Genesis 15, Exodus 12 and Luke 16

Fred R. Coulter—June 25, 2011

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Greetings, everyone! Welcome to Sabbath services! Today is going to be a little different; we are going to cover some difficult Scriptures and look at some things where people have trouble trying to understand.

We have covered some of this before, but we have many new people who are asking questions about it. So, I think it's good that we cover these things.

The 400 and 430 Years:

Concerning the difference between the 400 years mentioned in Gen. 15 and the 430 years in Exo. 12:

Genesis 15:13: And He said to Abram, 'You must surely know that your seed shall be sojourners in a land that is not theirs… [go ahead of the parenthetical inset]: …(and shall serve them and they shall afflict them) four hundred years."

It does not say that they shall serve them and afflict them 400 years. That's not the sense of it. That parenthetical statement "…and shall serve them and they shall afflict them…" How do you square that around Exo. 12?

Exodus 12:41: "And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years…"

  • Did God make a mistake of 30 years?
  • How do we understand the 30-year difference?
  • Can we account for it?

Back in Gen. 15 it says 400 years! What is the difference between the 400 and the 430 years?

"…it was even on that very same day… [that this promise was given in Gen. 15] …all the armies of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt" (v 41).

So, we know that based upon the timing in Exo. 12, the 14th day is the Passover and the 15th day is the 1st day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, so the two-day period in Gen. 15 is the 14th and 15th. We're looking at a proto-Passover and a proto-exodus at the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Let's understand what took place. We know that Abraham was called when he was 75-years-old. The chronology shows us that Gen. 15 was when he was 85-years-old and that's where we begin in Gen. 15.. Then we come over to:

Genesis 16:16: "And Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abram." So, we have verification that at the time that God told Abram that it would 400 years that he was 85-years-old.

Genesis 17:1: "And when Abram was ninety-nine years old…" God told Abram that he would have seed from his own loins as promised and that he would call his name Isaac (vs 15-19). At that time the covenant of circumcision was also given.

Then we find that Abraham was 100-years-old, because God told him that 'next year at this time' Isaac would be born. So, from 85-100 is 15 years!

  • 400 years—85-years-old
  • 15 years—Isaac was born

Let's see if we can account for an additional 15 years. We do that by coming to Gen. 22. We have to deduce that the time difference between the birth of Isaac and Abraham being 100-years-old and Gen. 22 with the test, where the finality of the covenant was made absolutely sure beyond any shadow of doubt to Abraham and to his seed!

Genesis 22: "And He said, 'Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go into the land of Moriah, and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains, which I will tell you.'"

We know that Isaac was not Abraham's only son, but he was the only son to be counted in the promise! Ishmael was left out of the promise. So, they rose up and went to the place.

Verse 4: Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said to his young men, 'You stay here with the donkey, and I and the boy will go yonder and worship, and come again to you'" (vs 4-5).

What is the age of accountability in the Bible when you're considered an adult? 20 years! So, this means that Isaac was less than 20-years-old. We're not told exactly how old he was, but we can deduce this.

Verse 6: "And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it upon Isaac his son…." We find parallels between the One Who became Christ and God the Father and Abraham and Isaac. Abraham carrying the wood and laying it upon Isaac, his son, and he carried it. You could say that's likened to Jesus carrying the crossbar of His crucifixion.

"…And he took the fire pot in his hand, and a knife. And they both went together. And Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, 'My father.' And he said, 'Here I am, my son.' And he said, 'Behold the fire and the wood… [I can see that] …But where is the lamb for a burnt offering?'" (vs 6-7). This is a test of faith for Abraham and also for Isaac!

Verse 8: "And Abraham said, 'My son, God will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering.' So, they both went on together."

  • Why do we have difficult times come upon us?
  • Why do we have hard choices set before us?
  • Because God wants to know what you're going to do!

Part of believing God is believing God all the time, regardless of the circumstances around you. This was the maximum trial for Abraham!

Verse 9: "And they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and laid the wood in order…."

What kind of altar was to be built that we find later instructed to the children of Israel in Exo. 21? If you build an altar, it will be an altar of whole stone! So, it was in an area where there were a lot of rocks and he was able to put some stone together and make an altar. We don't know how long it took to do that, but I imagine that both of them worked on it together.

"…And he bound his son Isaac and laid him on the wood, upon the altar" (v 8). Everyone asks:

  • Why did God require him to do this?
  • What was Abraham really thinking in his mind when he was going through all of the work?
  • I imagine that he was praying to God!

But we find in Heb. 11 that Abraham did it because he received his son from a reproductively dead body, his own, and God promised that he would have a son from his own loins. So, he credited God with ability that if he went through with the sacrifice of his son, God could raise him from the dead! Does God have that power? Of course!

This is why Abraham is called the father of the faithful. How many people today—of course, God is not going to ask us to do the same thing as Abraham did—with a situation as severe as this came upon us, how many of us would be willing—those who really believe God—regardless of what the outcome may be?

In a sense there are going to be many be tried with a very similar trial when it comes down to the time when they start killing Christians. Are you going to have the faith that God is going to raise you from the dead? It will be as Jesus said, 'Does make any difference what a man can do to you, he can kill the body, but he can't kill the life.'

Here we find a very similar thing. Isn't it interesting that we don't find this kind of application again of a test of faith until we come to the New Testament.

Verse 10: "And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son." So, he reached down and got it and had it in his hand.

Verse 11: "And the angel of the LORD called to him from the heavens and said…" In order for the angel to interrupt what was going on, Abraham had to already conclude in his mind that he was going to do this because God said so, and God was greater than him, and God was greater than his son, and God could raise him from the dead? He wouldn't have done it if he had any doubts! He would have stood there and maybe he would have placed his hand on the knife.

But if he had doubts he would have stood there and his hand would go down from the knife, because he would be saying, 'I wonder why God really wants to do this. This is my only son, what am I going to do? God gave me the promise that the seed from him would be like the stars of heaven and the sand of the seashores.' But Abraham didn't do that!

So, this tells us that he had to have in his mind what we discussed, that he counted God worthy and powerful enough to raise Isaac from the dead!

"…'Abraham! Abraham!' And he said, 'Here I am.' And He said, 'Do not lay your hand upon the lad, nor do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me'" (vs 11-12). That's what you would call the ultimate test!

Now let's look at how long a period this had to be. We have already accounted for 15 years! We know that Isaac was called a boy or a lad, meaning that he was less than 20-years-old. If the final number that we are coming to is 430 years, then Isaac's age at this particular point had to be 15 years:

  • 400 years—85-years-old
  • 15 years—Isaac was born
  • 15 years—age of Isaac when Abraham was told to sacrifice him
  • total of 430 years

This is even though that God said they would be sojourners for 400 years.

Was Isaac a sojourner after that time in the land and not possessing it? So, the truth is that the 400 years and the 430 years can be reconciled according to what God has done.

Exodus 12:40: "Now, the sojourning of the children of Israel in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years…"

How can that be when they weren't there anymore than 200 and some odd years, 208 –215? I forget the exact number. How can you reconcile that? Isn't it interesting that if you don't accept the New Testament, and accept it as the inspired Word of God, and you only use the Old Testament like the Jews have? They can never answer these questions. They might be able to answer the 30-year question, but they're not able to answer the 430 years that the children of Israel were sojourning in the land of Egypt.

Hebrews 7:4: "But consider how great this One was to Whom even the patriarch Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils. For on the one hand, those from among the sons of Levi who receive the priesthood are commanded by the law to collect tithes from the people—that is, from their brethren—even though they are all descended from Abraham; but on the other hand, He Who was not descended from them received tithes from Abraham, and blessed him who had the promises. Now, it is beyond all doubt that the inferior one is blessed by the superior One. And in the first case, men who die receive tithes; but in the other case, He received tithes of Whom it is witnessed that He lives forever. And in one sense, Levi, who receives tithes, also gave tithes through Abraham; for he was still in his forefather's loins when Melchisedec met him" (vs 4-10).

If Levi was there, who was Levi? One of the grandsons of Isaac! So, it has to come down to Isaac, Jacob and Levi and the whole 12 tribes. Who did they come from? Abraham! So, in a sense all the children of Israel sojourned for 430 years and most of that was in the land of Egypt beginning with Abraham.

  • Did Abraham go to Egypt? Yes, he did!
  • Was he carrying the inheritance of the genes that later came down to Isaac?
  • That later came down to Jacob?
  • That later came down to the 12 sons of Israel (Jacob)?
  • YES!

That's how we can then answer the question that the children of Israel were sojourning 430 years. There's no other way you can reconcile it. If you do the genealogical account and calculate the years between the birth and deaths, and everything like that, you come down to a time that it would be 200-and-some-odd years that they were actually dwelling in Egypt and were afflicted. But were they also subject to the problems of the Canaanites in the land that they were wandering in? Yes! That's how you can answer both of those questions! I think that's the best way to answer it. I don't think you can answer it any other way.

We need to correct a statement that Abraham was reproductively dead, because he was able to engender Ishmael, and it was Sarah who was unable to bear children! So, God did not allow her to function that way until the time that He determined. Later, after Sarah died, there were other children through Keturah. So, the correction is that Abraham was not reproductively dead. It's still had to come, because God received him from the dead (Heb. 11:19). So, there was time when he must have been reproductively dead, but God revived both of them. We'll just have to leave that hanging. We can't totally reconcile that altogether.

Concerning verification of the 430 years in Galatians 3:15[transcriber's correction]: "Brethren (I am speaking from a human perspective), even when a man's covenant has been ratified, no one nullifies it, or adds a codicil to it." That's the correct translation. The King James absolutely slaughters this and shows no understanding of covenant.

Verse 16: "Now, to Abraham and to his Seed were the promises spoken. He does not say, 'and to your seeds,' as of many; but as of one, 'and to your Seed,' which is Christ. Now this I say, that the covenant ratified beforehand by God to Christ…" (vs 16-17).

When it says in your seed shall all the nations be blessed, that was ratified in Gen. 15 with the promise that God gave to Abraham there.

"…cannot be annulled by the Law, which was given four hundred and thirty years later… [there we have the verification of the 430 years. So, Paul understood] …so as to make the promise of no effect" (v 17).

Luke 16:

Luke 16:10: "The one who is faithful in the things that are least is also faithful in much; and the one who is unrighteous in the things that are least is also unrighteous in much. Therefore, if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another's, who will give to you your own?" (vs 10-12).

We need to understand that this is the background leading up to this verse:

Verse 13: "No servant is able to serve two masters… [fundamental principle of life] …for either he will hate the one, and he will love the other; or he will hold to the one and will despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon."

Notice who Jesus was talking to, v 14: "Now the Pharisees, who were also covetous, heard all these things; and they ridiculed Him." He was actually telling the truth.

Who were they trying to serve? God and money and their own traditions! You can't do that! You either serve God or nothing! Notice what He says to make sure that they understood what He was talking about:

Verse 15: "And He said to them, 'You are those who justify themselves before men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is an abomination before God.'"

What was in their hearts? Keeping their own traditions! Serving them instead of God! Then Jesus makes a point to amplify that even more. Here is where the Protestants really go off the deep end, because here's where they break one of the rules of Bible Study. They approach the verses with an assumption! So, when they read it, they come to a wrong conclusion automatically because they assume that Jesus did away with the Law, and they turn to this verse to prove it:

Verse 16: "The Law and the Prophets were until John; from that time the Kingdom of God is preached, and everyone zealously strives to enter it."

They stop right there, but what is this verse telling us? What was the highest authority for people before John the Baptist? The Law and the Prophets! If it wasn't according to the Law and the Prophets, it wasn't to be done. So, what is Jesus differentiating here for the Pharisees? They are serving two masters: their own traditions and lust claiming they are serving God!

Few people really understand it except that Jesus mentioned it in Mark 7. In serving their own traditions they are rejecting the Law and the Prophets, and they were not preaching the Law and the Prophets. They were not teaching the people those things.
Now, after the Pharisees accosted Jesus about His disciples not washing their hands before they ate:

Mark 7:6: And He answered and said to them, 'Well did Isaiah prophesy concerning you hypocrites, as it is written, "This people honors Me with their lips… [one master] …but their hearts are far away from Me"'"—because they have another master!

Verse 7: "But in vain do they worship Me, teaching for doctrine the commandments of men." Because you can's serve two masters, and the highest authority was the Law and the Prophets, and that was the way to God before Christ came.

Verse 8: "For leaving the commandment of God, you hold fast the tradition of men, such as the washing of pots and cups; and you practice many other things like this.' Then He said to them, 'Full well do you reject the commandment of God, so that you may observe your own tradition'" (vs 8-9).

Let's see how John 5 ties in with this, and then we will get the full meaning of Luke 16. Again, Jesus is talking the Pharisees; no wonder they hated Him after 3-1/2 years of preaching. They were expecting the Messiah to come and politically align with them and put them in the offices of authority for the establishing of the Kingdom of God. That's why Jesus told them that they were not bringing forth the fruits of the Kingdom of God. That it was going to be taken from them and given to a nation that were bringing forth the fruits. These are some pretty powerful words:

John 5:36: "But I have a greater witness than John's; for the works that the Father gave Me to complete, the very works that I am doing, themselves bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me. And the Father Himself, Who sent Me, has borne witness of Me. You have neither heard His voice nor seen His form at any time. And you do not have His Word dwelling in you, for you do not believe Him Whom He has sent. You search the Scriptures, for in them…" (vs 36-39). How many times did Jesus say, 'Have you never read? What does this Scripture mean?'

"…you think that you have eternal life; and they are theones that testify of Me. But you are unwilling to come to Me, that you may have life" (vs 39-40). Even the Old Testament made it clear that it was through God alone that you have eternal life.

Verse 41: "I do not receive glory from men… [because I serve one Master and that is God] …but I have known you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves." That's a pretty damning statement! No wonder the Jews hate the New Testament! No wonder they reject Jesus Christ!

Note book: Judaism: A Revelation of God or a Religion of Men? by Philip Neal. You need to get it and read it, because very few people even in the Church of God understand that the rabbi is superior to God by their own declarations and writings. You need to think on that!

Verse 43: "I have come in My Father's name, and you do not receive Me; but if another comes in his own name, you will receive him. How are you able to believe, you who receive glory from one another…" (vs 43-44).

That's interesting! Does that not also happen in churches where they glorify men? Pat each other on the back? It's the same principle; it doesn't matter if you are a Jew or Gentile, or if you're in a synagogue or in a church.

  • What happens when you follow a man and put aside Christ? Eventually the penalty comes!
  • When does the penalty come? When you least expect it!

"…and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you…" (vs 44-45)—in the Greek present tense; so what does this tell us? That the writings of Moses contained in the Law are applicable in the present time, because the Law is spiritual and always in force!

"…even Moses, in whom you have hope. But if you believed Moses, you would have believed Me; for he wrote about Me. And if you do not believe his writings, how shall you believe My words?" (vs 45-47).

With that background, I think this gives us a good way to understand Luke 16 even more.

Luke 16:16: The Law and the Prophets were until John; from that time the Kingdom of God is preached…"—a higher authority than the Law and the Prophets.

Does it do away with the Law and the Prophets? We need the Law and Prophets as Jesus referenced (John 5)!

"…and everyone zealously strives to enter it…. [Jesus made it clear to them right here] …But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the Law to fail" (vs 16-17).

What is a tittle of the Law? A small accent mark! The Hebrew is written entirely in consonant letters. The only way you know where to bring in the vowels is with the tittles, which give you the accent. You have seen that when you look at a word where it has kind of a little backward coma over the top of a letter; that's an accent mark. That is very prominent in the Hebrew, and also in the Greek there are accent marks that are needed.

Let's see a repeat of this. Let's see what Jesus told them right at the beginning. What was the first thing that Jesus preached after John the Baptist was put into prison and Jesus came into Galilee? Repent and believe the Gospelbecause the Kingdom of God is preached by the Gospel of the Kingdom of God—for the Kingdom of God is at hand! There He was in person!

Matthew 5:17: "Do not think…"—don't let it enter into your mind! Yet, how often is it preached? Every Sunday to millions of people! And they claim to follow the New Testament. Are those 'Christian' Sunday-keepers not exactly in the same position as the Pharisees who didn't believe Moses? They say they believe Christ and they follow Christ, but they don't believe what He actually said! I don't know how they explain this:

Verse 17: "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill…. [make complete] …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" (vs 17-18).

  • Is heaven and earth still here? You can't get any greater witness!

This is not something hidden away in a secret safety-box, locked up in a safe in the bottom of a bank! It's the heaven and earth, and they're still here!

  • What does that tell us? Not one jot or tittle has passed from the Law!
  • Is everyone fulfilling the Law? No!
  • Will people be fulfilling it during the Millennium when the Kingdom of God is ruling? Yes!
  • Will that be the end of it then? No!

These Laws are spiritual and they go on all the time!

The Protestants are just exactly like the Pharisees. Did they believe Moses? No!

Deuteronomy 18:15: "The LORD your God will raise up unto you a Prophet from the midst of you, of your brethren, One like me. To Him you shall hearken"—listen to obey!

What was one of the first things that Jesus said? The man who hears My words and practices them shall be like a man who builds his house upon a rock (Matt. 7)! The one who doesn't is foolish and builds his house upon the sand!

Verse 16: "According to all that you desired of the LORD your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, 'Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, so that I do not die.'" Human nature can't stand the authority of God and His Word and Law! That's why they said that!

Verse 17: "And the LORD said to me, 'They have spoken well what they have spoken.'" Again, showing something that is true. There's a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof is the way of death! They thought it would be better to have Moses tell them. What happens then? The people could say, 'Moses, you're just a man!' But they can't say that of God!

Verse 18: "I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, One like you, and will put My words in His mouth…."

What did Jesus say? I do nothing of Myself! As I see the Father do it, I do it! I do whatever He has commanded Me to speak, that's what I speak! Just exactly as it is right here, not His own words!

"…And He shall speak to them all that I shall command Him. And it shall come to pass, whatever man will not hearken to My words, which He shall speak in My name, I will require it of him. But the prophet who shall presume to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die" (vs 18-20).

Amazing! Just imagine what Protestantism could have been if they would have listened to the voice of God!

  • Who is speaking in v 18: "I will raise them up a Prophet…"?
  • Is this Christ speaking?


  • Is this the Father speaking?

This obviously is Moses speaking from what the Lord God told him, and that was something that He got from the Father. So, this was Moses speaking what the One Who became Jesus Christ spoke and told him.

People say that this was the Father speaking. Christ came to reveal the Father. There are allusions of the Father in the Old Testament, but not the intimacy of the Father and we being in the Family of the Father.

[Break for Part 2]

Most people in the world believe that Judaism is the Old Testament. They believe that Judaism is keeping the Law of Moses. Jesus plainly said, 'None of you keep the Law of Moses!' Even if they observe the Sabbath they can say that. Why? Because they weren't keeping the Sabbath the way that God intended!

Matt. 5—everyone who is a teacher needs to read this, because these are the words of Jesus, and these are the words that will judge us! Everyone who disregards the Laws of God ought to read it, too.

Matthew 5:19: "Therefore, whoever shall break one of these least commandments…" What do they consider the least commandment? Sunday, idolatry, the holidays!

"…and shall teach men so… [if you teach it you're adding on to it] …shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven… [that is if you ever get there] …but whoever shall practice and teach them, this one shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven" (v 19).

If you don't believe that to be correct, then you get the sermon series: God's Grace and Commandment-Keeping. Go through that and it shows how God wants us to keep His laws and commandments.

Verse 20: "For I say to you… [Christ by the authority of the Father] …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"—which also means that if you don't keep the commandments you're not going in!

Let's see the final word on commandment-keeping by Jesus Himself in the last chapter of the Bible!

Revelation 22:13: "I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last."

  • Is that all inclusive in time and history?
  • In the word and Truth of God from the beginning to the end?
  • Yes, indeed!

Verse 14: "Blessed are those who keep His commandments… [not cursed] …that they may have the right to eat of the Tree of Life, and may enter by the gates into the city." That would be, let's hear the conclusion of the whole matter!

  • What was the righteousness that the scribes and Pharisees had?
  • The righteousness of the Law? No!

They had the righteousness of their traditions, which rejected the Laws of God! In Matt. 5 Jesus is saying that:

Matthew 5:20: "…your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, there is no way that you shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.

Verse 19: "…but whoever shall practice and teach them, this one shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven."

Notice that there are two things with it: practice and teach! That's also a very interesting precept. If you keep or practice the commandments of God, you understand them, and if you understand them by keeping and practicing them, then you're able to correctly teach them! If you don't practice them, you can't correctly teach them!

That's why Jesus constantly referred to them as hypocrites. I first translated it as "sanctimonious pretenders" in A Harmony of the Gospels, because that's what they were. Let's look at another Scripture that is used over and over again, and is the same Scripture that is used to 'prove' that there is an ever-burning hell, and when people die they go to hell.

Luke 16:19: "Now, there was a certain rich man… [equate him to the elite of the world] …and he was clothed in purple and fine linen, and daily indulged himself in luxury. And there was a certain poor man named Lazarus, who was laid at his porch, full of sores. And he longed to be nourished with the crumbs that fell from the rich man's table; and the dogs even came and licked his sores. Now, it came to pass that the poor man died, and he was carried away by the angels into Abraham's bosom…." (vs 19-22).

  • Does this mean that people go to heaven?
  • When do the angels carry the saints, those who are counted worthy of eternal life? At the resurrection!

They also use this to 'prove' the immortality of the soul. Think what you have to do in believing in the resurrection. You have to discount that! This takes place at the resurrection!

"…And the rich man also died and was buried" (v 22).

Verse 23 (KJV): "And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom." This means that Lazarus received eternal life. This also means that Lazarus was one of the children of Abraham, spiritually.

(FV): "And in the grave he lifted up his eyes and was in torment, for he saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried out and said, 'Father Abraham, have compassion on me and send Lazarus, so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am suffering because of this flame'" (vs 23-24)—not in it, but because of it.

  • What are we dealing with here?
  • Are we dealing with a hell?
  • We are certainly dealing with the rich man coming back to life!
  • When do we find that other people are resurrected? Rev. 20!

First, let's get the sequence of what we're talking about here and understand it. Whenever someone comes along and reads a Scripture that is not clarified in the context, then you have to go to other Scriptures to find out how it's done, or get a timing of it.

1-Corinthians 15:20: "But now Christ has been raised from the dead; He has become the Firstfruit of those who have fallen asleep." We know that Jesus was raised from the dead.

  • Has anybody else been raised from the dead?
  • Does this tell us in the whole chapter of anybody who has their soul in heaven? No it doesn't!

Verse 21: "For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive…. [all saints and sinners!]…But each in his own order: Christ the Firstfruit; then those who are Christ's at His coming" (vs 21-23).

So, from the time that Jesus was resurrected, no one has been raised from the dead to receive eternal life, and will not be until Jesus comes!

In Rev. 20 is something we expound on a great deal on the Last Great Day, the 8th day after the 7-day Feast of Tabernacles. Isn't it interesting that the very thing that people reject in the world's Christianity is the very thing that would give them understanding so they could truly believe the Bible the way that it should be believed. This tells us something very important, which is expounded on the Last Great Day even more:

Revelation 20:4: "And I saw thrones; and they that sat upon them, and judgment was given to them; and I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus, and for the Word of God, and those who did not worship the beast, or his image, and did not receive the mark in their foreheads or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years."

These are the ones who are raised when Christ returns. Then we come back to the earth and take over rulership of the earth. Then v 5 is an inset verse: Verse 5: "(But the rest of the dead…)"

  • Who are the rest of the dead?
  • Who do we have identified that will be resurrected?
  • Christ!
  • Those who are His at His coming, not before!
    • Who then are the rest?

Those who are Christ's are those who were called, overcame and faithful to the end. They are the few that are called and chosen. So, those in the first resurrection are those who are Christ's.

But the "…rest of the dead…" means everyone else! Why? Because it tells us in 1-Cor. 15 that all shall be raised! It also tells us in John 5 that all the dead will hear Christ's voice and come out of the graves!

"(…did not live again until the thousand years were completed.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and Holy is the one who has part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power. But they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years" (vs 5-6).

Since the rest of the dead will be raised after the thousand years are completed, over those the second death has power. Here's how we understand it. The rest of the dead who are going to be raised after the thousand years:

  • Were they once alive? Yes!
  • Did they die once? Yes!
  • Are they raised back to a life? Yes, they are, and we know that's a physical life (Ezek. 37)!

If you need more details on that, go to any Last Great Day sermon that's online:

It says that "…the second death has no power…." over those who are in the first resurrection. But this also tells us that the second death has power over those who are being raised: the rest of the dead! Why? As we've seen, there are two categories.

Verse 11—after the thousand years: "Then I saw a great white throne and the One Who was sitting on it, from Whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead… [Who are these dead? The rest of the dead!] …small and great, standing before God; and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged out of the things written in the books, according to their works" (vs 11-12).

If they were judged according to how they lived their first life, they would be counted as sinners and would not have an opportunity for salvation. That's why you have to have this understood and interpreted by going to Ezek. 37.

Verse 13: "And the sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and the grave gave up the dead that were in them…"

There are a lot of people who put their trust in the King James Version. What are you going to do with all of the poor translations that constantly have to be corrected.

Verse 13 (KJV): "And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them…"

There you have hell, but the KJV translators found that presented a problem, because if they are already in hell and suffering and being tormented, is hell going to return them back? If their judgment is to be suffering and tormented forever in hell, how does it deliver up the dead that are in them. So, they had to have a modicum of honesty, so they put a column reference, which says, 'the grave.'

Verse 14: "And death and the grave were cast into the Lake of Fire. This is the second death."

  • How can you have a second death if you're in hell and tormented forever?
  • How can you cast hell—with all the immortal souls still suffering—into the Lake of Fire?
  • Are they not already being tormented in fire?

They never stop and ask those questions!

It is "…death and the grave were cast into the Lake of Fire…." (v 14). If you die the second death, what is that? That means you've lived twice and you've died twice! The second death is their final grave!

Verse 13: "And the sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and the grave gave up the dead that were in them; and they were judged individually, according to their works. And death and the grave were cast into the Lake of Fire. This is the second death" (vs 13-14).

There are no more graves for human beings, because human beings at this point in God's plan are either spirit beings in the Kingdom of God, or ashes in the Lake of Fire.

This is why we are told in Isa. 28 that the Word of God is put together 'line upon line, line upon line; precept upon precept and precept upon precept; a little here and a little there,' and you can put the whole thing together. That's why when Paul wrote to Timothy he said, 'You rightly divide the Word of Truth.'
Let's take the knowledge that we just covered in Rev. 20 and apply it to:

Luke 16:23: "And in the grave…"—when he was resurrected for his final judgment to be cast into the Lake of Fire. All those who have committed the unpardonable sin are going to be raised together and they're all going to come out of the grave and they're all going to see the Lake of Fire. They're all going to be tormented when they see the flame. They're not tormented in the flame, they are tormented by or because of the flame.

Would you not be tormented if someone took you and led you up to the top of Mt. Kilauea and looked down into the mouth of Mt. Kilauea and you see the lake of the volcano there? And they're going to throw you into it? Sure you would be tormented!

That's the scene; "…he lifted up his eyes and was in torment, for he saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom" (v 23). Lazarus receives eternal life in the first resurrection when Christ returns.

Verse 24: "And he cried out and said, 'Father Abraham, have compassion on me and send Lazarus, so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am suffering because of this flame.' Then Abraham said, 'Child, remember that in your lifetime you received good things to the full, and likewise Lazarus evil things. But now he is comforted, and you are suffering. And besides all these things, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed…'" (vs 24-26)—the difference between eternal life and physical life.

Flesh and blood—which the rich man was when he was resurrected back to life—cannot inherit the Kingdom of God, cannot go into the Kingdom of God, so there was no way that he could go over. He had already committed the unpardonable sin!

"'…so that those who desire to pass from here to you are not able, nor can those from there pass to us.' And he said, 'I beseech you then, father, that you would send him to my father's house, for I have five brothers; so that he may earnestly testify to them, in order that they also may not come to this place of torment'" (vs 26-28).

It doesn't tell us what happened to his brothers. We don't know if they made it into the Kingdom of God. If they did, then those would be the logical ones to be talked about here in this particular parable. Maybe they were in the great mass of those in another place waiting to be cast into the Lake of Fire.

Verse 29 is a very key verse. We read these things and pass over it and don't really grasp the significance of it.

Verse 29: "Abraham said to him, 'They have Moses and the prophets. Let them hear them.'" Think about that!

  • Was Abraham before Moses? Yes, indeed!
  • Did Abraham live to see Moses? No, he did not!
  • When did he find about Moses? After he was resurrected and in the Kingdom of God!

Have to be, he couldn't have found out before then! No way! And the Prophets. So, Abraham couldn't have lived that long through all the time of all the Prophets. You come all the way from the 1800sB.C. clear down to 1400B.C.—400 years. The last prophet to speak was Malachi, 1409B.C. So, Abraham didn't know of Moses and the Prophets until the resurrection.

This is also showing that you need Moses and the Prophets to enter into the Kingdom of God, though those were the primary authority for teaching until Christ came to bring the Kingdom of God. After that, the Kingdom of God is the primary authority.

Verse 31: "And he said to him, 'If they will not hear Moses and the prophets, they would not be persuaded even if one rose from the dead.'"

Regardless of what people think of a heaven and hell, people being tormented in a hell, this does not teach it when rightly understood.

The key is that if you wrongly divide the Word of God, can you create a lie? Yes, you can! So, if you take the Word of God and you use it, and you preach from it, but you don't preach it, then you can come up with all kinds of hair-brained ideas!

Was this a vision of the future? Yes! It was a parable by Jesus of the future, going clear on down to the casting into the Lake of Fire.

The Catholics cover it up even more with the doctrine of purgatory, which is really a moneymaking scheme, which is for all those 'good' Catholics, the priests weren't very good in teaching them if the majority of them ended up in purgatory. Is that not admitting mass failure by the priests to teach them so they would go to heaven? Instead of purgatory and Hell?

Of course, they don't know how to handle the thing concerning little babies, so you've got to have 'purgatory infantiam,' which is that they go kind of halfway into purgatory and they're really not suffering the full force of the flames. But if, since they weren't baptized and died, you pay the priests for the Masses, then they can bring the infants out. If you really, really pay you can bring your relatives out, too.

So, the safest thing you can do is pay the priests for all those Masses and then you pay even more so you can buy an indulgence so you won't go there! What is an indulgence? A piece of paper in hand that says that you are forgiven for future sins, because you paid in the past! Is that why the Mafia gives so much to the Catholic Church? Who knows!

You have to listen careful to this, and you can get this in the King James Version, but it's more clear in The Faithful Version:

1-Peter 3:18: "Because Christ indeed once suffered for sins, the Just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God; on the one hand, He was put to death in the flesh; but on the other hand, He was made alive by the Spirit."

Jesus told us particularly in John 10 that He willingly laid down His life, and He had commandment from the Father to receive it back.

Verse 19: "By which He also went and preached to the spirits in prison"—demons! What is the prison?

  • Rev. 8—the abyss is opened up and the demons come out; wherever Satan goes the demons are going to go, too.
  • Rev. 20—the bottomless abyss

2-Peter 2:4: "For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but having cast them into Tartarus"—a transliteration of the Greek and means a place of restraint or prison.

(KJV): "For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell…" This is where they say that Jesus went into hell. Did He sin? Why would He have to go to hell.

"…delivered them intochains of darkness to be kept for the judgment" (v 4)

1-Peter 3:19: "By which He also went and preached to the spirits in prison, which disobeyed in a past time, when once the longsuffering of God was waiting in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared…" (vs 19-20).

You have to read that carefully because when is referring to the time that he went in the spirit to preach the angels who had disobeyed. That's when He went.

What the Protestants believe is that when Jesus died and was put into the grave, then by the spirit He went to hell to preach to the angels who had sinned. 'Yes, there's an ever-burning hell, we've got it right there in the King James Version!' When did Jesus go? When the Ark was being built!So, Jesus did not go to hell!

These are some of the difficult Scriptures!

All Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version (except where noted)

Scriptural References:

  • Genesis 15:13
  • Exodus 12:41
  • Genesis 16:16
  • Genesis 17:1
  • Genesis 22:2, 4-12
  • Exodus 12:40
  • Hebrews 7:4-10
  • Galatians 3:15-17
  • Luke 16:10-16
  • Mark 7:6-9
  • John 5:36-47
  • Luke 16:16-17
  • Matthew 5:17-18
  • Deuteronomy 18:15-20
  • Matthew 5:19-20
  • Revelation 22:13-14
  • Matthew 5:20, 19
  • Luke 16:19-24
  • 1 Corinthians 15:20-23
  • Revelation 20:4-6, 11-14, 13-14
  • Luke 16:23-29, 31
  • 1 Peter 3:18-19
  • 2 Peter 2:4
  • 1 Peter 3:19-20

Scriptures quoted, not referenced:

  • Genesis 17:15-19
  • Exodus 21
  • Hebrews 11:19
  • John 5
  • Matthew 7
  • Ezekiel 37
  • Isaiah 28
  • John 10
  • Revelation 8

Also referenced:

  • Judaism: A Revelation of God or a Religion of Men? by Philip Neal
  • A Harmony of the Gospels by Fred R. Coulter

Sermon Series: God's Grace and Commandment-Keeping

Transcribed: 5/4/18