Monthly letter archive

March 10, 2021

Dear Brethren,

With the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread coming upon us, we are sending out this mailing a week early. This way you will have the message for the Sabbath before Passover, March 20. The enclosed CD has all the messages for the entire spring festival season:

  • Passover, the evening of March 26, as it is getting dark
  • Passover Day Sabbath message, March 27
  • Night to be Much Observed to the Lord—the night of March 27
  • First Day of Unleavened Bread, March 28, a holy day and Wave Sheaf Offering Day
  • Last Day of Unleavened Bread, April 3, a holy day and a weekly Sabbath

Because the first holy day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread falls on the first day of the week on the Roman Calendar, that means the last day of the Feast falls on a regular Sabbath. During the week between the holy days, you can set aside extra time each day for Bible study. On the truthofgod.org home page are two important studies, both highly relevant for this season: How to Overcome the Sin Within and the special video True Fellowship With God. And there is plenty of additional online material for your studies between the holy days.

The Lamb of God—the Supreme Sacrifice of God John the Baptist proclaimed that Jesus, the Son of God, was “the Lamb of God, to take away the sin of the world.” As the Creator of all mankind, Jesus Christ offered Himself as the supreme sacrifice of God the Father. Through His one perfect sacrifice, Jesus purchased redemption from sin for all time. The New Testament reveals that His death fulfilled not only the Passover sacrifice, but all of the animal sacrifices that were required by the laws God had given to Moses. All such sacrifices were fulfilled when Jesus died on the Passover day. Indeed, the apostle Paul tells us that Jesus “offered ONE SACRIFICE for sins forever” (Heb. 10:12). That one perfect sacrifice purchased everlasting redemption: “By Whose will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ ONCE FOR ALL” (Heb. 10:10). Again, “For when He died, He died unto sin ONCE FOR ALL” (Rom. 6:10)—on the Passover day, Nisan 14/April 5, 30 AD. Paul affirms that Jesus’ death fulfilled the sacrifice of the Passover lamb: “For Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us” (I Cor. 5:7).

Jesus Christ was the complete sacrifice of God the Father to fulfill the promises of the New Covenant—the only covenant that offers redemption from sin and the gift of eternal life. The promise of eternal life through the New Covenant was sealed by the beaten, scourged, and crucified body of Christ and the outpouring of His blood. The ceremony that commemorates Jesus’ supreme sacrifice for the sins of the world was instituted on the night He was betrayed. That night, His disciples partook of the symbols of His body and His blood. Thus, all who follow Christ are to partake of those same symbols at that same time. Paul wrote that the instructions of the Lord were to commemorate His death “in that night”—when He was betrayed, which was the night of Nisan 14.

Christians are to renew and reaffirm their commitment to the New Covenant every year on that night by participating in the footwashing and by partaking of the broken, unleavened bread and the cup of wine. It is a personal, individual renewal of one’s pledge to continue under the New Covenant: “This cup is the New Covenant in My blood, which is poured out for you” (Luke 22:20). Each Christian who takes part in this ceremony is again affirming his or her acceptance of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and is renewing his or her commitment to live by the words of God (Matt. 4:4).

By personally renewing one’s participation in the New Covenant, one is able to receive continuing forgiveness and grace from God the Father, Who applies the blood of Christ to the believer’s sins (I John 1:7-9). It is through the grace of God, and by repentance, that cleansing from sin is accomplished on a daily basis (Matt. 6:12)—allowing Christians to remain in fellowship with God the Father and Jesus Christ (I John 1:3). God thus imparts strength and understanding to each believer through His Holy Spirit. Every Christian who is led by the Holy Spirit will be growing in spiritual knowledge and godly character, and will ultimately receive the gift of eternal life in the Kingdom of God when Jesus returns (II Pet. 1:4-11).

The Mystery of Godliness: God has revealed in His Word that His desire is to grant eternal life to all who will repent and accept Jesus Christ as personal savior and are baptized for the remission of sins. So marvelous is God’s purpose for man that the apostle Paul calls it “the mystery of godliness.” This great mystery of God is the very reason for the life, death, and resurrection of Christ: “And undeniably, great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, was justified in the Spirit, was seen by angels, was proclaimed among the Gentiles, was believed on in the world, was received up in glory” (I Tim. 3:16).

It was to raise up sons and daughters for God the Father that Jesus Christ was manifested in the flesh. The mystery of godliness is the knowledge that Jesus was God manifested in the flesh—and that by the power of the Holy Spirit, Christ dwells within each one whom the Father has called, enabling the believer to overcome the law of sin and death and to receive eternal life at the resurrection: “Even the mystery which has been hidden from the ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints; to whom God did will to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:26-27).

In describing the mystery of godliness, Paul writes that not only was God “manifested in the flesh” but He was also “justified in the Spirit” (I Tim. 3:16). How was Jesus Christ, as God in the flesh, justified in the Spirit? As the Lord God of the Old Testament, Who had created all things, Jesus emptied Himself of His divine, eternal existence and was made in the likeness of man. He took upon Himself the same sinful flesh that all human beings have, and thus the same judgment that was pronounced upon Adam and Eve and their descendants. Although He was tempted like all other human beings, He overcame the law of sin and death and Satan, the author of sin, through the power of the Holy Spirit. He condemned sin in the flesh by living a perfect life, not once yielding to the pulls of the flesh, but always being led by the Holy Spirit of God the Father. That is how God was justified in the Spirit.

Because Jesus, as God in the flesh, was justified in the Spirit, He has opened the way for all things on earth and in heaven to be reconciled to God the Father: “Giving thanks to the Father, Who has made us qualified for the share of the inheritance of the saints in the light; Who has personally rescued us from the power of darkness [Satan], and has transferred us unto the kingdom of the Son of His love [by giving us the power of His Holy Spirit]; in Whom we have redemption through His own blood, even the remission of sins; Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; because by Him were all things created, the things in heaven and the things on the earth, the visible and the invisible, whether they be thrones, or lordships, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him and for Him.

“And He is before all, and by Him all things subsist. And He is the Head of the body, the church; Who is the beginning, the firstborn from among the dead, so that in all things He Himself might hold the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell; and, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things to Himself; by Him, whether the things on the earth, or the things in heaven” (Col. 1:12-20).

Through Jesus’ sacrifice, according to God’s great plan of reconciliation, all who repent of their sins, accept Christ as personal Savior, and are baptized receive the gift of salvation, with the promise of eternal life in the Kingdom of God. “But we see Jesus, Who was made a little lower than the angels, crowned with glory and honor on account of suffering the death, in order that by the grace of God He Himself might taste death for everyone; because it was fitting for Him, for Whom all things were created, and by Whom all things exist, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Author of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both He Who is sanctifying and those who are sanctified are all of one [one Father]; for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren” (Heb. 2:9-11).

Jesus Christ was the first fleshly human being to be resurrected from the dead as a glorified spirit being. At His return, an innumerable number will be granted eternal life as the spirit sons and daughters of God the Father. They will share the same eternal existence and glory as Christ, as Paul discloses: “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” (Rom. 8:16-18).

The apostle John also wrote that the children of God will ultimately be like Jesus: “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” (I John 3:1-2).

The hope of being glorified like Christ and living with Him forever in the Kingdom of God brings true meaning to the observance of the Christian Passover. Every true Christian who shares this hope will be faithfully keeping this solemn ceremony each year on the night that Jesus instituted it. Each one will have a part with Jesus Christ in this life and as spirit sons and daughters of the Father in His kingdom. Each one will partake of the unleavened bread and the wine in order to renew their participation in the New Covenant and remain under the blood of Christ throughout the coming year. Each one will determine to live by every word of the New Covenant through the power of the Holy Spirit. This personal renewal of one’s part in the New Covenant through the Christian Passover ceremony will enable each one to receive the glorious inheritance that awaits the children of God.

Because of restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, many of you will have to take the Passover alone. In such cases there will obviously be no footwashing. Since God knows this, when you come to the footwashing part of the Passover ceremony, you should offer a special prayer about it and leave it in God’s hands.

The Hypocrisy of Politicians in Washington, DC: Raymond Clore, an independent church elder retired from the U.S. State Department, has written a short essay about hypocrisy among politicians and federal workers. It follows at the end of this letter.

Chart of the 400/430-Year Period From Abraham to the Exodus: One of our elders, Roger Tointon, has created a chart showing how to reconcile the seeming discrepancy between the 400 years of Genesis 15 and the 430 years of Exodus 12. As you will see, once all of the relevant biblical passages are considered, there is no inconsistency. We have covered this in past messages, but seeing it in chart form will clearly show how God calculated this period to the “very same day” (Ex. 12:41). That “day” was the beginning of Israel’s first Feast of Unleavened Bread—the night they left Egypt (Num. 33:3-5). Roger’s chart is attached to this letter.

Brethren, thank you for your prayers for us and all the brethren—especially for those who are confronted with sickness or afflictions. We pray every day for those who need God’s deliverance—that our Father will grant healing through faith in the sacrifice and shed blood of Jesus Christ, our Passover and Savior. Thank you for your tithes and offerings, which are always used to serve the brethren and to preach the Gospel.

With love in Christ Jesus,

Fred R. Coulter

FRC

 

Swamp Gas: Thoughts from a DC area resident

 

The “word of the year” for 2020, and for the first part of 2021, has to be hypocrisy. The Oxford dictionary defines hypocrisy as “the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretense.” Webster adds that hypocrisy is “behavior that contradicts what one claims to believe or feel; especially the false assumption of, an appearance of, virtue or religion.” Examples of hypocrisy among rich and politically connected elites in Washington and around the country are legion. We will list only a few.

First, as Christ’s disciples we should remember that Jesus warned: “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed…” (Luke 12:1-2). We must not allow ourselves to imitate those who have “normalized” hypocritical behavior. We need to fear God, who has promised that ungodly thoughts, words, and behavior that we think are secret will one day be exposed and known. We should live as if all our words and actions are plain for others to see or hear.

Like Pharisees, the politically connected elites in Washington, DC and around the country like to impose needless burdens on people—such as oppressive economic lockdowns on small restaurants and businesses. Meanwhile, they go on enjoying life without masks or social distancing—and indifferently dine at expensive French restaurants! Like Pharisees, they oppress the small business owner while favoring the rich and well connected big box stores. Like Pharisees, they try to “cancel” speech and people they do not like.

The recent “impeachment trial” of former President Donald Trump was a howling example of hypocrisy. Trump was accused of inciting violence against Congress and the Capitol on January 6 by using the word fight in a political speech. Yet it is widely accepted that the use of the word fight in political discourse does not mean physical violence; rather, it refers to vigorous (peaceful) efforts to promote a cause. In Trump’s defense, videos were shown of every Democratic senator present at the trial, including the House impeachment managers, using the word fight in political speech. Yet many senators proceeded to condemn Trump—for using a word that they widely use. Thus, they condemned themselves as hypocrites.

Another example is the hypocrisy regarding the protection of the life and property of the common person versus the political elite. We see the continued militarization of the area around the Capitol. Eight-foot fences with razor wire and thousands of National Guard troops on patrol. Leftist political leaders last summer applauded, condoned, and excused violence and death in the streets of many U.S. cities and rejected the use of National Guard troops to restore order. Why? They were not directly affected. Only when these political elites felt that their own security was threatened did they demand police and military protection. Destruction of the little person’s property, business, and life seems inconsequential in their minds, while the elite’s property and life must be protected.

Elites in Washington and around the country have largely abandoned any pretense of adhering to biblical or godly values. Elites work against the death penalty, even in aggravated murder cases. At the same time, they support the death of innocent, unborn children through free access to abortion—even late term abortions bordering on infanticide. Elites claim to support “inclusion” while assiduously working to divide the population into racial, ethnic, class, and tribal groups—all in order to promote grievance and hate towards other groups. Elites preach “equity”—which means unjustly taking the goods and wealth of some and redistributing it to other, politically favored, groups. But God warns:

“I have stretched out My hands all day long to a rebellious people, who walk in a way that is not good, according to their own thoughts [not God’s]; a people who provoke Me to anger continually to My face…. [A people] who [hypocritically] say [to others], ‘Keep to yourself, do not come near me, for I am holier than you!’ These are smoke in My nostrils, a fire that burns all the day. Behold it is written before Me, I will not keep silence, but will repay…” (Isa. 65:2-6).

For the moment, hypocrites are in control in Washington. But as we approach Passover, we should examine ourselves to see if we are saying or pretending to do one thing, but are secretly doing another. We are called to live by God’s more excellent moral standards. Let us be reliable moral lights in today’s world.

 

Raymond Clore

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