Monthly letter archive

September/October Letter

September 17, 2019

Dear Brethren,

The Fall Festival season will soon be upon us! This year’s dates, on the Roman Calendar, are: • The Feast of Trumpets, September 30 • The Day of Atonement, October 9 • The Feast of Tabernacles, October 14-20 • The Last Great Day, October 21.

Special Note: Change of venue for Branson, Missouri—see last page. You may have to change your reservation!

Bible Audio CDs: The Holy Bible In Its Original Order on audio CDs will be completed and delivered to us some time before the Feast. It is beautifully done! The entire Bible is on eight CDs—plus one with all the Commentaries and one with all the Appendices, making a total of ten CDs. If you are on our mailing list, we will automatically send you a set. Please let us know if you need additional sets.

40th Anniversary of FRC’s Resignation from the WCG: We have worked up a special audio/video presentation of the recording of my resignation from the WCG. It was on the Day of Atonement, October 1, 1979. It was a momentous event in our lives amid all the troubles and confusion in the Church. For a number of years prior to resigning, God led me to see that the spiritual condition of the Church was becoming very corrupt. Those in leadership positions had been separating themselves from God by lying, carnal politics, and the profligate spending of millions of dollars of tithe monies. Such openly-known sins were engulfing those at the highest levels of the Church, making it impossible for me to continue serving as a minister. After deep and intense prayer, God led me to resign on that Day of Atonement. For that farewell message, the only notes I had were several newspaper articles and a listing of some scriptures. I asked God to inspire me to speak the words I should speak. I did not desire to speak my own words on such a solemn occasion. During the message, God inspired me to warn the Church that if there was no repentance—beginning in Pasadena, starting that very day—then the forces of evil would be set loose to destroy it. Unfortunately, that very thing happened 15 years later! We will include this 1979 resignation message in the mailing of this year’s Feast CDs/videos.

Brethren, as we keep the weekly Sabbath and the annual holy days—viewed through the relevant scriptural teachings—God reveals to His Church His plan and purpose for mankind. This is the complete Gospel, planned before the ages of time. Notice: “Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling—not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the ages of time; but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, Who has annulled death, and has brought to light eternal life and incorruptibility through the gospel” (II Tim. 1:9-10).

Think about it! God has hidden in His holy word what He planned before the ages of time and has revealed it by the Holy Spirit to His Church—to those who love and obey Him. That is absolutely amazing! Yet the world cannot understand, because they are blinded by their unbelief and disobedience. They are captives of Satan the devil in a fake Christianity (and other religions). But the truth is there, hidden in plain sight—known only by those who have the Holy Spirit, who believe and love God, and who keep His commandments (Rev. 14:12).

The Unity of Scripture: When we study the Bible, it becomes apparent that there is an inspired unity between the Old and New Testaments. Remember, the apostles preached salvation through Jesus Christ from the OT. Indeed, we find that nearly one third of the NT is made up of quotes from the OT. It is also significant that many of the prophecies of the OT could not be understood without being combined with NT prophecies. It’s like the OT is a lock and the NT is the key—the key to open understanding. For example, the detailed prophecies of Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53 foretell of Jesus’ first coming. But had Jesus not actually come, those prophecies could never have been understood. Likewise, prophecies—both OT and NT—regarding the end times and the return of Christ could not be understood without the book of Revelation.

While Protestants have some truth, they can never understand God’s plan because they reject the seventh-day Sabbath and God’s holy days—which are based on His sacred calendar. They do not realize that God’s holy days form a framework for the fulfillment of prophecy. Thus, blinded by Satan (II Cor. 4:3-4), they follow the Roman Civil Calendar—with Sunday-keeping and all of the popular worldly holidays. By refusing to believe God, they have become spiritually blind, just as Jesus said of the Jews of His day: “And His disciples came to Him and asked, ‘Why do You speak to them in parables?’ And He answered and said to them, ‘Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For whoever has understanding, to him more shall be given, and he shall have an abundance; but whoever does not have understanding, even what he has shall be taken away from him. For this reason I speak to them in parables, because seeing, they see not; and hearing, they hear not; neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, which says, “In hearing you shall hear, and in no way understand; and in seeing you shall see, and in no way perceive; for the heart of this people has grown fat, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and should hear with their ears, and should understand with their hearts, and should be converted, and I should heal them.”

“ ‘But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. For truly I say to you, many prophets and righteous men have desired to see what you see, and have not seen; and to hear what you hear, and have not heard’ ” (Matt. 13:10-17). This is even more true today because we have the complete Word of God.

Let’s look at some proofs of God’s inspiration of the Bible and the unity of Scripture. In the OT, God gives us the standard by which we are to understand His word and discern who is speaking the truth: “To the Law and to the testimony: if they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isa. 8:20). In this same chapter, we also find a prophecy of the NT, showing that it would be written by Jesus’ disciples or apostles: “Bind up the testimony, seal the Law among my disciples” (verse 16). Because this verse is a foretelling of the NT, it is also a prophecy that the OT was not the complete Word of God.

We can verify this in the NT, which again demonstrates the unity of Scripture. The apostle Paul wrote to Timothy concerning the OT: “But as for you, continue in the things that you did learn and were assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them; and that from a child you have known the holy writings [the OT], which are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith, which is in Christ Jesus” (II Tim. 3:14-15). Paul is showing that salvation not only includes faith in Christ and NT teachings, but OT teachings are necessary as well. In the next two verses, Paul shows that all Scripture, OT and NT, is inspired by God—they are not humanistic writings of men: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is profitable for doctrine, for conviction, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; so that the man of God may be complete, fully equipped for every good work” (verses 16-17).

When Paul wrote to the Colossians, he understood that he was to help complete the Word of God with his God-breathed writings of the Gospel: “Of which I became a servant, according to the administration of God that was given to me for you in order to complete the Word of God; even the mystery that has been hidden from ages and from generations, but has now 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. 1:25-27).

The apostle Peter confirms what Paul and Isaiah wrote, that the Word of God is not a fabrication of fables and myths of men, but the inspired Word of God written by men moved by the Holy Spirit: “For we did not follow cleverly concocted myths as our authority, when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His magnificent glory; because He received glory and honor from God the Father when the voice came to Him from the Majestic Glory, ‘This is My Son, the Beloved, in Whom I am well pleased.’ And this is the voice from heaven that we heard when we were with Him on the holy mountain. We also possess the confirmed prophetic [inspired] Word to which you do well to pay attention, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture originated as anyone’s own private interpretation; because prophecy [including the original written Word of God] was not brought at any time by human will, but the holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (II Pet. 1:16-21).

At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, He demonstrated the unity of Scripture between the OT and NT. When Satan tempted Jesus, our Savior left no doubt that God gave mankind His word to live by. Jesus answered the devil’s temptation by quoting Deuteronomy 8:3: “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God’ ” (Matt. 4:4). This statement includes the entire Word of God—the OT and whatever He would speak and have recorded in the NT—because Jesus was God manifested in the flesh.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus made it clear that He did not come to do away with the Law and the Prophets: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill [to make complete and magnify; see Isaiah 42:21]. For truly I say to you, until the heaven and the earth shall pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no way pass from the Law until everything has been fulfilled” (Matt. 5:17-18).

Let’s examine some additional OT passages that demonstrate the unity of Scripture in regard to the commandments of God and righteousness. As these passages will also show, Jesus Christ, who was the God of the OT, would never abolish the commandments of God: “The works of his hands are verity [fundamentally and eternally true] and judgment; all his commandments are sure. They stand fast forever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness…. For all your commandments are righteousness” (Psa. 111:7-8; 119:172).

Through the prophet Isaiah, God forcefully proclaimed that He will never abolish His righteousness. Hence, He will never abolish His laws and commandments: “Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall become old like a garment, and its inhabitants shall die in the same manner: but My salvation shall be forever, and My righteousness shall never be abolished…. Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness” (Isa. 51:6; Psa. 119:142).

Compare this with Paul’s epistle to the Hebrews and we can see the continued unity between the OT and NT: “Of the Son He says, ‘Your throne, O God, is into the ages of eternity; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom. You loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; because of this, God, even Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness above Your companions.’ And, ‘You, Lord, in the beginning did lay the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of Your hands. They will perish, but You remain forever; and they will all grow old like a garment, and You will roll them up like a covering, and they shall be changed; but You are the same, and Your years will not end’ ” (Heb. 1:8-12). Jesus Himself confirmed this when He said, “The heaven and the earth shall pass away, but My words shall never pass away” (Mark 13:31).

Now let’s see what Jesus said about teaching and keeping the commandments of God as recorded in the OT, which then becomes NT doctrine as well. “Therefore, whoever shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever shall practice and teach them, this one shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you, unless your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, there is no way that you shall enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:19-20). Jesus gives this warning to anyone who would teach men to break even the “least” of the commandments, as compared to the blessings on those who teach men to actually keep the commandments.

Still, in spite of these obvious passages, some do teach against the Law of God. Several years ago a group of men began teaching that tithing was no longer required, upsetting some of the brethren. Whenever things like this occur, we need to take the long view of the situation and rely on the truth of the Word of God. We should not give credence to such teachers or such sensational “attention getting” ideas—lest they pull us away from God.

I have observed over the years that teachers of “lawless grace” only worsen with time. Remember, this saying is always true: “A little leaven [sin] leavens the whole lump” (I Cor. 5:6; Gal. 5:9). This means that sooner or later such teachers will devise other “new” doctrines contrary to the Scriptures. This is exactly what happened in this case. In just a few months, those same teachers began proclaiming that Jesus did away with all the laws and commandments of God—tithing, the Sabbath, the holy days, clean and unclean meats! But this is nothing new. In fact, it reflects mankind’s flawed thinking from the time of Adam!

When claims are made that those under the New Covenant do not have to keep the commandments of God, we need to ignore such claims and hold fast to the clear New Testament teachings that uphold God’s laws and commandments. Notice what the apostle John wrote when the early Church was being confronted with such false teachers: “And by this standard we know that we know Him: if we keep His commandments. The one who says, I know Him, and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. On the other hand, if anyone is keeping His Word, truly in this one the love of God is being perfected. By this means we know that we are in Him. Anyone who claims to dwell in Him is obligating himself also to walk even as He Himself walked” (I John 2:3-6).

Concerning the OT Scriptures, Jesus said, “Your Word is the truth” (John 17:17). Let’s see some other examples of the unity of Scripture that prove this to be true. In Psalm 119, nearly every verse declares the greatness and veracity of God’s word and confirms what Jesus said. Here are a few verses that define some of God’s truth: Verse 142, “Your law is the truth.” Verse 151, “You are near, O Lord; and all your commandments are truth.” Verse 160, “Your word is true from the beginning, and every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.” Verses 127-128, “Therefore, I love Your commandments above gold…. I esteem all Your precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way.”

The entirety of Psalm 119 can be considered a reflection of Jesus’ innermost thoughts about the laws, commandments, statutes, judgments, and precepts of God. Christ, who was God manifested in the flesh and the living Word of God, told His apostles, “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life, and no one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). The Way means that the only way for us to live for God is through Jesus. The Truth means that Jesus was the personification of the entire Word of God (not the abolition of God’s laws). The Life means that eternal life comes only through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

When a scribe questioned Jesus concerning the greatest commandment of the Law, He responded not by suggesting the abolition of God’s Law, but by quoting Deuteronomy 6:4-5, thus welding together the unity of Scripture—OT and NT, making it one: “And one of them, a doctor of the law, questioned Him, tempting Him, and saying, ‘Master, which commandment is the great commandment in the Law?’ And Jesus said to him, ‘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’ ” (Matt. 22:35-39).

Jesus revealed that love for God and love for neighbor are based on the commandments of God. In fact, He made it clear that the commandments of God all flow from the love of God: “On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets” (verse 40).

Therefore, regardless of what men say, the biblical truth is this: You cannot have the true love of God without commandment-keeping—it is impossible! John also made this very plain: “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).

As we read John’s epistles, we can see that the problem of “lawless grace” was sweeping through the Church. Notice what he writes in his second epistle: “The elder to the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in truth, and not I alone, but also all those who have known the truth; for the sake of the truth that is dwelling in us, and shall be with us forever: grace, mercy, and peace shall be with us from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love. 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.

And this is the love of God: that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, exactly as you heard from the beginning, 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 [or any other false doctrine]. 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 has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house, and do not say to him, ‘Welcome!’ For anyone who says, ‘Welcome!’ to him is partaking in his evil works” (II John 1-11).

Paul wrote to Timothy and warned him to be on guard against such deceivers and “wanna-be” teachers: “When I was going to Macedonia, I exhorted you to remain in Ephesus, in order that you might solemnly charge some not to teach other doctrines; nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which lead to empty speculations rather than to edification from God, which is in faith. Now the purpose of the commandment is love out of a pure heart, and a good conscience, and genuine faith; from which some, having missed the mark, have turned aside unto vain jangling; desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they are saying, nor what they are strongly affirming” (I Tim. 1:3-7).

When men take it upon themselves to be teachers of the Law, by proclaiming a “lawless grace” and a false love, they do not understand what they are teaching. Such teachings are empty, self-righteous ideas. Throughout our years in the Church, most of us have witnessed this a number of times. It seems to go in cycles. Yet, every time it happens, some always believe such deceivers and follow them.

Paul warned Timothy that such things happen because some people cannot tolerate the truth of God’s word: “For there shall come a time when they will not tolerate sound doctrine; but according to their own lusts they shall accumulate to themselves a great number of teachers, having ears itching to hear what satisfies their cravings; but they shall turn away their own ears from the truth; and they shall be turned aside unto myths” (II Tim. 4:3-4).

Historically, this is exactly how various forms of fake Christianity have arisen. False teachers have misinterpreted, abandoned, and rejected the truth of God—replacing it with pagan myths and their own traditions. Then they turn around and denounce the Word of God as nothing but myths and fables! Witness the Roman Catholic Church and its Protestant offshoots. Remember, when people reject the laws and commandments of God, they are rejecting truth. Hence they are rejecting God, for He is the only true Lawgiver, as the apostle James writes: “The one who … is speaking against the law … is [also] judging the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law; rather, you are a judge. But there is only one Lawgiver, Who has power to save and to destroy” (James 4:11-12).

Can man judge God or His laws? Indeed, many try to judge God. Paul wrote of this very thing: “For what if some did not believe? Shall their unbelief nullify the faithfulness of God? MAY IT NEVER BE! Rather, let God be true but every man a liar, exactly as it is written: ‘That You [God] might be justified in Your words, and might overcome when You are being judged by men’ ” (Rom. 3:3-4).

When men deny their Creator and His word, they presumptuously judge God and preach their own form of lawless love and grace. While claiming they are under grace, they are actually practicing lawlessness—which is sin! (I John 3:4). Remember, Jesus hates lawlessness (Heb. 1:9). He will not accept it from anyone. Once more, we can see the unity of Scripture here in Isaiah: “Woe unto those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight … [and] justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him! Therefore as the fire devours the stubble, and the flame consumes the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the Lord of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel” (Isa. 5:20-24).

Whenever men reject the laws and commandments of God—replacing them with their own interpretations and myths, whether religious or atheistic—they are actually proclaiming their own righteousness to be greater than God’s! Job had to learn this lesson after he had challenged God that his own righteousness was greater than God’s. However, it was a different story when God answered Job’s complaint and spoke directly to him out of a whirlwind. Notice what God said to Job: “Moreover the Lord answered Job, and said, ‘Shall he who contends with the Almighty instruct him? He who reproves God, let him answer it.’ Then Job answered the Lord, and said, ‘Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer You? I will lay my hand upon my mouth. Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further.’

“Then answered the Lord unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said, ‘Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of you, and you declare unto Me. Will you also annul My judgment? Will you condemn Me, that you may be righteous?

“ ‘Do you have an arm like God? Or can you thunder with a voice like him? Deck yourself now with majesty and excellency; and array yourself with glory and beauty. Cast abroad the rage of your wrath: and behold everyone who is proud, and abase him. Look on everyone who is proud, and bring him low; and tread down the wicked in their place. Hide them in the dust together [control of life and death]; and bind their faces in secret. Then will I also confess unto you that your own right hand can save you’ ” (Job 40:1-14).

Vanquished and repentant, Job finally realized how wrong he had been: “Then Job answered the Lord, and said, ‘I know that You can do everything, and that no thought can be withheld from You. Who is he [Job, speaking of himself] who hides counsel without knowledge? Therefore have I uttered that which I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. Hear, I beseech You, and I will speak: I will demand of You, and declare You unto me. I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye sees You. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes’ ” (Job 42:1-6).

In the same way that Job repented, we hope that when anyone goes astray God will continue to deal with them and lead them to repentance. God is always true. His word is the truth, and the unity between the Old and New Testaments proves that the commandments of God have never been abolished and are to be kept today. I hope that you will use this information as a springboard for your own study into the unity of Scripture.

Ordination of Elder: For the Sabbath of September 14, I traveled to Tulsa, Oklahoma. Lawrence Burchfield is our elder for the Tulsa area. On the recommendation of Lawrence and the area brethren, we ordained Bill T. Wax as an elder. Bill lives in southeastern Kansas and has been serving the brethren in Kansas and Arkansas. In addition, he will be the festival elder for the Branson, Missouri, site. We are happy that God has added another elder to the CBCG.

Brethren, with the Feast coming soon, let us draw near to God the Father and Jesus Christ in love and truth—so that we may rejoice in the wonderful plan of God and in His awesome love and power. We are the called, chosen, and faithful—awaiting the coming of our Lord and Savior. At the first resurrection we will be raised to eternal life, to help save the world under Christ. For God will bring millions and millions into His kingdom!

Once again, thank you for your love and prayers for us. We pray for you daily—for God’s blessings, healing, and love—so you can continue to grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you for your faithfulness in your tithes and offerings. As you know, we always use God’s sacred tithes and offerings to serve the brethren, teach the Word of God, and preach and publish the Gospel to the world. May God continue to bless you as you stand in grace, walk in faith, and live in love.

With love in Christ Jesus,

Fred R. Coulter

FRC

PS: Don’t forget to sign up for our special Go To Meeting Sabbath presentations. You can sign up using the following e-mail address: . Call the office if you need help.

Branson, Missouri — UPDATED INFO

Stone Castle Hotel & Conference Center

3050 Green Mountain Dr.
 • Branson, MO 65616
 • www.bransonstonecastle.com

Reservations (800) 677­6906 • (417) 335­4700 • fax (417) 335­3906

Services in the Excalibur Room (Building 3) 11 AM daily. Complimentary beverages and snacks available daily. No opening night services.

Please make reservations ASAP. 20 rooms have been set aside with CBCG group rate:

• Standard Rooms w/2 queen beds $73 + tax

• Jacuzzi Rooms $88 + tax 
 • Jacuzzi Suites $98 + tax

Feast hosts: Bill Wax (620) 238-1475;

Mona Wax (620) 724-3480;

Branson offers a wide variety of affordable housing options as well as many attractions: Veterans Memorial Museum, Titanic Museum, Branson Scenic Railway (for a beautiful tour of the Ozarks), the IMAX theatre, and nearby Silver Dollar City. There are also many live shows and concerts to take in, and lots of shopping and dining venues.

BOOKS