily overwhelmed. As a result, we can get discouraged and down mentally and spiritually.

So remember that God is always there to help us, to intervene for us, to lift us up, and comfort us. Whatever the circumstances, we need to call out to God in prayer. God the Father and Jesus Christ will answer us and help us, because They love us and have called us. They have given the Holy Spirit to us. Therefore, in our times of trouble and need, when we pray, we need to claim these promises and receive encouragement—just as King David wrote in Psalm 20: “May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble, the name of the God of Jacob set you on high. May He send you help from the sanctuary, and strengthen you out of Zion. May He remember all your offerings…. May He grant you according to your own heart and fulfill all your plans. We will shout for joy in your victory, and in the name of our God we will set up banners. May the Lord fulfill all your prayers” (verses 1-5).

Always remember that God hears our prayers. He delights in our prayers. He wants to fulfill all of our prayers, as He has promised in His Word. We can claim God’s comforting promises and encouragement, as well as physical and spiritual strength: “[T]he prayer of the upright is His delight…. He hears the prayer of the righteous” (Prov. 15:8, 29).

In Psalm 2 we find a perfect description of the world now confronting us—prophesied thousands of years ago. It reveals why the world is in so much trouble: we try to solve our problems while, in rebellion, rejecting God. What a paradox! True to this Psalm, the world in all its troubles is raging against God and His anointed—Jesus the Christ. Notice: “Why do the nations rage and the people plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against His Christ, saying, ‘Let us break Their bands asunder and cast away Their cords from us.’ He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, and in His fury He terrifies them” (verses 1-5).

When people and their rulers reject God, it causes God to work against them. It is a living law: if we go against God, we cannot solve our problems, no matter how hard we try. Notice: “The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He frustrates the plans of the people” (Psa. 33:10).

Few realize that God keeps track of the behavior of individuals, as well as nations—the righteous and unrighteous: “If at any time I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck it up and to pull it down, and to destroy it; if that nation, against whom I have spoken, will turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do to them. And if at any time I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build it and to plant it; if it does evil in my sight, that it does not obey My voice, then I will repent of the good with which I said I would do them good.

“Now therefore, speak to the men of Judah, and to the people of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Behold, I am forming evil against you, and devising a plan against you. Return now, each one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good” ’ ” (Jer. 18:7-11).

So if a nation’s leaders, and a majority of its people, would turn to God in repentance and obedience in seeking His help, God would kindly reveal the answers to their troubles. Great blessings would follow: “The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the thoughts of His heart to all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, and the people He has chosen for His own inheritance. The Lord looks down from heaven; He beholds all the sons of men. From His dwelling place He looks intently upon all the inhabitants of the earth. Together He fashions their hearts alike; He considers all their works. The king is not saved by a great army; a mighty man is not delivered by much strength. A horse is a vain thing for safety; neither shall it deliver any by its great strength” (Psa. 33:11-17).

It’s the same with the people of God. He is always there to bless, protect, and help us—because we love Him, obey Him, and hope in His salvation. “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” (verses 18-22).

By trusting and hoping in God—in love, truth, and faith—we can keep a proper perspective about things taking place in the world and in our lives. Then we will not be held in the clutches of discouragement. This is how we keep our minds on God’s plan of eternal life—knowing that we are to rule the world under Christ at His return. Thus, Jesus admonishes us: “[S]eek the kingdom of God, and all these things [all the promises of God] shall be added to you. Do not be afraid, little flock [because of worldwide turmoil], for your Father delights in giving you the kingdom” (Luke 12:31-32).

Here is how we are to seek God and His kingdom: “Trust in the Lord, and do good … 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…. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; do not fret yourself [because of the wickedness in the world], it leads only to evil; for evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth” (Psa. 37:3-9).

Doing these things day by day, through the Holy Spirit, transforms our minds. Paul calls this our “spiritual service,” which renews our minds: “I exhort you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and well pleasing to God, which is your spiritual service. Do not conform yourselves to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind in order that you may prove what is well pleasing and good, and the perfect will of God” (Rom. 12:1-2).

By the renewing of our minds, God the Father—through the power of His Spirit in us, coupled with the Word of God—is actually creating in us His holy righteous character. This takes place as we love and obey Him through Christ. Paul writes: “If indeed you have heard Him [God the Father] and have been taught in Him, according to the truth in Jesus: that concerning your former conduct, you put off the old man, which is corrupt according to deceitful lusts; and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that you put on the new man, which according to God is created [within us] in righteousness and holiness of the truth” (Eph. 4:21-24). God is creating in us the mind of Christ (Phil. 2:5), which He accomplishes through the power of the Holy Spirit within us: “For by one offering He has obtained eternal perfection for those who are sanctified. And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after He had previously said, ‘This is the covenant that I will establish with them after those days,’ says the Lord: ‘I will give My laws into their hearts, and I will inscribe them in their minds; and their sins and lawlessness I will not remember ever again.’

“Now where remission of these is, it is no longer necessary to offer sacrifices for sin. Therefore, brethren, having confidence to enter into the true holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which He consecrated for us through the veil (that is, His flesh), and having a great High Priest over the house of God, let us approach God with a true heart, with full conviction of faith, our hearts having been purified from a wicked conscience, and our bodies having been washed with pure water. Let us hold fast without wavering to the hope that we profess, for He Who promised is faithful” (Heb. 10:14-23).

This is what God is doing within us daily, and it’s a life-long process. Through the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, we are to spiritually grow in grace and knowledge in order to overcome the pulls of human nature. Paul describes this spiritual battle in Romans 8, which, as we have seen, is the work of the Father creating within us His holy character and the mind of Christ: “However, you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if the Spirit of God is indeed dwelling within you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. But if Christ be within you, the body is indeed dead because of sin; however, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

Now if the Spirit of Him [God the Father] Who raised Jesus from the dead is dwelling within you, He Who raised Christ from the dead will also quicken your mortal bodies because of His Spirit that dwells within you. So then, brethren, we are not debtors to the flesh, to live according to the flesh; because if you are living according to the flesh, you shall die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons 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” (Rom. 8:9-17).

Paul also writes that the “holy writings” of the Old Testament “are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith, which is in Christ Jesus” (II Tim. 3:15). It is essential for us to realize how true that is. Indeed, with the Holy Spirit of God we can learn from these inspired writings how to conduct our lives. Plus, they give us a good perspective on how God deals with the wicked of the world. We can see this vividly portrayed in Psalm 37. Notice how much spiritual instruction this passage contains for New Testament Christians as well: “Depart from evil and do good; and live forevermore. For the Lord loves justice and does not forsake His saints; they are preserved forever, but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off. The righteous shall inherit the earth and dwell in it forever. The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, and his tongue talks of justice. The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.

“The wicked watches the righteous and seeks to kill him. The Lord will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged. Wait on the Lord and keep His way, and He shall exalt you to inherit the earth; when the wicked are cut off, you shall see it.

“I have seen the ruthless wicked in great power and spreading himself like a luxuriant tree in its native soil. Yet he passed away, and lo, he was no more; and I searched for him, but he could not be found. Mark the blameless man and behold the upright one, for the end of that man is peace. But the sinners shall be destroyed together; the prosperity of the wicked shall be cut off.

But the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; He is their strength in the time of trouble. And the Lord shall help them and deliver them; He shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them because they take refuge in Him” (verses 27-40).

Book of Revelation: Revelation is the “capstone” book of the Word of God, the Seventh Division of the Bible. Because this book vividly describes the major end time events to come upon the world, it contains some of the most powerful passages of the New Testament.

In the opening verses of Revelation, John writes that this profound prophetic book comes directly from God the Father to Jesus Christ, Who gives it in vision to John: “The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God [the Father] gave to Him, to show to His servants the things that are ordained to come to pass shortly; and He made it known, having sent it by His angel to His servant John; who gave witness to the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ, and all the things he saw” (Rev. 1:1-2).

Jesus promises a blessing to everyone who reads and hears the words of this book: “Blessed is the one who reads, and those who hear the words of this prophecy and who keep the things that are written therein; for the time is at hand” (verse 3).

At the end of the book of Revelation, Jesus again pronounces a blessing—as well as a warning. Since these are the last words of the Bible, they are meant to apply to the entire Bible—the Word of God: “ ‘And behold, I am coming quickly; and My reward is with Me, to render to each one according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.’ Blessed are those who keep His commandments, that they may have the right to eat of the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. But excluded are dogs, and sorcerers, and fornicators, and murderers, and idolaters, and everyone who loves and devises a lie.

“ ‘I, Jesus, sent My angel to testify these things to you in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright and morning star.’ And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who thirsts come; and let the one who desires partake of the water of life freely. For I jointly testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book, that if anyone adds to these things, God shall add to him the plagues that are written in this book. And if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the book of life, and from the holy city, and from the things that are written in this book. He Who testifies these things says, ‘Surely, I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen” (Rev. 22:12-21).

We have a special audio CD of the book of Revelation. It is absolutely inspiring. We also have a video version that displays each scripture as it is read. Both versions are available by contacting the CBCG office. We recently sent you the special DVD True Fellowship with God. This is another vital tool you can use time and time again, as it will inspire you and help you to draw closer to God.

Brethren, stay close to God the Father and Jesus Christ through daily prayer and Bible study. We pray for you every day, asking God to watch over you, protect you, heal you, and bless you. Again, we thank you for your love and prayers, and for your tithes and offerings, which are always used to preach the Gospel and feed the Flock of God. May God’s grace and blessings be with you in all things.

With love in Christ Jesus,

Fred R. Coulter