Pentecost Questions

Fred R. Coulter

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We have had several questions concerning Pentecost and the return of Christ, the resurrection of the dead in relationship to the Protestant claim of a rapture. The Protestants say—which is contrary to the Bible—that before the Tribulation comes, millions of Christians will be wafted off to heaven. There's a whole series of books out called Left Behind by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins.

They tout the rapture and that appeals to everyone. No one wants to be left behind. But the problem is: Where did they get the rapture?

{Note sermon series: The Rapture Hoax}

What happens, which is why in the part one I went through and explained how to 'rightly divide the Word of God.' Let me cover the Fourteen Rules of Bible Study so we can get in our mind what we need to do. In addition to rightly dividing the Word of God

Fourteen Rules of Bible Study found in:

  • Appendix A in The Holy Bible in Its Original Order
  • The Christian Passover
  • A Harmony of the Gospels
  • Begin with Scriptures that are easy to understand.

It's not hard to understand that you shall not murder. It's not hard to understand honor your father and mother. It is difficult for some people to understand—because their brains have been scrambled—that you shall not commit adultery. But begin with those that are easy to understand, and the ones that are difficult to understand you can come back to later.

  • Let the Bible interpret and prove the Bible. Don't look for what you want to prove—look for what the Bible actually says.

In some cases with some prophecies, we can only have understanding up to a certain point. For example: none of the commentaries before the advent of the chip could understand the coming of the mark of the beast. So, all explanations of it are not correct.

  • Understand the context…

So, if you have a verse that's hard to understand, then you read:
…—the verses before and after…

and if necessary:

…and the chapters before and after. Does your understanding of a particular verse harmonize with the rest of the Bible?

The whole Bible is the Unity of Truth.  That's why it's very important that you also read Appendix H: How Did Jesus Fulfill the Law and the Prophets? Then you will understand very easily that everything that is in the New Testament has a higher standard than what was given in the Old Testament.

  • As much as possible, try to understand the original Hebrew or Greek. But never try to establish doctrine or teachings by using only Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. Strong's can be helpful at times, but is very limited.

Which is pointed out in The Christian Passover book concerning sunset and between the two evenings.

  • Ask: What does the Scripture clearly say?
  • Ask: What does the Scripture not say?
  • Ask: To whom was the book written?

That becomes important. For example: that make Colossians and much easier book to understand when you realize that it was written to a church that was completely Gentile.

  • Ask: Who wrote it?
  • Ask: Who said it?
  • Understand the historical timeframe in which the book was written.

This is why The Holy Bible in Its Original Order is very important, because most people don't have a clue the Old Testament ends with Chronicles, which is called 1st and 2nd Chronicles. Then that connects together with the New Testament, because you have the chronology starting out with Adam and then in the book of Matthew you have David down to Christ, and in the book of Luke you have from Mary's father all the way down to Adam. So, it connects. There is a Unity of Truth!

  • Base your study on the Scriptural knowledge you already have….

Or understand. So, if you come to a Scripture that says the opposite of what you understand, if someone comes along and says that Jesus did away with the Law, but Jesus says that He did not come to abolish the Law, and you look at a Scripture that is hard to understand—and some of Paul's things are hard to understand—so you have to come back and look at those later. Then, in #11 you have to ask:

…What do you know up to this point in time?

To understand the Bible covers a lot. I'm still learning. It's designed that we learn our whole lifetime.

  • Do not allow personal assumptions or preconceived ideas to influence your understanding and conclusions.
  • Do not form conclusions based on partial facts, insufficient information, or the opinions and speculations of others.

Of course, that comes in with what we're going to cover here on some facts concerning Pentecost. Then we'll debunk some of the supposed facts of a rapture.

  • Opinions—regardless of how strongly you feel about them—don't necessarily count. Scripture alone must be your standard and guide.

That ends chapter one of The Christian Passover book.

  • Where do they get the idea that there is a rapture of millions of Christians?
  • What did we learn in part one concerning an understanding of the Scriptures? A good understanding have all those who do Your commandments!
  • Are they Sabbath-keepers? Doesn't necessarily mean that the information that they have is wrong, but at least that's a question!
  • Do they keep the Holy Days? We know that God's plan is revealed by His Sabbath and Holy Days!

That's important, but it doesn't mean that they cannot have some information that is valid. But it may mean that can come to conclusions with partial information, misinterpreting Scriptures or reading into what they want read into it.

Luke 21 is really something. He talks about wars and rumors of wars, Jerusalem surrounded with armies, they will deliver you up, 'you'll be hated by all because of My name' (v 17) and we can see that coming more and more.

Luke 21:20: "But when you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies…" Let's see a prophecy concerning this. This is a very interesting prophecy. Some people become so entrenched in what they're doing that they have nothing but hatred and murder, and that's all they can do. They rejoice in destruction!

Zechariah 12:2: "Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people all around,… [Is that true? Yes!] …when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem."

We've had the '67 war, the '83 war and various skirmishes over there.

Verse 3: "And in that day I will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people…. [that's quite a statement] …All who burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the nations of the earth be gathered together against it" (v 3) And it is happening!  

How long have they had a peace settlement for Jerusalem? How many times have they been within one breath of doing it? Never! It's all been a mirage; it hasn't worked out. So, it's going to come down to armies surrounding Jerusalem.

Luke 21:20: "But when you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, then know that her desolation has drawn near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains…" (vs 20-21). Does that sound like a rapture? NO! If you flee into the mountains, you're walking.

"…and let those within her go out, and let not those in the countries come into her" (v 21).

People ask me if I want to go to Jerusalem to keep the Feast, and I tell them no, I don't want to go.

Verse 22: "For these are the days of vengeance, so that all things that have been written may be accomplished." Everything is going to be done! Jesus said that that's based on the existence of heaven and earth.

Verse 23: "But woe to those who are with child and those who are giving suck in those days! For there shall be great distress upon the land and wrath upon this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations; and Jerusalem shall be trodden down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. And there shall be signs in the sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress and anxiety among the nations, the seas roaring with rolling surges" (vs 23-25).

So, if you think that tsunami is Southeast Asia was something, hang on!

Verse 26: "Men dying of heart attacks from fear and dread of the things that are coming on the whole world…"

Note all people, all the earth, the whole world!

"…for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with great power and glory" (vs 26-27). So far, no rapture! It says in another place that 'every eye shall see Him' (Rev. 1).

Since we're going to answer some question, if you want to go into it in even more detail we have more in the book God's Plan for Mankind Revealed by the Sabbath and Holy Days.

Verse 28: "But when these things begin to take place… [wars and rumors of wars and so forth] …look up, and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near." We don't know how far away it is, so He gave this parable:

Verse 29: "Then He spoke a parable to them: 'Observe the fig tree, and all the tees. When they have already begun to bud, and you look at them, you yourselves know that summer is near. In the same way also, when you see these things coming to pass, know that the Kingdom of God is near. Truly I say to you, there is no way that this generation… [the end-time generation in which we are living] …shall pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall never pass away" (vs 29-33). He was the One Who gave the Ten Commandments at Mt. Sinai!

Verse 34: "Watch yourselves, lest your hearts be preoccupied with high living and drinking and the cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly. For as a snare it shall come upon all those who dwell on the face of the earth" (vs 34-35). It's a worldwide event!

Verse 36: "Watch, therefore, and pray at all times that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man."

  • What does it mean to escape?
  • How do you escape?

We saw some of them; they escape by running. It doesn't say that you're going to be picked up, it just says to pray that you will escape. It doesn't tell us how. So, we can't rely on this Scripture as the final thing that tells us about any escape or rapture.

There is no rapture for anyone to go into heaven and stay there. Let's look at another Scripture that is used, and again, it doesn't tell us how they are going to be spared. But it does say that there comes a time that we shall be kept from the temptation coming on the whole world.

Revelation 3:10: "Because you have kept the Word of My patience…" This being one of the seven churches, the Church at Philadelphia, whose word do they keep? Jesus Christ's!

"…I also will keep you from the time of temptation…" (v 10). Note sermon: Temptation to Try the Whole World (Daniel Revelation series #26)

What is the temptation? The Tribulation? Or is it something that comes before the Tribulation? As you will see, it comes before the Tribulation to seduce people into making an idol for the beast! Subsequent to that to receive the mark of the beast!

"…which is about to come upon the whole world to try those who dwell on the earth" (v 10).

Keep you from the time of temptation: doesn't say how, doesn't say where. Many people are being kept from this because they come to the end of their lives and die in the faith and are spared. Those who are alive…

Rev. 12—here's a Scripture that looks like a rapture. Does it include all Christians, because the Protestants say that if you say this formula: believe in Jesus, give your heart to the Lord that when the rapture comes you're going to be out of here, gone! What comes first?

Revelation 12:9: "And the great dragon was cast out, the ancient serpent who is called the Devil and Satan, who is deceiving the whole world; he was cast down to the earth, and his angels were cast down with him."

Verse 12: "Therefore, rejoice you heavens and those who dwell in Them. Woe to those who inhabit the earth and the sea! For the Devil has come down to you, having great wrath because he knows that he has only a short time."

  • Let's see what he does?
  • What's going to precipitate this time?

I've often wondered, and I wrote about this years ago, are they going to have a space station up there? Which we have now! Is the Beast Power going to up there and possessed of the devil? It talks about war in heaven and he's cast down. Is he cast down and made to go back to the earth from the space station?

Verse 13: "And when the dragon saw that he was cast down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who had brought forth the man-Child.

The woman in this case is personified by Mary, and since Jesus is the head of the Church, and the Church is also called a woman. We have in this case both of them personified in this prophecy.

Verse 14—we know that this didn't happen to Mary: "And two wings of a great eagle were given to the woman…"—a sign of God's protection and God watching over.

"…so that she might fly… [the only place where it says fly. How are they going to fly]: …to her place in the wilderness…" (v 14).

This is where you get the indication or the actual prophecy of a place of safety. But notice, it doesn't say 'fly to her place in heaven.' With the rapture you're taken to heaven, supposedly the third heaven where God's Throne is.

There's the first heaven in which I fly in all the time. I get in a plane and I go up into heaven, and there are millions of people in various planes flying in heaven. When I land, I come down from heaven.

It doesn't say in heaven, but "…the wilderness…" Has heaven ever been referred to as a wilderness? No! So, this can't be heaven. This has to be someplace on the earth. How many go there? We'll get a clue a little later on!

"…where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent." (v 14). That's where they get 3-1/2 years Tribulation! This is a Scripture that they go to, to show that there is a rapture.

  • What does it say? She goes to a place in the wilderness!
  • What does it not say? Go to heaven!

since some are going to be taken someplace

  • How many are going to go there?

Notice that this doesn't tell us where it is! A lot of people say that it's Petra. Well, it may or may not be Petra. Those who flee Jerusalem and go to the mountains in the wilderness, they're close to Petra, but are they in Petra? No, there are many caves out there! What are they finding all the time? Finding caves that have been buried out there before!

Makes you wonder how many of the Jews are going to run out and try and get up to Masada. That is still there. That would be the first place that they would want to go. You could have a flood come right down through there and keep Satan from coming after them.

Verse 15: "And the serpent cast water out of his mouth as a river, so that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth, and swallowed up the river that the dragon had cast out of his mouth" (vs 15-16. So, he was defeated!
These people, granted, are protected! They are in a place, apparently on earth because it's a wilderness, where they are protected from the Tribulation.

Verse 17 is a key and also is misleading in the King James. FV: "Then the dragon was furious with the woman and went to make war with the rest of her seed, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ."

The KJV says remnant! What do you think of when you have the word 'remnant'? You think of a small group! But the Greek here means the others, or the rest! It doesn't limit it to a small number of people. This could be many, many. If Satan comes and makes "…war with the rest of her seed…" what is that called in religious terms? A martyrdom! That ties in with the fifth seal in Rev. 6.

"…who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ" (v 17). We can conclude from this:

  • there are some who are going to escape the Tribulation

But they're not going to heaven, they're going to a place in the wilderness. God is able to take care of them in the wilderness. How did He do it with Israel? He gave them water out of a rock, and He gave them manna to eat!

  • they are commandment-keepers

They're not Sunday-keepers! They understand about the plan of God and the salvation of Jesus Christ. It doesn't tell us any number. We don't have a clue. If it is those who keep the commandments, what group of people does this narrow it down to?

  • Is Sunday-keeping commandment-keeping? No!
  • Is Christmas, Easter, New Years, Halloween commandment-keeping? No!

Those are commandment-breaking!

So, this has to do with those who keep the commandments of God and understand about Jesus Christ and His sacrifice, and everything concerning it.

This cannot be any of the Protestant denominations of the world. So far we have sent that there are some who are taken to a place of safety, protected by God in the wilderness. God has a special place, already spied out by God, to take them there.

Verse 14 doesn't tell us how they're going to get there. We've seen that some who live in Judea are going to flee and that's how they're going escape. But we also see that there are some who are left behind. But they are not the non-believers, and pronounced by those who believe in the rapture. These are those "…who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ" (v 17). Let's see how they are going to fulfill their testimony.

Revelation 12:10: "And I heard a great voice in heaven say, 'Now has come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Christ because the accuser of our brethren has been cast down, who accuses them day and night before our God. But they overcame him through the blood of the Lamb, and through the word of their testimony…" (vs 10-11).

They have the testimony of Jesus Christ and testify against them that they are the agents of Satan the devil.

"…and they loved not their lives unto death" (v 11). They are martyred!

We also have that in Rev. 6; there's a martyrdom of the saints, which is pictured by the fifth seal. Remember that the first five seals come very quickly:

  • false religion
  • war
  • famine
  • death
  • martyrdom of the saints

Then you always look for a scapegoat. They run around and start killing those who they believe are responsible for it. It's going to be the Christians who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Christ, those who are left behind. Not the world! Not those in the Protestant churches! They don't keep the commandments of God!

The fifth seal is the same time-setting of Rev. 12 when Satan persecutes the woman who brought forth the Man-Child and then goes to make war! Rev. 6:9 is making war against those who are martyred.

Revelation 6:9: "And when He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the Word of God, and for the testimony that they held… [the testimony of Jesus Christ] …and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, 'How long, O Lord, Holy and true, do You not judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?' And white robes were given to each of them; and they were told that they should rest a short time, yet, until it be fulfilled that both their fellow servants and their brethren also would be killed, just as they had been" (vs 9-11). No rapture! If you're martyred, you're not raptured. We know who they are, and we know basically was is going to happen.

Those who go to a place of safety, how do they get there, other than those in Judea who walk? If you live here in America, or some place else on earth, you're not all of sudden going to run to a place of safety to the mountains in Judea. It's not going to happen! So, how are they going to get there?

They can track you down; they have the technology now. You can come in and get inspected and let go and you never know that they have just dusted on you the RFIDs and can track you wherever you go.

Luke 17:20: "Now, when the Pharisees demanded of Him when the Kingdom of God would come…" They knew the Scriptures of Isaiah and Jeremiah, that the Kingdom of God is coming! Here's another misinterpretation and not a good translation of the KJV.

"…He answered them and said, 'The Kingdom of God does not come with observation; neither shall they say, "Behold, it is here!" Or, "Behold, it is there!" For behold, the Kingdom of God is standing in the midst of you.'" (vs 20-21).

The KJV says that 'the Kingdom of God is in the midst of you.' Why do we know that a Kingdom of God cannot be in one's heart? That's where the Protestants say that 'the Kingdom of God is in your heart' because they don't believe in the Kingdom of God coming on the earth the way the Bible teaches. They teach you going to heaven, so there's no need for the Kingdom of God to come on the earth.

The Kingdom of God is in the midst of you, or among you. Who is the one who represented the Kingdom of God? Christ! So, He was standing right there. They encircled them, so He was standing in the midst of them.

Verse 22: "Then He said to the disciples, 'The days will come when you shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and shall not see it. And they shall say to you, "Look here," or, "Look there." Do not go, neither follow them. For as the light of day, whose light shines from one end under heaven to the other end under heaven, so also shall the Son of man be in His day'" (vs 22-24). This is talking about when Jesus returns!

Verse 25 changes the subject: "But first it is necessary for Him to suffer many things and to be rejected by this generation. Now, as it was in the days of Noah, so also shall it be in the days of the Son of man. They were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage, until the day that Noah went into the ark, and the Flood came and destroyed them all" (vs 25-27). This is likened to the Tribulation!

Verse 28: "And it was the same way in the days of Lot… [think about our economy today] …they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building… [all of the essence of the modern economy] …but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom…" (vs 28-29).

  • Was he taken to a place of safety? Yes, the angel said come!
  • Was a message given to others to come?
  • Was it given to Lot's family to come? Yes!

And Lot's sons-in-law married to his daughters didn't believe him. Lot, his wife and two daughters left. How did they go out? By angels, they came and took them by the hand and led them out! They said, 'Come, get out! It's late!'

"…it rained fire and sulfur from heaven and destroyed them all…. [like an atomic bomb] …This is how it shall be in the day that the Son of man is revealed" (vs 29-30).

When the Tribulation starts, that is the beginning of the revelation of the Day of the Lord that lasts three and a half years. Although He doesn't show Himself in that day, until sometime down into it.

Verse 31: "In that day, let not the one who is on the housetop, and his goods in the house, come down to take them away; and likewise, let not the one who is in the field return to the things behind. Remember Lot's wife" (vs 31-32). She turned into a pillar of salt!

Verse 33: "Whoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it…" All of those who go to Protestant churches to join them so that they won't be in the Tribulation:

  • What are they seeking to do? Save their lives!
  • What did Jesus say? They're going to lose them!

"…and whoever shall lose his life shall preserve it" (v 33). You lose your life in Christ because He becomes your life!

Verse 34: "I tell you, in that night…" Here's how the selection is made to go whatever place of safety, wherever it is. I've said before, but I'll repeat it again here:

  • If you know where the place of safety is and you don't get there, the knowledge of where it is doesn't do you any good.
  • If you don't know where it is and you get there, you'll know where it is when you arrive.

Who knows the hearts of men? Christ! Years ago there was a radio program that I used to listen to called The Shadow, and they always started it out with the Shadow knows! Do things stick with you a long time in your life? Yes!

Before we ask how they are selected, let's see who is going to make the selection, and how are they going to be taken. It says on the wings of a great eagle. That's just a sign of God's protection. Who is going to make the decision? God is going to have to make the decision! When He makes the decision—just like He did in Sodom and Gomorrah—what did He do to save Lot? He sent two angels to rescue them!

How are those who are selected going to be selected to go to a place of safety? That is those who are not in Judea to flee to the mountains. How are you going to get there? It would have to be by angels!

Verse 34: "I tell you, in that night there shall be two in one bed; one shall be taken, and the other shall be left." This is where they get the left behind! If you're in bed it's generally nighttime, so we have nighttime.

Verse 35: "Two women shall be grinding together… [the reason I put women in italic is because this is two in the feminine case] …one shall be taken, and the other shall be left" grinding! So, this has to be early morning, because it was cool and you didn't get a lot of dust, and so forth. Grinding generally takes place in the morning.

Verse 36: "Two men shall be in the field… [this is different than those who are out in the field in Judea] …one shall be taken, and the other shall be left."

Matthew 24:15: "Therefore, when you see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the Holy place.' (The one who reads, let him understand.)." The man of sin, the son of perdition; the one who says that he is 'God.'

He goes into the temple of God in Jerusalem, and that temple, they're doing every thing they can to prepare to get it ready to be built. They have architectural plans for building the temple, so when they do it, it will be done quickly. When that's done you better sit up and pay attention. Get yourself right with God.

Verse 16: "Then let those who are in Judea flee into the mountains. Let the one who is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house; and let the one who is in the field not go back to take his garments" (vs 16-18). That's in Judea!

Now, let see the difference those who are taken, v 40: Then two shall be in the field; one shall be taken, and one shall be left… [we have two categories of people] …two women shall be grinding at the mill; one shall be taken, and one shall be left. Watch, therefore, because you do not know in what hour your Lord is coming" (vs 40-42).

Luke 17:36: "'Two men shall be in the field; one shall be taken, and the other shall be left.' And they answered, saying to Him, 'Where, Lord?' And He said to them, 'Where the body is, there will the eagles be gathered together'" (vs 36-37)—which doesn't tell you where it is, except that it's in a rocky, craggy place, because that's where eagles gather together for their nesting! It doesn't tell you anything else. Those who are taken to a place of safety, we have seen:

  • they have to be taken there
  • they have to be taken by angels

We're talking about Lot and the angels took him out of there. It was close enough to walk. But if it's not close enough to walk the angels will transport them as if on the wings of a great eagle to where the place of safety will be! That is not a rapture into heaven!

There are not going to be different places of safety, because in the Greek in Rev. 12 it says into the place of hers! That means there are not going to be many people taken to a place of safety. The reason that there are going to be some taken is because the martyrdom is going to be so terrible that unless they were there in a place of safety the Church would die out. Those who are martyred and died, being the brethren constituting the Church, then that would break the promise that Jesus gave that He would build His Church and the gates of the grave would not prevail against it so it wouldn't die out.

This happens at the beginning of the Tribulation. The whole time of the three and a half years is also likened unto the Day of the Lord.

  • What about the resurrection?
  • What about what is going to happen at that time?

Let's talk about the resurrection, that it is going to occur!

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

  • keep in mind Firstfruit
  • keep in mind what we know about the Wave Sheaf Offering being the very Premiere Sheaf of the Firstfruit

He has become the Firstfruit of those who have fallen asleep!

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. But each in his own order: Christ the Firstfruit; then those who are Christ's at His coming"(vs 21-23). No one is going to be raised from the dead until a certain point with Christ's coming!

Verse 45: "Accordingly, it is written, 'The first man, Adam, became a living soul; the last Adam became an ever-living Spirit.' However, the spiritual was not first, but the natural—then the spiritual" (vs 45-46).

This is a very important thing to understand. Especially the Gnostic religion, and even the Mormons today… The evangelicals are against Mitt Romney (a Mormon) for President because they say that 'we were spirits existing in heaven and the spirits have to come down and possess a physical body.' In other words, if you're a spirit in heaven you're a spirit first. But that's not true!

"…the spiritual was not first, but the natural—then the spiritual."

Verse 47: The first man is of the earth—made of dust. The second Man is the Lord from heaven. As is the one made of dust, so also are all those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly One, so also are all those who are heavenly" (vs 47-48)—a spiritual body!

Verse 49: "And as we have borne the image of the one made of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly One."

Why? Because we are made in the image of God, and for the purpose and understanding of knowing that if we receive the Spirit of God then we have the assurance of the resurrection if we remain faithful unto death!

Verse 50: "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God…" This does away with the Catholic Church, because it says that:

It is the Kingdom of God on earth ruled by the pope! And the Kingdom of Heaven is where your soul goes when you die!

When you compare everything by the Scriptures you get the understanding!

"…nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I show you a mystery: we shall not all fall asleep, but we shall all be changed, in an instant, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed" (vs 50-52).

Is there a resurrection? Yes! This also tells us when the resurrection is going to be: at the last trumpet! We'll touch on that a little later. But I want to make the difference between going to a place of safety and the resurrection. The resurrection is entirely different! What is going to happen at the resurrection?

1-Thessalonians 4:14: "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, in exactly the same way also, those who have fallen asleep in Jesus will God bring with Him." This kind of sounds like they go to heaven! How is going to bring them with Him?

Verse 15: "For this we say to you by the Word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall in no wise precede those who have fallen asleep, because the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God… the last trump that we read of] …and the dead in Christ shall rise first" (vs 15-16).

  • When they are raised, what happens?
  • What do they do?
  • Where do they go?
  • How is going to be handled?

Verse 17: "Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds…"

The clouds are above the earth; how high do clouds go? Well they don't go much above 40-50 thousand feet! So, it's not way up in the third heaven.

"…for the meeting with the Lord in the air… [in the atmosphere of the earth] …and so shall we always be with the Lord" (v 17). If we are in the air, how do we get in the air?

Those who are in a place of safety and are alive and remain, they will be caught up in the air. I'm going to focus in on something else first.

Note Rev. 6:12—about the opening of the sixth seal. I covered that on Pentecost when the heavens are going to be ripped open like a scroll and they're going to see the sign of the Son of man in heaven coming from outer space. We're all prepared for it, aren't we? The whole world is prepared for an invasion from outer space, which is what this will be, only we won't be 'little green men.'

Matthew 24:27: "For as the light of day, which comes forth from the east and shines as far as the west…"

That can only happen if there is some bright light out there that suddenly appears. Can you imagine how they're all going to be consternated? 'We didn't see this out there; how did this come? How did this sneak up on us and get so close?'

It says in Rev. 1 that every eye is going to see Him, and all the tribes of the earth are going to wail and moan because of Him!

"…so also shall the coming of the Son of man be. For wherever the carcass may be, there will the eagles be gathered together. But immediately after the tribulation of those days… [here is where Rev. 6:12 begins]: …the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven…" (vs 27-30). We've already seen the great light; what is the sign?

"…and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming upon the clouds of heaven with power and great glory" (v 30).

The sign of the Son of man takes place when He gets down into the clouds. What is that sign? It has to be the Sea of Glass!

It's not going to be an itty-bitty platform. This is going to be a humongous event, because the whole Bible up to that point has pointed to this time. This is going to be gigantic! They're going to see the sign of the Son of man in the clouds. Let's put it as about 10,000 feet.

Everyone is going to see it. God can do with it wherever He wants, wherever He wants it to be seen. But every eye is going to behold Him. When they see that it has to be close enough to the earth. We don't know exactly how it's going to be accomplished.

Could it be that it comes close enough to the earth and then follows along with the earth, so when the resurrection takes place it will begin in one place in the earth and go clear around to the other side of the earth, and every eye is going to see Christ and the resurrection taking place. Notice what He does:

Verse 31: "And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet…" Please understand that it's not trumpets (plural)!

It starts out, say New Zealand, and they will be resurrected first. All the way around the earth and then it will stop over Jerusalem.

"…and they shall gather together His elect… [who have been resurrected] …from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other" (v 31).

It's going to be an all encompassing thing, which is going to take place coming around probably in a series. We don't know; that is not dogmatic. But I'll tell you that when you're resurrected, you'll know exactly when you see it. If you have any questions, you can ask the angel taking you up.

Let's stop and see if we can reason properly here without getting carried away. If every eye is going to see it and the resurrection is the most fantastic thing to occur since the creation of man—which it is—then wherever they are resurrected it is going to be daytime in that location. If they would be resurrected at night, know one is going to see it, so it would have to be in the daytime as it comes around.

What do we have so far?

  • at the last trump the resurrection occurs
  • the angels are going to take them for the meeting with the Lord in the air (1-Thess. 4)
    • How are you going to meet the Lord in the air?
    • What's going to happen?
    • How is that going to be?

This means all the saints, beginning with Abel. The first ones resurrected are going to be the two witnesses (Rev. 11). This is going to be a tremendous event. This is not a 'secret rapture'! This is the resurrection.

Let's talk a little bit about the Sea of Glass. Some people have a very difficult time comprehending about the Sea of Glass. Before we do that, I want to ask questions so we can put it in proper perspective.

  • Do you believe that there is coming a false prophet, as the book of Revelation describes the false prophet?
  • How many times does Revelation mention the false prophet? Three times! That's it!
  • If something is mentioned in the Bible once, is that quite sufficient for God? Yes!

The Sea of Glass is mentioned several places in the Bible. Let's see what happened in Exodus. This is very interesting that we cover concerning a Pentecost resurrection.

Some people have said, 'I don't see where you get this Sea of Glass thing.' I get it from the Bible! Do not confuse the resurrection with going to a place of safety. The place of safety is entirely different. This is where people get it confused. The grinding and the field and so forth, that's a place a safety, and that could take place in the day or at night. The resurrection is different.

Exo 24: Where did they receive the Ten Commandments? Mt. Sinai! There's a parallel for the Church in Heb. 12 that is called 'Mt. Sion' in heaven, the Church of the Firstborn! So, there are many different parallels here which I cover in greater detail in the book: God's Plan for Mankind Revealed by His Sabbath and Holy Days.

We know what happened. Exo. 20 the Ten Commandments were given. People wanted Moses to speak to them, so God said, 'Okay, you come up here and I'll give you the statutes and judgments and so forth and that covers Exo. 21-23. Let's see what took place and how it also reveals a Seas of Glass.

Exodus 24:1: "And He said to Moses, 'Come up to the LORD, you and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and worship afar off. [They were to be witnesses of God] …And Moses alone shall come near the LORD, but they shall not come near. Neither shall the people go up with him.' And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments. And all the people answered with one voice and said, 'All the words which the LORD has said, we will do.' And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD, and rose up early in the morning, and built an altar at the base of the mountain and twelve pillars according to the twelve tribes of Israel" (vs 1-4).

Then they burnt offerings, peace offerings and, v 6: "And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basins, and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. And he took the Book of the Covenant, and read in the ears of the people. And they said, 'All that the LORD has said we will do, and be obedient.' And Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, and said, 'Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD has made with you concerning all these words'" (vs 6-8)—the covenant is done, sealed!

Verse 9: "And Moses went up, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel. And they saw the God of Israel. And there was under His feet… [they're on the mountain looking up] …as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone… [that a Sea of Glass] …and as it were the heavens in clearness" (vs 9-10).

So, when God comes down to the earth and He wants to come to a certain level and stay there, He Himself has a Sea of Glass that He can stand on. Granted, He can stand in the middle of the air if wants to, but He did this and put that Sea of Glass so He would be here. Then Moses, Aaron, Nadab and Abihu and 70 of the elders of Israel could look up and see that there is God, 'I saw God!' That was to impress upon the people that this came from God.

Verse 11: "And upon the nobles of the children of Israel He did not lay his hands. Also they saw God, and ate and drank."

What happens between the Church and Christ? The wedding supper! This is a foretype of it. Moses went up and was up there for 40 days and 40 nights.

{note Ezek. 1 and 10 about the cherubim. The cherubim is actually God's portable means of transportation. Yes, He can zoom around heaven on His own, but He wants a cherubim. God wants His own 'plane' to go on.

Rev. 4 talks about a Sea of Glass, and the Sea of Glass is where God's Throne is. Revelation 4:1: "After these things I looked, and behold, a door opened in heaven; and the first voice that I heard was as if a trumpet were speaking with me, saying, 'Come up here, and I will show you the things that must take place after these things.' And immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was set in heaven, and One was sitting on the throne. And He Who was sitting was in appearance like a jasper stone and a sardius stone; and a rainbow was around the throne, like an emerald in its appearance" (vs 1-3). Absolutely beautiful!

Verse 4: "And around the throne were twenty-four thrones; and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white garments; and they had on their heads golden crowns. And proceeding from the thronewere lightnings and thunders and voices; and seven lamps of fire, which are the seven spirits of God, were burning before the throne. And before the throne was a sea of glass, like crystal…." (vs 4-6).

There's God's Throne sitting a sea of glass. It doesn't give us any dimensions, but let's understand that it had to be really fantastically huge! Sapphire is blue and when it's next to crystal it reflects the blue, but also looks clear and you can see through it. So, we have the same thing here.

Same way with the ocean, when it's cloudy it's gray or green, and when the sky is clear you can see into it and in some places the sea is clear as crystal. It something to look at some heavenly things described here.

"…And around the throne and over the throne were four living creatures, full of eyes before and behind… [this ties in with Ezek. 1 and 10 with the cherubim] …and the first living creature was like a lion, and the second living creature was like a bull, and the third living creature had the face of a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. And each of the four living creatures had six wings respectively; and around and within they were full of eyes; and day and night they cease not saying, 'Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was, and Who is, and Who is to come'" (vs 6-8).

There are two places where we see the Sea of Glass. How big is this Sea of Glass? We can't give you any direct measurements, but let's see what it's talking about.

Rev. 5 can give us an estimation as to the size of the Sea of Glass, at least in this vision. Revelation 5:11: "And I saw and I heard the voices of many angels around the throne…" How much space they take up, we don't know!

"…and the voices of the living creatures and the elders, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, 'Worthy is the Lamb Who was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory and blessing'" (vs 11-12).

So, this has got to be a tremendous sight! God doesn't live in a cave. God doesn't live in a hut. God lives in fantastic, beautiful, spacious things that He has created out of spirit! And He inhabits eternity, and has existed from everlasting to everlasting!

God is a person, not a glob! God has to have space and angels have to have space. Just because they're spirit beings doesn't mean that they don't have space. This is called not a postage stamp of glass, but a Sea of Glass, and a sea is… You look at the Pacific Ocean and you can't see 12 thousand miles away where the other end is. So, we don't know how big the Sea of Glass is. But it has to be big enough to hold everyone who is to be resurrected.

I want us to understand the significance and the power of this event that's going to take place. Let's see when the seventh trump is blown. We covered this on Pentecost, but we just want to read it into the record.

The last trump that is blown is in: Revelation 11:15: "Then the seventh angel sounded his trumpet; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, 'The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and His Christ, and He shall reign into the ages of eternity.' And the twenty-four elders, who sit before God on their thrones, fell on their faces and worshiped God" (vs 15-16). Where are those thrones? On a Sea of Glass! We just read it in Rev. 4-5).

Verse 17: "Saying, 'We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, Who is, and Who was, and Who is to come; for You have taken to Yourself Your great power, and have reigned. For the nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, and the time for the dead to be judged, and to give reward to Your servants the prophets, and to the saints, and to all those who fear Your name, the small and the great; and to destroy those who destroy the earth.' And the temple of God in heaven was opened…" (vs 17-19). John could see it!

"…and the Ark of His Covenant was seen in His temple… [the real Ark of the Covenant] …and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunders, and an earthquake and great hail" (v 19).

That was made when Stephen was martyred and killed, and he looked up and saw the Throne of God and Jesus Who was following what was going on. Now let's look at the harvest; we already covered this on Pentecost:

  • we are the firstfruits of God's creation (James 1:18)
  • we also covered that Jesus was the Firstborn among many brethren (Rom. 8)
  • Mt. Sion in heaven above is where our names are written

Revelation 14:13: "And I heard a voice from heaven say to me, 'Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from this time forward. Yes, says the Spirit, so that they may rest from their labors; and their works follow them.'"

Now it jumps from the martyrdom to the resurrection, because the next thought that anyone who is martyred is in the resurrection; v 14: "And I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and one like the Son of man sitting on the cloud… [we read before 'coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory] …having a golden crown on His head; and in His hand was a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple…" (vs 14-15).

We saw the temple open; so these are things that are taking place right out of the Temple of God, which is closer to the earth than we have imagined.

"…crying with a loud voice to Him Who was sitting on the cloud, 'Thrust in your sickle and reap, because the time has come for You to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.' And He Who was sitting on the cloud thrust forth His sickle upon the earth, and the earth was reaped" (vs 15-16).

This is the harvest of the righteous! Where do you take this harvest? Because after that comes the harvest of the wicked, which then falls right into Rev. 16. So, the first part of it is the harvest of the righteous and parallels Rev. 15. the second part of it, the harvest of the wicked, finds its fulfillment in parallel (Rev. 16).

Revelation 15:1: "Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and awesome: seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them the wrath of God is filled up. And I saw a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who had gotten the victory over the beast…" (vs 1-2).

  • Who is the real beast behind the power of the human beast? Satan the devil!
  • When did he begin his human activity? In the Garden of Eden!

So, this includes Abel. Is Abel going to be in the first resurrection? Without a doubt!

"…and over his image…" (v 2)—which has to do with the statues of the beast and the Madonna down through time. When did it begin? Before the Flood!

"…and over his mark… [which those of the end-time will receive, and we won't] …and over the number of his name, standing on the Sea of Glass…" (v 2).

So, you have the Sea of Glass and the saints standing on the Sea of Glass. How can some people say, 'I don't understand the Sea of Glass.' It does say it, doesn't it? It doesn't say it 20,000 times in the Bible, but it does say it.

"…having the lyres of God. And they were singing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, 'Great and awesome are Your works, Lord God Almighty; righteous and true are Your ways, King of the saints. Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You only are Holy; and all the nations shall come and worship before You… [that is yet to take place] …for Your judgments have been revealed'" (vs 2-4). So, there they are on the Sea of Glass!

  • Then what takes place? Pouring out of the seven last plagues by the seven angels!
  • Where are the saints after they are resurrected? On the Sea of Glass!
  • How long are they there on the Sea of Glass? Until Christ returns to the earth so that fulfills what Paul wrote, that Christ will bring the saints with Him!

Go back over the sermons that I've given on Pentecost and they will tell you all the things that have to take place.

Revelation 19:1: "And after these things I heard the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven…" Who are the multitude? All the resurrected saints! They see the seven last plagues poured out and all of that.

"…saying, 'Hallelujah!…. [which means praise God] …The salvation and the glory and the honor and the power belong to the Lord our God. For true and righteous are His judgments; for He hasjudged the great whore, who corrupted the earth with her fornication, and He has avenged the blood of His servants at her hand.' And they said a second time, 'Hallelujah! And her smoke shall ascend upward into the ages of eternity.' And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God…" (vs 1-4). Where are the 24 elders? On the Sea of Glass!

"…Who sits on the throne…" (v 4). Where is the Throne? On the Sea of Glass!

"…saying, 'Amen. Hallelujah!' And a voice came forth from the throne, saying, 'Praise our God, all His servants, and all who fear Him, both small and great'" (vs 4-5). Where are they? On the Sea of Glass!

Verse 6: "And I heard a voice like that of a great multitude, and like the sound of many waters, and the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, 'Hallelujah! For the Lord God Almighty has reigned. Let us be glad and shout with joy; and let us give glory to Him; for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready'" (vs 6-7).

So, the marriage of the Lamb has to take place! You can read in the book: Occult Holidays or God's Holy Days—Which? or in the book: God's Plan for Mankind Revealed by His Sabbath and Holy Days all the other events that have to take place.

  • we have to receive our rewards
  • we have to receive our new names
  • we have to know what we are doing

That takes place between the time of Pentecost and Trumpets so that we are all coordinated. God is going to plan this and have everything all ready to go.

  • we are going to learn what we're going to do
  • we are going to learn how we're going to do it
  • we are going to fight with Christ when we come back to the earth (Rev. 19)

That should help answer questions and the difference between what is the resurrection and what is going to a place of safety. In either case there is not any evidence of a 'secret rapture'!

Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version

Scriptural References:

  • Luke 21:20
  • Zechariah 12:2-3
  • Luke 21:20-36
  • Revelation 3:10
  • Revelation 12:9, 12-17, 10-11
  • Revelation 6:9-11
  • Luke 17:20-36
  • Matthew 24:15-18, 40-42
  • Luke 17:36-37
  • 1 Corinthians 15:20-23, 45-52
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17
  • Matthew 24:27-31
  • Exodus 24:1-4, 6-11
  • Revelation 4:1-8
  • Revelation 5:11-12
  • Revelation 11:15-19
  • Revelation 14:13-16
  • Revelation 15:1-4
  • Revelation 19:1-4

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Luke 21:17
  • Revelation 1; 12:14; 6:12
  • Hebrews 12
  • Exodus 20-23
  • Ezekiel 1; 10
  • Romans 8
  • James 1:18
  • Revelation 16

Also referenced:

  • Sermon Series: The Rapture Hoax
  • Sermon: Temptation to Try the Whole World (Daniel Revelation series #26)
  • From The Holy Bible in Its Original Order
  • Appendix A: Fourteen Rules of Bible Study
  • Appendix H: How Did Jesus Fulfill the Law and the Prophets?
  • Books by Fred R. Coulter:
  • The Christian Passover
  • A Harmony of the Gospels
  • God's Plan for Mankind Revealed by His Sabbath and Holy Days
  • Occult Holidays or God's Holy Days—Which?