Monthly letter archive

November 14, 2017

Dear Brethren,

Right on the heels of a deadly terrorist attack in New York City has come the latest mass shooting: 26 people—ages 18 months to 78—were gunned down in Sutherland Springs, Texas, by an enraged killer while they were observing Sunday services in a small Baptist church. Such senseless, depraved violence demonstrates that we are indeed living in perilous times! In fact, Jesus prophesied that in these last days world conditions would be “as it was in the days of Noah”—wherein “lawlessness shall be multiplied” across the face of the earth!

As the world is now, so it was in the days of Noah before the Flood: “And the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord repented that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart…. And God looked upon the earth, and behold, it was corrupt—for all flesh had corrupted its way upon the earth. And God said to Noah, ‘The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them. And, behold, I will destroy them with the earth’ ” (Gen. 6:5-6, 12-13).

Now let us conduct a survey of the world today. Imagine we are in a space capsule and we are looking down on the earth. We will begin our survey at the equator from the International Date Line. Since the earth turns to the east, all the nations will pass under us. We will see in Asia slavery—and killings in China with the greatest number of abortions on earth. Look at North Korea, threatening to destroy American cities with nuclear missiles. China invades northern India; sixteen years of war in Afghanistan; the problems of Iranian threats and strategic power moves. In many Muslim countries there is war, death, and destruction—with terrorists killing their own people.

In the nations of black Africa, south of the Sahara Desert, we find government soldiers and police killing “innocent people.” In fact, it would be difficult to find an African nation without some kind of ongoing war, tribal conflict, or terrorism—not to mention famine, disease, poverty, and death.

Across the Mediterranean we see Europe being overrun with refugees from the Muslim world, and terrorism continually taking place in Europe and the UK. Across the Atlantic, it is the same story in South America, Central America, and Mexico—killings, drugs, corruption, tribe against tribe, people against people.

Now let’s look at the United States, home to untold millions of illegal immigrants. All of the sins and problems that are common to mankind are rampant in America. The nation is cursed. One key reason is abortion. About 3,000 abortions take place every day! Since 1972, when abortion was legalized in the U.S., there have been over 50 million abortions. That is more than all the deaths in WW II. Abortion is nothing less than the legalized, state-sponsored killing of our most innocent; it is our greatest collective sin as a nation! And abortion is sanctioned in almost every nation on earth. People want to get rid of the penalty of fornication and adultery by taking the most innocent of all human life—ripping the baby out of its mother’s womb!

Would we not agree that 3,000 abortions every day is far more heinous than terrorist attacks, or police shootings of supposedly innocent people—or even savage mass shootings such as occurred in Texas, Las Vegas, and other places? Yes, they are all tragic!

How did the world—and in particular, the United States of America—get to this point? Why are so many of these catastrophic events happening? Why, indeed, when over 70 percent of the population professes to believe in God?

In order to comprehend how we have descended into this abyss of evil as a nation, we need to take a broad overview of the past sixty years. In his book The Marketing of Evil, David Kupelian reveals the satanic, cunning evil behind the decades-long campaign throughout society to undermine and subvert godly morality—especially sexual morality—and to make perverse sexual practices accepted as normal. Kupelian writes: “As Americans, we have come to tolerate, embrace, and even champion many things that would have horrified our parents’ generation. Things like abortion-on-demand virtually up to the moment of birth, judges banning the Ten Commandments from public places, a national explosion of middle-school sex [with schools offering abortions to twelve-year-old girls without their parents’ consent], the slow starvation of the disabled, thousands of homosexuals openly flouting the law [with government-sanctioned public displays of gross, lewd hereto- and homosexual acts] and ‘getting married,’ and online porn creating late-night sex addicts in millions of middle-class homes.

“At the same time, our courts have scrubbed America’s schoolrooms surgically clean of every vestige of the religion on which this nation was founded—Christianity….

“The plain truth is, within the space of our lifetimes, much of what Americans once almost universally abhorred has been packaged, perfumed, gift-wrapped, and sold to us as though it had great value. By skillfully playing on our deeply felt national values of fairness, generosity, and tolerance, these marketers have persuaded us to embrace as enlightened and noble that which all previous generations since America’s founding regarded as grossly self-destructive—in a word, evil” (pp. 11-12).

As a result, today’s world is upside down! Good is evil and evil is good, and people have cast the laws of God behind their backs (Isa. 5:24). People have rejected God’s truth, and He has given them over to their own delusions—“because they did not receive the love of the truth, so that they might be saved. And for this cause, God will send upon them a powerful deception that will cause them to believe the lie. So that all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but who took pleasure in unrighteousness” (II Thess. 2:10-12). God’s Word has been branded as errors and lies, and errors and lies have been repackaged as truth. Dresden James illustrates how this can take place: “When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the masses over generations, the truth will seem utterly preposterous and its speaker a raving lunatic.”

The entire world has been deceived by Satan and is under his power. The apostle John writes that the “whole world lies in the power of the wicked one” (I John 5:19), that “Satan … [is actively] deceiving the whole world (Rev. 12:9). Indeed, “the god of this [present] age has blinded the minds of those who do not believe” (II Cor. 4:4)—resulting in the “covering which covers all people, and the veil [of darkness] that is woven over all nations” (Isa. 25:7).

This satanic “framework of deception” is the cause of all the problems of mankind from the Garden of Eden to this very day! Enabled by “human nature” and independent free moral agency, it is within this framework that every generation has been deceived in numerous ways, as Jesus told the religious leaders of His day: “You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you desire to practice. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has not stood in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he is speaking from his own self; for he is a liar, and the father of it” (John 8:44). People are so trapped by their own deceptive nature that they unwittingly choose to reject the truth of God.

Human solutions to these problems can only be temporary. The only permanent solution is the return of Jesus Christ and the resurrection of the saints (Rev. 11:15-18; 15:2-4); the binding of Satan and his demons (Rev. 20:1-3; 10; Jude 13); and the establishment of the Kingdom of God over the whole world (Dan. 7:27; Rev. 1:5-8; 2:26-27; 20:4-6).

This is our calling and our destiny as the sons and daughters of God the Father. At the very beginning of His ministry, Jesus made it clear that the first priority in our lives must be seeking the Kingdom of God: “But as for you, seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness…” (Matt. 6:33). We are to pray daily, “Your kingdom come.” We do this by daily focusing on and practicing the first and greatest commandment: “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment; and the second one is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets” (Matt. 22:37-40).

As the apostle Peter writes, “For this reason, brethren, be even more diligent to make your calling and election sure; because if you are doing these things, you will never fall at any time. For in this way, you will be richly granted an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ” (II Pet. 1:10-11).

We need to be encouraged by the greatness of our calling, the promises of God the Father and Jesus Christ, and the destiny of being in the first resurrection. Regardless of the evil in the world today, we need to stay close to God in prayer and study so that we can grow and overcome through the Holy Spirit of God. The apostle Paul encourages us with these words: “Now we are duty-bound to give thanks to God always concerning you, brethren, who are beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning has called you unto salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth, unto which He called you by our gospel to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brethren, stand firm, and hold fast the ordinances that you were taught, whether by word or by our epistle. Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God—even our Father, Who loved us and gave us eternal encouragement and good hope through grace—encourage your hearts and establish you in every good word and work” (II Thess. 2:13-17).

We have included the reports from the Feast of Tabernacles sites. It is evident that God granted the blessing of a tremendous Feast in all locations. In addition to these key sites, we sent out 230 sets of the Feast messages to smaller groups varying in size from 3 to 10 or more. Many of them also reported an excellent and blessed Feast!

The Two Goats: Please listen carefully to the special messages on the “The Two Goats of Leviticus 16”—as they will help you to better understand the prophetic meaning of the Day of Atonement and Satan’s ultimate destiny and eternal punishment.

Brethren, we thank you for your love and prayers for us. We pray for you daily, realizing the difficulties we all face living in this wicked world. Thank you for your continued faithfulness in your tithes and offerings, which are faithfully dedicated and used to serve the brethren and preach the Gospel.

With love in Christ Jesus,

Fred R. Coulter

FRC

2017 Feast of Tabernacles Site Reports

Hollister, California—Here in Hollister, we had a wonderful Feast of Tabernacles with much love and joy—and we were blessed with very good weather. We had great fellowship and tremendous meals—yet the Feast seemed as though it was over right after it began. We filled our meeting room beyond capacity!

Dear Fred: Thank you so much for making our “Feast of the Lord,” the Feast of Tabernacles, just a delight. We truly enjoyed our Feast and thought it was the best Feast! There was so much close fellowshipping and we were able to enjoy and get to know one another. Thank you for your personal kindness and service to all the brethren.

We were exceedingly happy that we were able to keep the Feast in Hollister. In doing so, we were able to meet you and Dolores—and the rest of the staff that works so diligently to supply us with all the literature, etc. We also thank you for the extra CDs and videos [we picked up at the office], which we will share with all the brethren in Chilliwack, BC, Canada. We pray for your continued health so we can learn more of God’s Word.—W. and P.

Sevierville, Tennessee—We had a wonderful Feast with an average 50 in attendance (with a high of 70). The brethren were as sweet and loving and giving as always. It is hard to explain the love we feel at this site. We feel so blessed to have been at Sevierville with such loving people. God bless all of you!—Earl and Sheila

Pasadena, California—The Feast here in Pasadena was a blessing to all. Although we hit a maximum of 28 brethren, we were pretty consistent with 24. We had guests from North Dakota, Kansas, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Oklahoma—as well as our own local brethren. Thought-provoking sermonettes were given along with the great messages from Fred, and we were filled both spiritually and physically with lots of great food.

Many of the brethren did a lot of sightseeing, while others stuck around to talk about spiritual topics after services. We felt the blessings as God smiled on us for keeping His Feast in a location where He chose to place His name.—Byron Norrod

Wells, Maine—Warm and cheery greetings from 20 brethren in Wells Beach! It is still summer-like in southern Maine with temperatures in the high 70s, bright sunshine, and low surf. The autumn colors are just beginning to spread in the oaks and maples and the New England favorites of fresh apple cider and pumpkin bread are plentiful. The opening night and first day messages were well received and the fellowship has been warm and loving. Wishing you all a joyous and meaningful Feast of Tabernacles!—Rick Roberg

Hi Fred: The Feast of Tabernacles in Wells went great. Twenty-four brethren celebrated the Feast at the Village by the Sea resort, where the weather was seasonably warm and sunny and the colorful autumn foliage at its peak. This was our tenth year at this beautiful location.

The daily messages were inspiring and well received. In addition, we had two interactive Bible Studies and an enjoyable pizza/movie (“The War Room”) afternoon on a rainy day. We took up and sent a collection for brethren in Kenya for food for their Feast, and we had a baptism after services on the Last Great Day! It was a blessed and wonderful Feast!—Rick Roberg

Thames, New Zealand—This year we where joined by four latecomers, bringing the total to 20 attending. Our two youngest men, Cael and Jude, took part in the services for the first time. Wonderful stuff. The Thames coast set the scene again this year and we enjoyed some very good times together. Love to you all.

Penang, Malaysia—The Malaysian brethren had a wonderful family Feast this year in Penang. The weather was great and all of our activities went off without a problem. For us it was very much a family Feast, as we all participated in group meals, outdoor trips, activities, and family nights—which included a Bible quiz and an entertainment night.

A highlight again this year was spiritual fulfillment! Fred’s extraordinary sermons were well received by all. A big “thank you” to Mr. Fred. This year we were pleased to have Roy and Manola Assanti with us, as well as a long-time member from Australia, Susan Woodford. Their company made a great Feast even better. Roy gave several sermons that were shared with isolated brethren in Australia (and one in Europe) via a GoToMeeting Internet hookup. This hookup provided a unique opportunity for brethren, including the children, to greet each other after services while separated by vast distances.

We had 30 in attendance including children, and this was the biggest group ever in Malaysia’s CBCG history. A memorable Feast was had by all!—Andrew Moses

Nelson Bay, Australia—The Feast in Nelson Bay was a standout! We had 25 in attendance, and felt particularly blessed to have Steve and Cynthia Greene with us. Cynthia’s beautiful piano playing and Steve’s music leading (and sermonette) were greatly appreciated—not to mention their contribution to robust biblical discussion!

Nearly every day we had a combination of a live sermonette or Bible study with Fred’s two-part sermon. There wasn’t a hint of division as everyone was warm and kind with godly conversations flowing happily and readily. There was a definite unity between the sermonettes, Bible studies, and Fred’s sermons—so much so that it appeared to have been planned that way. Such is God’s spirit! Fred provided “meat in due season” as his teachings on the millennium built upon our previous understanding.

The spiritual fervor was matched by high attendance levels at social functions, including a barramundi (alpha fish) farm tour, whale watching, and a barbecue where people from other COGs joined us. It was an action-packed week with a nice spectrum of age groups and “walks of life” that came together to worship God our Father and Jesus our Christ. We are most grateful for the tireless work of Fred and Roy and the CBCG—and especially thankful to God who continues to provide for us in great abundance.—Peter

Payson, Arizona—This year a group of 28 attended a very inspiring and encouraging Feast in Payson. Brethren came from Arizona, Utah, West Virginia, Florida, and Colorado. As in previous years, sermon transcripts were printed and bound for all attendees. The group enjoyed a meal together on the first holy day and on the Last Great Day. One evening we gathered for “game night”—puzzles, chess, and enjoying fellowship. On another evening we watched the documentary “Journey to the Edge of Creation,” which gave a biblical view of our solar system and the universe. Jim Rogers, from Cottonwood, Arizona, gave an encouraging Bible study on the Sabbath evening prior to the Last Great Day. We had wonderful fellowship the entire Feast, sharing meals and sharing thoughts about the sermons. Brethren also enjoyed sightseeing in this beautiful area of central Arizona. Many brethren appreciated the accommodations and would like to return next year.—Leon and Carol Ritchie

Tulsa, Oklahoma—We had a wonderful Feast this year, with a top attendance of 39 and low of 20. We had a family of five from Texas that changed sites from Florida, escaping potential hurricane-related storms; they were delightful to get to know. We had a Bingo afternoon, with small prizes, and about 20 attended; we also had a church meal. Visitors who were hearing Fred for the first time were very positive and said they plan to visit us soon. Any Feast where you can make new and lasting friends is a great Feast!—Larry Burchfield

Kimberling City, Missouri—Twenty-two brethren, joined by several visitors, enjoyed the Feast at Kimberling City. The weather was warm and beautiful and the sermons by Mr. Coulter were inspirational. Activities included lunch and a wildlife tram tour at Dogwood Canyon Nature Park where brethren saw buffalo, deer, long horn cattle, trout, and a bald eagle. Many of the brethren enjoyed several meals together and wonderful fellowship in the Branson area.—Larry Smith

Daytona Beach, Florida—We had 21 people pass through the Daytona Beach site during the Feast, giving us a mixed multitude of CBCG brethren and brethren from other church groups—as well as people who were not in the Church at all. The Feast was wonderful with lots of spiritual food and opportunities to fellowship. The Feast just keeps getting better and better and we look forward to an even better one next year, God willing.

Destin, Florida—We had a wonderful Feast in Destin this year. Our attendance was about 30 each day. There was an obvious atmosphere of love for one another. It looked like hurricane Nate would cause problems for God’s Feast in this area. We were fortunate, however, and its major impact was west of Destin. We did have high winds, heavy rain, and flooding for one day, which prevented many of our brethren from attending services that day. But the weather cleared rapidly and brethren enjoyed spiritual food, the beach, sun, and sand for the rest of the Feast.

On several days we had guests attending the Feast for the first time with the CBCG. These guests indicated a very positive attitude concerning their visit. After the Feast I received the following e-mail from one of the guests: “Scott and I would like to thank you and your lovely wife for welcoming us during the Feast. We truly enjoyed it and felt the love of God. Our kids made friends and so did we. What a special blessing. I loved your message on ‘Attitudes’ and treasure your heart for God’s work. Blessings to you and yours.” It was our blessing to have them attend and we hope to see them again in the future. There were other first-time attendees and I hope we were able to convey to them the love that God pours out on his people.

We were truly blessed to have the Feast in Destin and to have shared the love of God with so many wonderful brethren. The entire eight days exemplified a attitude of sharing and serving one another. I offer my sincere thanks to all the brethren who helped make this Feast a successful and heartwarming event. May God bless you all.—Russ Kemp

Moama, New South Wales, Australia—Even though our numbers were low again this year, we all had a wonderful, spiritually uplifting Feast at Rich River Golf Club. The messages by Fred were spiritually inspiring, helping us to look beyond the near future to the time when Christ returns to rule the earth—and into eternity. We were able to enjoy good weather, Ten Pin Bowling, and our annual Murray River cruise on the Canberra Paddle Steamer.

Each evening we were able to meet for meals, which gave us the opportunity for fellowship, to get to know one another better, and to inspire each other.—Maurice Dodson

Caloundra, Australia—Attendance was slightly down from last year—approximately 25 to 32 each day with the Last Great Day peaking at around 40. It was nice to have a larger number of children attending this year, which provided a welcomed balance to the more aged brethren who usually attend.

Brethren were very appreciative of the prepared messages from Fred, which provided spiritual meat in due season. The messages provided greater insight from God’s Word about the responsibilities newly resurrected members of God’s family will have in the kingdom. It was clear that we will all need to “roll up our sleeves”—spiritually speaking. The Last Great Day message provided hope for those who have not been called in this present age and who are oblivious to God’s plan of salvation. Printed transcripts were again beneficial in following the video message and for later reviewing the messages.

As in previous years, brethren were able to enjoy barista-made coffee, made by the son of a member who volunteered his time and skill. Also, lunch with dessert was provided free of charge daily. The Feast provided brethren, particularly those from isolated areas, with many opportunities to renew old friendships and make new ones.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina—The Feast in Myrtle Beach left us wanting more; we were all sad to see it end. The brotherhood/sisterhood was strong among our 22 attendees; there was a spirit of unity and love that could only be seen with God’s people. The group had great fellowship. The recorded messages were well received. Every year we are increased with knowledge through the teaching about God’s plan. The fact that Solomon’s biggest error was not giving credit to God was another valuable nugget we can add to our understanding. Solomon became complacent in a time of wealth and prosperity, just as those in the Millennium may become complacent and forget God.

The group was blessed with two elders who provided live sermonettes and Bible studies. They really enhanced and reinforced the teachings given via the DVDs. The group had a cookout and a luncheon that were both well attended. The temps were in the 80s and it was at least partly sunny. A lot of time was spent at Cherry Grove Beach sunbathing, swimming, and collecting shells and shark’s teeth. The staff at the Quality Inn was very accommodating; they provided us with free coffee and a partial continental breakfast.

Houston, Texas—Here in Houston, we enjoyed another great Feast. Thanks for the sermons. We appreciate Mr. Ambrose and Kay, his wife, visiting us again from Georgia. We were able to have baptism counseling for one in attendance, and had one child for the blessing of the little children. We also had Ernest Istre from Austin. Our attendance for first day was 31 to 35, with an average throughout the week of 15 to 20; the LGD we had 42. Hope everyone else had a wonderful and encouraging Feast. Looking forward to next year!—Tommy Foy

British Columbia, Canada—The Feast sermons were great. I am one of the brethren God is developing, for the most part, in isolation. There are quite a few of us. If that is what is needed for myself to be in the kingdom, so be it. We are working out our own salvation with fear and trembling. Yet I was somewhat down, missing time spent in the presence of brethren.

The Feast teachings and God’s Spirit have brought me to a new level of understanding. Things are much clearer now and much more real. What Scripture teaches about our calling and what we will be doing as God’s priests in the Millennium … it’s all opening up to me, the deep things of God. It was definitely a humbling Feast for me; a Feast of renewal and re­dedication.

God is doing something great and wonderful within His children. I am so thankful that I was brought into existence, given life, called and chosen of Him, and given the opportunity to live forever as a first fruit of His family.—J. M.

Vernon, British Columbia, Canada—We had a most rewarding and inspiring Feast in Vernon, BC. We had a high attendance of 93 on the first holy day and averaged about 85 for the rest of the Feast. The messages were all very well received and the warmth and fellowship amongst the brethren was outstanding. The love of God was expressed to the utmost, and the surroundings and atmosphere represented a true picture of the coming Millennium. It was an honor, and most pleasant, to host such a wonderful group of brethren.

We had many new brethren who had never attended with us and some who were from other church affiliations. It was special to be able to share with them the unity and camaraderie we all had. We were blessed to have the opportunity of baptizing two people at the Feast; it was refreshing and exciting to welcome them into God’s family. We also had the blessing of a little newborn child, and that made our “Children’s Day” extra special. We had many children at the Feast, which added so much to our joyous festival. As it was Thanksgiving in Canada over the weekend, we all enjoyed a beautifully catered meal—with sincere thanks and love towards our gracious Father in heaven. The love and happiness among everyone was obvious the entire Feast. I am positive God was well pleased, as were all the attendees. It was an awesome Feast and it was such a blessing to dwell with brethren in unity and godly love. It was overwhelming.

Have a wonderful remainder of the year, brethren. Stay positive and focus on the hope God has given to lead us on our ongoing Christian journey.—Norbert and Denise Bohnert

Guelph, Ontario, Canada—Our Father’s Feast here in Guelph was a very family orientated festival. There were 17 in attendance and God’s Holy Spirit was certainly evident with all the love, warmth, caring, and sharing expressed by the brethren! The kind comments regarding the services and events were delightful, and Fred’s messages as always were amazing. We thank all the brethren so much for making this Feast a special one!Robert and Trisha Stapleton

We had a wonderful Feast at the Holiday Inn in Guelph. Our host and hostess, Robert Stapleton and his wife, Trisha, did a beautiful job of decorating the tables and podium and provided us with tea and coffee and lots of goodies. We had 16 in attendance, some from as far as Rochester and the Ottawa region. Many enjoyed the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory. There are thousands of freely flying butterflies in a tropical garden. You could explore a collection of insects and meet live exotic bugs. We all experienced such a beautiful harmony that it was hard to go our separate ways again after the Last Great Day.—Jan Berg

Prince Edward Island, Canada—The Feast on the Island was second to none. Our attendance for the seven days of the Feast was eight. On the Last Great Day we had ten. Each day’s messages were wonderfully inspiring and uplifting. We all experienced the magnitude of God’s Word and creation. What an awesome God we have. On Sunday, after services, we were so pleased that five people from another Church of God came to visit with us. It was a most memorable and loving experience.

Monday, October 9, was Thanksgiving in Canada—so we had a beautifully catered Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings. The weather could not have been better. Each day you could see the changing of the fall foliage. We hope that many more will be able to experience the Island with us.—George and Simona Neufeld

Boone, North Carolina—Hello Fred: My wife and I had a great Feast here in Boone. Listening to the CBCG Feast sermons on God’s plan was wonderful—as was studying the Word of God at the Feast with no outside influences.—Delbridge and Judy Peterson

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