Monthly letter archive

Christian Biblical Church of God

Post Office Box 1442

Hollister, California 95024-1442


Fred R. Coulter, Minister

September 5, 2004

Dear Brethren,

As we view the events in the world today, we realize that the world is becoming more dangerous. Possible terrorist attacks, war and carnage are rampant in many parts of the world. Pestilence and disease are increased worldwide and there is widespread famine and starvation in east Africa. We see upside down weather with storms, floods, catastrophic hurricanes and disasters with loss of life and untold property damage. While we all decry the loss of life in war, we are confronted with the fact that hundreds of times more people are murdered and killed in all kinds of accidents than in the current wars.

These treacherous times were prophesied by God and were recorded in the Bible. They are the legacy of man's endeavor to reject God and live life according to the dictates of his own conscience—"the way that seems right to a man." The apostle Paul prophesied about these last days: "Know this also, that in the last days perilous times shall come; for men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, braggarts, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, implacable, slanderers, without self-control, savage, despisers of those who are good, betrayers, reckless, egotistical, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; having an outward appearance of godliness, but denying the power of true godliness. But as for you, turn away from all these. For from men such as these come those who are worming their way into houses, and are gaining control over empty-headed women given over to various sins, being driven by all kinds of lust. They are always learning but are never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now just as Jannes and Jambres stood against Moses, in the same manner also these are brazenly standing against the truth; they are men of depraved minds, reprobate in respect to the faith" (II Tim. 3:1-8).

What are the cumulative effects of the evils of raw human nature and the lack of the knowledge of God on society and the world? Jesus foretold the inevitable fruits of man's way under the influence of Satan the devil. He said, "... Because lawlessness shall be multiplied, the love of many shall grow cold" (Matt. 24:12).

Jesus also warned that this would eventually develop into life threatening circumstances for Christians. The time would come when we would become victims of hatred and violence because we believe in Him. History records that it has happened in the past, beginning with the early New Testament Church, and Jesus made it clear that it would continue in varying degrees until the end of the age: "And as He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, His disciples came to Him alone, saying, 'Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of Your coming, and of the completion of the age?' Then Jesus answered and said to them, 'Be on guard, so that no one deceives you. For many shall come in My name, saying, "I am the Christ"; and they shall deceive many. 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. 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 ... But the one who endures to the end, that one shall be saved" (Matt. 24:3-13).

In America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and most of Europe, we are not yet confronted with loss of life because we believe in Jesus Christ and keep His commandments. However, in other parts of the world it is dangerous and life threatening to even profess the name of Jesus Christ. There is no doubt that we are beginning to enter into a new age of martyrs. Revelation 17:6 shows that there are two classes of martyrs: the true saints of God the Father and Jesus Christ and those who profess His name, "And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus."

Today, merely accepting the Bible or professing the name of Jesus Christ can result in death as shown in an online report, "Martyrdom Has Gone Global." Although it was published by the Catholic Church, it shows the dangers of professing Jesus Christ if you live in the Middle East, Asia or Africa: "We are indeed living in another age of martyrs. In at least 40 countries [professing] Christians have died a violent death for their beliefs. Martyrdom has gone global, touching all continents and all sorts of cultural environments. What is happening in Asia confirms the trend.

"The worst situation for Christ's followers is found in Muslim countries. In Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, Christians are literally second class citizens hampered by discriminatory practices." Other reports have shown that people have been killed and imprisoned for even preaching a form of Christianity. The report continues, "Recent political changes at the top of India's Union government have brought hope that the fate of Christians in the country might improve after years of repeated attacks by Hindu fundamentalists. However, more recent attacks in Orissa and other eastern Indian states leave little room for optimism.

"In most of the 8 predominantly-Buddhist countries of Asia followers of Christ face an uphill battle as well.... Only Thailand affords substantial freedom to all religious denominations. By contrast, Vietnam persecutes every religion, including Buddhism. Between the two extremes final judgment is suspended, especially in countries like Sri Lanka (where parliament is debating an anti-conversion bill that would especially penalize Christians), Myanmar and Cambodia.

"In Communist regimes public expression of religious faith is either heavily constrained by government interference or altogether banned. In North Korea Christianity is represented by small groups of mostly Protestant believers who have been frequently subjected to long stays in 're-education camps.' Owning a Bible is a crime punishable with relatively long sentences. In Laos the government has been trying to make the country a Christian-free zone, accusing Christianity of being a 'foreign imperialist religion.' In the People's Republic of China religious rights are protected on paper. In reality, rules and regulations governing the enforcement of such rights are open to arbitrary interpretations and effectively denied by overzealous government officials. Religious material is confiscated and 'troublesome' figures (bishops, priests, laity) sent off to prison."

In Africa, it is far worse. Television reports detail that the Muslim government of the Sudan has been killing professing Christians for years. Roving militias kill and torture anyone who professes Christ and refuses to convert to Islam They steal possessions, burn villages, and rape women and girls in acts of horrendous evil—all because they profess Christ. Over a million are homeless. While they profess Christ, which Jesus said that many would, it is highly doubtful that they were ever truly converted. However, Jesus shows that they will not be forgotten: "The one who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive the reward of a prophet; and the one who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive the reward of a righteous man. And if anyone shall in the name of a disciple give to one of these little ones to drink a cup of cold water only, truly I say to you, he shall in no way lose his reward" (Matt. 10:41-42). Undoubtedly, those who profess Jesus Christ but were not converted will receive their reward in the second resurrection. On the other hand, the converted saints who are martyred will be raised in the first resurrection when Jesus Christ returns. This is why Revelation 17:6 makes the distinction between "the blood of the saints, and the blood of the martyrs of Jesus."

The Dangers That Brethren in Nigeria Face: Richard Umo, who is our office manager in Nigeria, sent the following report to Jim Hyles:

"Dear Jim,

I feel I should let you know about the sad thing that [happened to] our brother, Elder Ekereette, who represents us in the Southern Cross Rivers. He passed through in the hands of thieves, while on his way back home with one carton of Fred's newest book, The Day Jesus The Christ Died, that I gave him to take to the brethren in his area.

Brother Ekereette came on my invitation to collect the books for the distant brethren in his location. Since his location is over 400 miles from us, he slept with us and left very early for the long journey to his home. As always, we prayed for him and I made the transport fare available for him.

We thought as usual that he had reached home safely, not knowing that he fell into the hands of thieves 20 miles to his home in the Cross Rivers. He was manhandled and all the 36 copies of the new books stolen from him. As if these were not enough, after collecting the remaining fare, he was shot and left there on the bush road to die.

Since he lives in a very rural village, and since no one knew him in the area where he was robbed, people just passed him by. But God was with him and was watching over him. With bullets inside his body and blood rushing and pains, he cried, but no one came to rescue him. At about 6.45pm on that very day, God sent in a Good Samaritan to rescue him and this good man took him to the nearby clinics, 13 miles from the scene of the incident. He paid the hospital's initial deposit and our brother was given full medical attention. The bullets were removed and he was treated very well.

After two days in the hospital, he regained consciousness. He told the godly man, who took him to the hospital, about his home and the man went to inform his family and the brethren about what happened. His wife and children and some of the fellowship's brethren went with him to see our brother in the hospital.

We did not hear of all these until two days ago when brother Ekereette's oldest son, Emma, came to inform us about what happened to his father. It breaks our hearts to hear such a bad thing that happened to our brother on his way home. I would have gone with his son to see our brother before his discharge from the hospital tomorrow, Friday, August 20, but I have no spare time to go with him, since I want to go there with the Holy Days material at once. But we did give some money to help him pay the hospital bills.

Brother Jim, that was what happened. We live in a very risky country. Every day strange things keep happening and our prayer is that God will protect us and keep us safe as we travel to reach others with the good news of His Kingdom.

Please pray for our brother and urge others to pray for his safety and quick recovery, so that he will be able to lead the flock and help them observe the coming Holy Days. Please pray also for me and our brothers who are involved in the full time gospel work. The enemy is working harder to stop the true gospel from spreading further, but I know God will give us victory over them.

Thank you once again for your love and prayers. I wish you a very inspiring SABBATH of God .We are looking forward to having a blessed SABBATH too. With love, Rich"

Richard sent another report that shows some of the work he is doing to serve the brethren and the difficulties face in order to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.

"Dear Jim,

We had a wonderful Sabbath with 2 new people attending our fellowship for the first time. We are excited for the many blessings and understanding we have received from God's Word as a result of the teachings we received from CBCG, USA, through brother Coulter. We are grateful to God and to brother Coulter for all these. I hope your Sabbath went well and that all the brethren are looking forward to God's Holy Days and FOT. Our brethren here are looking forward with eagerness for the fall Holy Days and FOT.

We are almost through with the reproductions of the Holy Days material. We have produced over 250 audios, 120 videos of the Holy Days tapes. It costs so much to obtain the material for the reproduction work. But we are thankful to God for the help we received from brother Fred to do the work. By the coming Monday, after this Monday, I will be traveling extensively to supply our brethren and all those that we are serving with the Holy Days material. It will take me over a week to get to all. Although many of the brethren live over 700 miles from us, I will make sure I take the material to them in person since there is no postal network in most of the rural villages that they live.

Put together, I will be covering several thousand miles all together. So, please pray for me as most of the places are not too safe at this time of the year due to heavy rain and political conflicts. We have placed order for the power generator and we hope to have it in a week's time. Once that arrives, I will send the receipts of the equipment so far bought to you. Finally, please, let brother Fred know that we have a need for extra $500 to help me and brother Owo pay the fares to the numerous places to supply our brethren with the Holy Days Material, and since we are having 4 Feast sites this year, as we don't want any person to stop attending the Feasts due to long distance, we had committed personal fiinds to help the poorer brethren get a place for them for the Feasts. We have bought audio cassette players for the brethren. It is a fairly used type and it is battery operated. With these they will be able to play all the audio messages during the fall Holy Days and FOT.

That's the only need regarding the Fall Holy Days and FOT for this year. Thank you so much for all the helps rendered. Let brother Coulter know that all his helps are very much appreciated and that it has yielded fruits in the lives of all the people we are serving here. Thank you once again. Regards,


Brethren, as we prepare for the fall holy days and the Feast of Tabernacles, please keep all the brethren, especially those in Nigeria, in your prayers. It is a treacherous world indeed!

We need to be thankful for the blessings that God has given to us in order to serve the brethren and to preach the Gospel. We need to be thankful for the time we have to grow in grace and in knowledge, to overcome and prepare for the coming Kingdom of God and the return of Jesus Christ. Once again we are reminded that the only reason we still enjoy the blessing of God in the United States of America is because it is one of the few places in the world where the Gospel is still freely preached. Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United Kingdom also share this blessing for the same reason.

We need to heed Jesus Christ's warning: "I must work the works of Him Who sent Me while it is still day. When the night comes, no one is able to work" (John 9:4). Likewise, we must work while there is time and the freedom to do so, and we must accomplish as much as we can before the darkness of Satan and this world make it impossible.

Brethren, thank you for your continued support and dedication in serving the brethren. May God bless you with a wonderful holy days and feast, as well as in everything you do.

With love in Christ Jesus,

Fred R. Coulter