Fred R. Coulter—May 23, 2010

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Yesterday we covered the meaning of Pentecost in the Old Testament, the giving of the Ten Commandments. Then after that, giving of the different laws in Exo. 21, 22, and 23, and then the covenant sacrifices in Exo. 24. In Exodus 23 it tells us this, so let's turn there and look at that, and let's see that included in those extra commandments that were given on the day of Pentecost we find the Feast days given.

Exodus 23:14: "'You shall keep a feast unto Me three times in a year. You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread. You shall eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded you at the time appointed in the month of Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt. And no one shall appear before Me empty. Also the Feast of the Harvest of the Firstfruits of your labors, which you have sown in the field.... [Now we will learn some parallels in the New Testament from that.] ...And the Feast of Ingathering, in the end of the year, when you have gathered in your labors out of the field. Three times in the year all your males shall appear before the Lord GOD'" (vs 14-17).

Now after they rebelled when Moses was up on the mountain and they built the golden calf, then you find it also repeated in Exo. 34 that God again reiterated in the second giving of the commandments, in the second giving of these laws here, that they were to have the Feasts of God.

Now let's come to Exodus 34, and we'll see that. Now notice how it ties right in with the Sabbath. Many times we are told that the Sabbath day, the weekly Sabbath day, is the overarching sanctification of all of the annual Sabbaths. Notice how that fits right here again, too—Exodus 34:21: "You shall work six days, but on the seventh day you shall rest. In plowing time and in harvest you shall rest. And you shall observe the Feast of Weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the Feast of Ingathering at the year's end" (vs 21-22).

But notice something very interesting. Where was the 21st verse inserted, notice. It says, v 18, here's the Feast of Unleavened Bread. So we've got all three Feasts again and then right in the middle of that—now I don't know what this is for, I guess it's for all of us dumb donkeys here, but v 20: "But the firstling of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb" (vs 21-22, 20). So I guess that's us.

Let's look at the harvest. Let's come to Matthew 13; we're going to see quite a few parallels now applied in the New Testament. Jesus told the disciples after He talked to the woman at the well and they were leaving, showing that it was right about the Feast of Pentecost time, He said, 'Lift up your eyes on the field and see that the fields are white unto harvest. Don't say there are four months to the harvest.' So that means it was right close to the time of Pentecost.

Now here in Matthew 13 we have a number of parables concerning the Kingdom of God, concerning the work of sowing. Actually it's called the parable of the sower. Let's look at the interpretation of it, Matthew 13:18: "Therefore, hear the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the Word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the wicked one comes and snatches away that which was sown in his heart...." (vs 18-19).

So Satan is there because the Kingdom of God and what we represent to Satan is the greatest threat that he's ever confronted. Now right now as physical human beings, we're not a threat to him. But at the completion of the firstfruit harvest spiritually, then he knows he's out of business. So he wants to do everything that he can to keep people in confusion, keep them away from understanding the Word of God, keep them away from the knowledge of salvation, any way he can. This is why we see right here the fulfillment of what Jesus said later, 'Many are called, but few are chosen.' So the Word goes out, they hear it, and they receive it with joy.

Verse 21: "But because he has not root in himself, he does not endure; for when tribulation or persecution arises because of the Word, he is quickly offended." There are some people that way. You've met them—haven't you? Talked to them about—'Oh, you're a Christian. Yes, wonderful, wonderful. How's your church service on Sunday?' Oh, well, I go on the Sabbath. Everything comes to an end. 'How was your Christmas?' Well, I really don't keep it. 'Oh, you deprive your family.' Whatever it may be. 'How was your Easter?'

Verse 22: "And the one who was sown among the thorns is the one who hears the Word, but the cares of this life and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the Word, and it becomes unfruitful." So they stop and think, 'Oh, I've got to keep the Sabbath. I've got to keep the Holy Days. What am I going to do? I'll be fired, I'll lose my job. I'll lose my business.' Of course, all you have to do is look at the stock market today and understand the deceitfulness of riches. It's like the Proverb says, 'When you set your heart on riches, they fly away.'

I'm reading a book, it's called, After Shock [transcriber's correction] and he says most of the money that people think they have earned, but lose, goes to money heaven. That is, it just flies away. So here he's counting the cost and looking at it saying, 'Oh, this can't be.'

This is why there are the few. Verse 23: "'But the one who was sown on good ground, this is the one who hears the Word and understands, who indeed brings forth fruit and produces—one a hundredfold, another sixtyfold and another thirtyfold.'" Then He gives another parable, the parable of the tares, and that's very interesting. And the servants wanted to know, 'Didn't you sow the good seed in the ground? Well, where did the tares come from?' Tares look like the real thing—don't they?—until it's time for the grain to be produced. So the workers in the field said, 'Oh, let's go take them out.'

But notice the answer, v 28: "And he said to them, 'A man who is an enemy has done this.'.... [And this is one thing that becomes difficult for people to understand. How and why would the Church of God and the people of God be infiltrated with enemies? Now we're all here and have lived through that—right? And you didn't know who they were—did you? Just like with the tares.] (Notice what He said after they said, 'Let us take them out.'): ...But he said, 'No, lest while you are gathering the tares, you also uproot the wheat with them. Allow both to grow together... [Isn't that interesting?] ...until the harvest; and at the time of harvest, I will say to the reapers, "Gather the tares first, and bind them into bundles to burn them; but gather the wheat into my granary"'" (vs 28-30).

So what have we all experienced here? We've all experienced being scattered, because the enemy, like the other parable with the hireling, he doesn't preach the Truth. So what has to happen? We have to leave! So here we are. Happened to every one of us—right? None of us figured it would happen. When we first started all the joy and everything, 'Oh, this is the Church of God, all the people.'

I remember the first time I went to church it was up in Sacramento and I was really happy to get there. We drove all the way. I lived in Burlingame, crossed the bridge, and rode up with the Barbees up to Sacramento and we had services up there. Now I look back at it years later, and I know those of you who live in the area, and Roger and I have talked about it, where at one time they had what, 800 people in the area? Somewhere around there. If everybody went over Stockton and they had Modesto and Fresno and Oakland all come together, what about 1,200, somewhere around there. Where did they go? Always remember this, one caveat, if they still have enough life in them, they can be transplanted and grafted back in. So as long as there's life, there's hope.

Let's look at another parable. Now. before we read it, let's confirm what we understand concerning the Feast of Unleavened Bread. During the Feast of Unleavened Bread, beginning with Passover, and then seven days of Unleavened Bread afterwards, leaven is what? A type of sin, puffing up, pictures vanity, pictures human nature, pictures everything that's not right with human beings. Now then, here's a parable, v 33: "Another parable He spoke to them: 'The Kingdom of Heaven is compared to leaven... [What! It's compared to sin, the kingdom of sin? Well, couldn't be, because there's no sin in the Kingdom of Heaven. So what is this telling us then?] ...The Kingdom of Heaven is compared to leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of flour until all was leavened.'"

Now let's go back to Leviticus 23, and let's see a parallel with this then that has to do with the good use of leaven. We will notice several things as we examine this. Leviticus 23:16: "…And you shall offer a new grain offering to the LORD... [Made with newly harvested grain.] ...You shall bring out of your homes... [So every home had to do this.] ...two wave loaves of two tenth parts.... (vs 16-17). Now why two loaves? And we will see that these were to be waived before the Lord. Now come back here to the Wave Sheaf Offering Day and the priest was to wave the sheaf.

Verse 10: "Speak to the children of Israel and say to them, 'When you have come into the land which I give to you, and shall reap the harvest of it, then you shall bring the premier sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest. And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD to be accepted for you. On the next day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it'" (vs 10-11). Two loaves.

Now back to v 17: "…They shall be of fine flour.... [That means beaten, sifted, you get the very best. Sometimes in the trials you go through, maybe that's what you feel like, because this is a type of those trials.] ...They shall be baked with leaven." Now, when you put leaven into dough, then it rises. After it has risen—how many times do you let it raise, once, twice, normally once anyway. You let it raise, beat it down, then you let it rise again. Have you ever felt beaten down? We will analyze what this leaven really pictures then and what it means to have these loaves baked.

Now if you have a lump of dough over here and you just roll it out and you bake it, you have flat bread—right?—unleavened bread. Now we had tacos the other night. They were really good. Dolores fixes great tacos, and she got great taco shells that had wheat flour, barley flour, and corn flour in it. They were really, really good. Now when she bakes bread, uses yeast, and the bread she really bakes is really good is the braided Jewish bread. Then she makes the loaf after she's beaten it down once and it has risen again. Then you put it in the oven. What happens when it's in the oven? Gets baked! It's form has completely changed from dough into bread, from flour into a new product. This is what is to happen in our lives with the resurrection.

The good use of leaven is the unseen work of the Holy Spirit working within. Then the baking, well that takes place on Pentecost. Can we liken that to the resurrection when we are changed? We're permanently changed in form. Yes! Now let's notice a continuity here, v 20: "'And the priest shall wave them... [That is the other sacrifices.] ...with the bread of the firstfruits, a wave offering before the LORD, with the two lambs. They shall be Holy to the LORD for the priest. And you shall proclaim on the same day that it may be a Holy convocation to you. You shall do no servile work therein….'" (vs 20-21).

Now let's come back to Acts 2. As we covered yesterday, there were parallels between the day of Pentecost and the giving of the law to the children of Israel on Mount Sinai, and the events that took place there at the temple. Now first of all an immediate change came that had not occurred before, which was the work of the Holy Spirit in power. It changed and converted and gave to the apostles the power of speaking and teaching that they never had before. As a matter of fact, when you read Peter's sermon I wonder: Was this the first time he really preached like that, preached in power? Yes! And also at the time that the Holy Spirit came, what was happening in the rest of the temple area? Here were all the people bringing their two wave loaves to the priest and he would wave them to be accepted of the Lord.

Because there is a direct count from the first day to the fiftieth day, there is one complete process of harvesting from the acceptance of Christ as the First of the firstfruits on the first day of the weeks, counting toward Pentecost and then at Pentecost. So this pictures the harvest and acceptance of the firstfruits. Now that was quite a thing. So just imagine all of this going on and then the Holy Spirit came.

So let's begin in Acts 2:1, and we'll review just a little bit. "And when the day of Pentecost, the fiftieth day, was being fulfilled, they were all with one accord in the same place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like the rushing of a powerful wind... [A bit like what it was like there at Mount Sinai when they received the law.] ...and filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them divided tongues as of fire... [Remember, the mountain was on fire.] ...and sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit; and they began to speak with other languages, as the Spirit gave them the words to proclaim" (vs 1-4). And, of course, this was a great furor at the temple. I also like to look at it this way since it says there were Jews from every nation under heaven there, and it lists all of them. They all heard them speak the wonderful words of God in their own language. Now remember, this follows the three and a half year ministry of Jesus Christ. This follows 54 days later, the crucifixion and burial of Christ, and 50 days later from His ascension to heaven to be accepted by God the Father as the First of the firstfruits. So there's a lot going on right there at the temple.

Then he gave the sermon the message of repent and be baptized and receive the Holy Spirit. Now we don't know how many thousands of people were there, but can you imagine this: all during Jesus' ministry there were Jews coming to the temple from out in the exile, or called the Diaspora, and they would go home and tell them they heard this man Jesus speaking, and He did miracles and He healed thousands and thousands of people. 'Is this the Messiah?' Imagine how many people went the next year.

Remember, just before the last Passover of Jesus there were thousands of people there. Some of them wanted to see Jesus. Now picture this: All of those who were there at that last Passover and stayed for Unleavened Bread, though they didn't witness everything, they must have heard an awful lot. They knew that Jesus was crucified. Then they heard two stories beginning on the first day of the weeks. 'Well, they stole His body and the guard said they went to sleep'—had a big pocket full of money for saying that. Another said, 'No, He's raised from the dead.'

Now imagine going back to your synagogue, maybe in Babylon—maybe in Greece, maybe in Libya, or maybe in Asia Minor, or Antioch—telling the story of what went on. Now then, do you suppose that that increased the number of people coming on this one Pentecost? Could very well have been. But what we see with the whole thing then is this, and prophetically we will see the same thing. There is a continuous connection between the acceptance of Christ until the finished work of the saints and the resurrection.

Now let's come to Revelation 1:8; we can see some of the parallels. This is what Jesus said. He said: "'I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the Ending,' says the Lord, 'Who is, and Who was, and Who is to come—the Almighty'.... [Now He says that after that 'every eye is going to see Him,' that He was the 'firstborn from among the dead.'] (Then He told John, v 11): …'I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last'; and, 'What you see, write in a book, and send it to the churches that are in Asia.'" Then He lists the seven churches.

And as we covered for Day 49, that pictures the prophetic history of the Churches of God from the time of Christ to His return. There are seven churches. This is a parallel to the seven weeks of harvest, beginning with Christ and then ending in the resurrection of the saints. And every one of the churches, as we covered on Day 49, have their problems and difficulties just like it was enumerated in Matt. 13—

  • problems with false doctrines
  • problems with false preachers
  • problems with bringing in doctrines of Satan the devil
  • problems of people getting lukewarm
  • problems of people becoming spiritually dead

All of those things are the afflictions that happen to us because of the weakness of our flesh. So Christ is the firstfruits, all of those who are Christ's at His coming.

We have been taught in the past, because we didn't keep Pentecost correctly, that resurrection's going to occur on Trumpets because the trumpet is sounded and the dead are raised. And everything's going to take place in one day:

  • resurrection
  • meet Christ in the air
  • come back to the earth
  • take over the world

Well, as we have seen, like with the exodus, did God prepare with the exodus? Yes, He did! He has to prepare.

Now isn't it interesting that if you take and just do a survey by reading straight through Rev. 2 & 3, and the scene of the throne of God and Christ Rev. 4 & 5 and take those in sequence. Then Revelation 6 comes in sequence and these events follow right along. This will help us understand when these events are going to occur and what is going to happen and how Christ is going to return.

Now Christ opens the seals. We will see they come one, two, three, four and five very quickly. So He opened the first seal, Revelation 6:2: "And I looked, and behold, there was a white horse; and the one who was sitting on it had a bow, and a crown was given to him; and he went out conquering, and to conquer. And when He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, 'Come and see.' And another horse went out that was red... [Now why use horses? Why not use mules or donkeys? Because it shows these events are going to happen one right after the other, very rapidly, unexpectedly.] ...and power was given to the one sitting on it to take peace from the earth, and to cause them to kill one another; and a great sword was given to him" (vs 2-4). What event are we talking about in the book of Daniel that pictures this very much in a parallel way? An event has to happen to start it. Then another event has to occur right after that.

So let's see the event that starts it. Let's come back to Daniel 11. Now this gives us a lot of pause to think concerning the prophecies today as we analyze what's going on in the world. We've read this how many times. Daniel 11:40: "And at the time of the end, the king of the south shall push at him. And the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind with chariots and with horsemen and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries and shall overflow and sweep through. He shall also enter into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown. But these shall escape out of his hand: Edom and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon. And he shall stretch out his hand also upon the countries. And the land of Egypt shall not escape" (vs 40-42).

Now we're looked and we've said in almost every prophecy that the king of the south has to be what we call the Muslim world today, and has been for centuries. The king of the north has to be the ruler of Europe. In the years preceding this year, what were we looking at and talking about? We're saying, 'Oh, look, Europe's getting stronger, stronger, stronger, stronger.' Well, what's happened recently? So anyone who said, 'Oh, events are speeding up.' Oop! The brake was put on and it's slowing down. The truth is with all prophecies they're all right on time.

But nevertheless when the king of the north does come into power—and let's talk about that for just a minute. Let's be honest about things. You think that Europe is ready to have a full-fledged very powerful army in the world at the present time? No! They can hardly get the German NATO forces over there in Afghanistan to get out of the beer hall to come and do a little work. Europe also has a tremendous problem—doesn't it?—twenty percent in some countries: Muslim. How are they going to handle that? Their armies are old and they all have United States equipment. So what are we looking at? Are we looking at more time? If we are, then many other events have to happen.

What is another event that we are experiencing right now? I think you could say in Arizona it looks that way directly—doesn't it? 'And the stranger among you shall get up very high above you and you shall be brought low.' Does look like it, doesn't it? Now how far can they go in turning things around? Don't know! How far can the tea party people go in turning things around in America to change it? Don't know!

Now it also says, 'You will be brought very low and he shall oppress you.' Are we right on the verge of that right now? And at the same time look at what's happening in Europe with the king of the north. There's a lot to take place. So don't ask me how far out the return of Christ is. But I'll tell you this, God sure pulled a number on all of those who said that Christ is going to return when they said, what was it three years ago? But, there will be the one signal event that is going to usher in the last three and half years. That's when the king of the north—when we combine that with the prophecies of Rev. 13 and 2-Thess. 2—comes into the glorious land, he goes into the temple of God and says, 'I am God.'

Now a lot of people think that our illustrious President today is a candidate for that. However, I don't think so. So let's come here to Matt. 24, and let's see how this is written of in this chapter, because all of these events must take place before the resurrection occurs. So there has to come a time when the six seals are opened very quickly, and what signals the opening of the second seal but the 'abomination of desolation.'

Let's begin in Matthew 24:11: "And many false prophets shall arise, and shall deceive many... [Boy! that's sure true.] ...And because lawlessness shall be multiplied... [Are we seeing that more and more and more and more? Yes!] ...the love of many shall grow cold.... [Who can you trust?] ...But the one who endures to the end, that one shall be saved" (vs 11-13). So it tells us that when these events are happening there's more time yet, because we have to endure—correct? Yes! What are we going to have to endure? I promised everyone that I would save the bad news of the economy until after Pentecost, so put on your seat belt next week, because we're going to hear some things that you know are going to happen.

Verse 14: "And this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be proclaimed in all the world for a witness to all nations; and then shall the end come." Now there are many ways of doing that that wasn't able to be done in the past. Exactly how that's going to be done, we don't know, but whatever part God gives us to do, we need to do. Whatever part that God gives to the other Churches of God to do, they need to do. Whatever part that God does in raising up others to give a warning to Israel—and I think some are doing a really good job.

I know Dolores and I have discussed it many times. How about Rush Limbaugh, is he warning people? Michael Savage? To the people in the world. They won't listen to a church. 'Oh, there's that church nut saying Christ is going to return any time.' But if Glenn Beck says, 'You better get right with God, because times are tough,' a lot of people listen. He spoke of one book on one program last week that was rated on Amazon.com as 550-thousand on the list. The next week it was number two. So I told Dolores, 'Hey, I need to get that book.' So I asked Ron Carey if he'd order the book and he said, 'It's out on Amazon.com. I can get it at this Bible book store.' I said, 'Get it.' There are others who are warning the children of Israel in a way that will reach them. Now on top of that the Churches of God need to be doing what they need to do. I'll tell you, brethren, my prayer every day is, 'Oh, God, the pitiful state of the Church. What are we going to do? How is it going to be done?'

We look around at all the rest of us, we're either grey haired or have none. We're marching close to our final sleep—correct? Yes! So, brethren, pray. Ask God to give us understanding, what needs to be done, because we have to preach the Gospel as well. And I hope and pray that what we're doing with Church at Home will reach a lot of people who want to find God and especially after seeing that last program of Glenn Beck where he is showing that Obama is combining the unions and the Marxist-infiltrated Christian churches to preach a communist gospel of social justice for all.

The churches are becoming worthless, and in some cases even the Churches of God are not much better than worthless, or filled with stupidity and heresy and fighting and politics. Because the tares have gotten in control—right? So, brethren, we've got a lot of praying to do to ask God to intervene to help his pitiful little Church or maybe many, many little groups. But God is able to empower every one of them to do what they need to do.

Here's what's going to happen. "And this Gospel of the kingdom shall be proclaimed in all the world for a witness to all nations; and then shall the end come" (v 14).

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Let's continue on and look at the signal event that has to take place before the Tribulation begins. The Tribulation you can put three points to it:

  • Rev. 6 and the second seal
  • Dan.11:40

Those two things coincide with these event that we're going to read of in Matt. 24. What we're going to see, this also, as we discussed earlier concerning some of the other things, is going to require a lot of things to be done. So we have to be as prepared as we can and enduring as we can, and continue as we are doing.

Verse 14 says that after the Gospel has been proclaimed in all the world—now how's the Gospel proclaimed in the world? Mark 13 says 'published.' There are right now 800-million Bibles a year are being printed. So God is causing that to be done. In all, mostly by people not connected with the Church. Isn't that amazing?

  • The preaching by whatever means we have today.

We have radio, we have television, we have the Internet, we have personal speaking, we have all the recording and things we have now. Wouldn't it be nice if they had CDs in Paul's day? We could say, 'Well, here's what the Apostle Paul really said.'

Then there will be a warning given by others not in the Church that we could call watchmen, which would include some of those that I've already mentioned, because they are warning of things to millions of people, and if they're willing to listen that will help them. Then you have the preaching of the Gospel by the Churches of God and finally by the two witnesses.

Let's look at this signal event that kicks off the Tribulation. How many times have we had false alarms. 'Oh, the Tribulation's ready to start.' A terrible event happens and we say, 'Oh, prophecy is speeding up. The tribulation's going to be right away.' Well, we don't know. But here is that event:

Matthew 24:15: "'Therefore, when you see..." Interesting, isn't it? What does this also imply? If the Gospel's going to be preached in all the world, this means when you see, including the whole world, would that not be? Two hundred/three hundred years ago, if an event occurred in Europe and you lived here say as a pioneer out in the plains of Kansas, you wouldn't hear of it—would you? What did they know of Napoleon? Nothing, except the French got so broke that they sold to us the Louisiana Purchase.

So what does this also imply? Immediate recognition by everyone! Are there Christians in every part of the world? If this event took place, not if, but when this event takes place, through our modern television and things, will not every single person know? Yes! Did we have a crash in India last week? Five minutes after it happened it was worldwide on all the television news—right? And if you were watching the news, they said, 'Breaking news: Plane crash in India, 160 killed.' Two hundred years ago if a ship would have run aground and sunk and killed 200 people, you wouldn't know about it for years and years later—right?

"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)" (v 15).

Now we see in the New Testament greater description of it in 2-Thess. 2. So what does it tell us if there's a Holy Place? Well, Rev. 11 says there will be a temple—right? Where is the Holy Place? In the temple! The temple has to be built and every year we hear things, 'Oh, they found the red heifer. Oh, the Jews are going start sacrificing this Passover. Oh, the Temple Institute is ready to put up the cornerstone.' One caveat: none of it will happen until God is ready.

Now notice the rest of the sentence, which is a parenthetical statement, which Jesus did not speak when He was speaking this prophecy. It says: "…(the one who reads, let him understand)" (v 15). Now when we understand that the Apostle John was the one who finalized the New Testament, he was inspired to insert this here, because he knew two things:

  • The temple in Jerusalem was destroyed in 70A.D. Now he was finalizing the New Testament close to 100A.D.
  • And with the destruction of the temple, there no longer existed a Holy Place.

Yet he was given the prophecy contained in our Rev. 11 that there would be two witnesses and he was told to measure the temple. Now how can you measure something if it doesn't exist, unless it is a future event to then be re-built. So that's why he put right here for all Christians: 'the one who reads, let him understand.'

Now when the abomination of desolation takes, that is going to start the Tribulation. That is the key event. Notice how quickly these events unfold. "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... ['Oh, but my coat. My blackberry.' Don't take it.] ...And let the one who is in the field not go back to take his garments.... [You walk to the end of the row and run.] ...But woe to those women who are expecting a child, and to those who are nursing infants in those days! And pray that your flight not be in the winter, nor on the Sabbath" (vs (16-20).

"For then... [Take and circle that 'then' and connect it with the 'when' in v 15. When you see 'then shall there be great tribulation,' that's when the Tribulation starts. So it requires

  • a temple to be built
  • king of the north to rise
  • Europe to become a strong factor again.

What a year ago everyone was saying, 'Invest in the Euro.' I've got a book, Why Europe Will Run the 21st Century. And now they're almost broke. How can that happen? I'll try and bring that next week, but it will happen. But it may produce the things we've talked about that are lacking, because that's what they're going to need.] ...For then shall there be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until this time... [So think of the worst that has ever happened, and this is worse, including the Flood.] ...nor ever shall be again. And if those days were not limited, there would no flesh be saved; but for the elect's sake those days shall be limited" (vs 21-22).

Now, the King James has 'cut short,' that's how they translate it. And how many sermons have you heard, some prophecy happens, minister gets in the pulpit and says, 'Brethren, events are speeding up. God is going to cut the time short.' Well, if He's going to cut it short, what will happen to those prophecies that He said would never fail? No, it's limited! Limited to what time? What is the time frame at the end from Daniel and from the book of Revelation? The time limit is three-and-a-half years. It's limited.

Just like when anything happens, they have to find a scapegoat—don't they? Well, Christians will end up being the scapegoats. Why will we end up being the scapegoats? Because we will be saying Christ is coming and He's going to put all the governments out of business, destroy all armies.

So let's see what happens. When the tribulation starts, there will be this great war. Revelation 6:5: "And when He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, 'Come and see.' And I looked, and behold there was a black horse; and the one sitting on it had a balance in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures say, 'A measure of wheat for a silver coin, and three measures of barley for a silver coin; and see that you do not damage the oil and the wine'" (vs 5-6). Rationing.

Now when an event happens, how quickly do people run down to the store. The way things are going, and the way the financial system is working, I suggest that every time you go to the store you buy a little extra this, put it away; a little extra that and put it away. A little more of this, and put it away, because you don't want to have to try and get through the rioting crowds at the supermarket. And then you know what's going to happen when the help comes out and says, 'There's nothing left in the store.' People go crazy, break the windows, burn the building, run over and trample people, kill others. Then they will go looking—who has anything? So you don't want to have a big silo in the back of your yard with a big sign on it, 'Emergency Food for the Tribulation.'

The comment was made that the movie, Hotel Rwanda, might be one that you might want to watch. It was when there was the great slaughter in Rwanda and the soldiers came to this hotel where there's some people and they were able to barter things like scotch, and a pain killer, over the counter pills, and things like that. It saved a thousand people according to the movie. We are going to see that repeated over and over and over again.

Put in your notes right here, Psa. 91, that we need God's protection at that time. We need to be wise. We need to have some food, but we need to be thin and skinny like all the rest. That's when I'm going to lose weight, Mom. So there will be starvation and famine and notice what else happens here. It'll come quickly. You think, no food, no water, when does famine start setting in? About day four, five, or six. Then day seven it starts getting desperate; day 14, they're looking for things. If you want to really, really—how shall we say—gruesome and grisly read, read the book of Josephus about the fall of Jerusalem in 586B.C. and in 69 and 70A.D. Just like the prophecy said, if you're nice and tender, you're food for someone.

So the fourth living creature said: "'Come and see.' And I looked, and behold there was a pale horse; and the name of the one sitting on it was Death, and the grave followed him; and authority was given to them over one fourth of the earth, to kill with the sword and with famine and with death, and by the beasts of the earth'" (vs 7-8). Desperate times we have never seen, one fourth of the earth. And I know every time I look at a globe, I try and figure out two things:

  • On this round globe, where are the four corners. Haven't figured that out yet.
  • Is this right here, the fourth part of the earth.

What is the first fourth part of the earth to be subjected in war and famine and all of these things first? Is it the ten tribes of Israel and North America and Canada, Australia and New Zealand? Which fourth? Don't know, but then it's going to spread from there. Now they are looking for people to blame. Who caused this? Who's responsible?

"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... [this is in vision to teach a lesson to John] ...and for the testimony that they held; 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).

So a time of martyrdom is going to come. Isn't that what Jesus said? Yes! That's why having counted the cost is very important for us, not just saying, 'Well, at that time I'll be able to do it.' You do it today, and you do it tomorrow, and you do it every day. Now, in the midst of all this mass confusion, an event is going to take place that the world has never seen. This is the beginning of the return of Christ, because He's not going to come—Bing! Bang! Boom! and the Kingdom of God is set up. Notice what is going to happen. In a little bit we will get a timeframe on this and we will also see how this ties in to Pentecost.

Verse 12: "And when He opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as the hair of sackcloth, and the moon became as blood; and the stars of heaven fell to the earth..." (vs 12-13). Now that'll get your attention! Wonder what's going to happen to all those scientists out there with their telescopes and all of these machines and calculators, and computers to figure out, 'Well, if this asteroid comes to the earth, we'll do this. If this asteroid comes to the earth, we'll do that.' Remember the one that they had, that the whole world united to save the world, remember that? This huge asteroid was coming to the earth and we united all nations together, got all rockets together, and we blasted off the rockets, and sent it up there and we moved that asteroid just enough to save the earth. Not going to be like that!

This is going to be startling, v 14: "Then the heaven departed like a scroll that is being rolled up... [Have you ever had a window shade that you pulled down and you thought it stuck, so it would stay there, but it didn't and you let go—BAM! But this is going to be big time. This is going to be the heavens.] ...and every mountain and island was moved out of its place…. [It's going to shake the whole earth.] …And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the powerful men, and every bondman, and every free man hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains; and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, 'Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him Who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb Because the great day of His wrath has come, and who has the power to stand?'" (vs 14-17)

When does this happen? What are the clues we are to look for? The clues are in chapter seven, the 144,000. When that appears, something else is going to happen. So before we get into chapter seven, we need to come back to Matt. 24. Just think of the volcanoes that will blow off when the earth is shaken like this and the smoke coming out. Just look what the one volcano in Iceland has done to Europe and the northern hemisphere where we're experiencing near winter weather right in the middle of May—right? One little, eeny-teeny volcano!

Let's come here to and let's see how the event is described here. What do you think they're going to see in the heavens when they roll back as a scroll and they say, 'Save us from the wrath of the Lamb.' They know something is happening. What are they going to see? Doves? No!

Matthew 24:23: "Then if anyone says to you, 'Behold, here is the Christ,' or, 'He is there,' do not believe it. For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and they shall present great signs and wonders, in order to deceive, if possible, even the elect. Behold, I have foretold it to you. Therefore, if they say to you, 'Come and see! He is in the wilderness'; do not go forth. 'Come and see! He is in the secret chambers'; do not believe it" (vs 23-26).

Now Matthew 24:27 interprets what they are going to see when the heavens roll back as a scroll. "For as the light of day... [Now it says in the King James 'as lightning.' Well, lightning doesn't go east and west.] ...For as the light of day, which comes forth from the east and shines as far as the west, so also shall the coming of the Son of man be." Is not rolling back the heavens for them to see that Christ is coming, is that not the first beginning of the coming of Christ? If it's not, why would they say, 'Save us from the wrath of the Lamb.' So it is!

Notice v 29: "But immediately after the tribulation of those days..." Now we'll talk about the Tribulation, because there are two parts to the Tribulation:

  • against Israel
  • against the whole world

And the Tribulation against Israel is as not as horrific as it's going to be on the rest of the world. We'll see why in just a little bit. "...But immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun shall be darkened... [That's what we just read—right? (Rev. 6).] ...and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken…. [Isn't that what is talked about in Rev. 6? Yes, indeed!] …And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven…" (vs 29-30).

What is the sign of the Son of man in heaven? Is that outdoor advertising, 'Jesus is coming'? No! What is it? We just read it, 'as the light of day.' Now what's one fascination that they like to talk about scientifically? About asteroids hitting the earth—right? So Christ is going to surprise them. When the heavens roll back as a scroll, bam! Then when all the darkness clears up, they're going to look up in the heavens and they're going to see another sun. Now how far out there, we don't know. I've said in the past that it comes closer and closer and closer and closer to the earth. I think I will modify that a bit and say, once it appears it will be there until later. Why will it be stationery out there in the heavens that everyone can see? If that's the beginning of the return of Christ, will every eye see it? Yes! And we will see in a little bit, for how long will they see it. Notice what it ends with here, v 30: "And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven; 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. And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet; and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other" (vs 30-31). It's not that they're in heaven and they're being met there. No. This is a view from heaven looking at the earth. So as the angels are bringing them up from this part of the earth and from that part of the earth, bringing them up. We'll talk about where are you going to go. How's that going to work out?

Now back to Revelation and we'll see if we can answer these questions in the time we have left. Revelation 7:1: "And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth... [haven't located those yet] ...holding back the four winds of the earth, so that the wind might not blow on the earth, or on the sea, or on any tree. Then I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God; and he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to damage the earth and the sea, Saying, 'Do not damage the earth, or the sea, or the trees until we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads" (vs 1-3). Who are these?

Let's all learn a lesson here. Very important! If anyone says, 'If you join this church, you'll be part of the 144,000'—don't believe them, because if you have the Holy Spirit now you have already been sealed—haven't you? Yes! Eph. 1:13, 'sealed with the spirit of promise.' So we're not involved in Rev. 7. Who are involved in it? Who have not yet been converted at whatever time this is down into the three-and-a-half years?

It tells us, v 4: "And I heard the number of those who were sealed: one hundred forty-four thousand, sealed out of every tribe of the children of Israel." The children of Israel were never lost—right? Yes, indeed!

That's who they are. It's not anyone in the church now and it sure 'ain't.' by any stretch of the imagination, any of the Jehovah Witnesses. Nor is it like one man said in the church of God that if you're in this church, then you'll be part of the 144,000 because God is only going to save 144,000. But he never read the rest of chapter seven where there's a great innumerable multitude—right? Is that more than 144,000? Yes! I suppose with enough time you could count 144,000 on your fingers and toes—right? But a great innumerable multitude, which no one could number out of every nation, language, tribe, and so forth. Can we get a Scriptural time-setting when this will take place? Yes, based upon the children of Israel! These are the physical descendants of the children of Israel who have not been converted until this point.

Now let's come back to Hosea 5:13, and here it's describing a time when Israel, in the term of Ephraim, goes into captivity: "When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah saw his wound, then Ephraim went to the Assyrian and sent to King Contentious. Yet, he could not heal you nor cure you of your wound. For I will be to Ephraim as a lion, and as a strong lion to the house of Judah. I, even I, will tear and go away. I will take away, and none shall rescue him. I will go; I will return to My place until they confess their guilt and seek My face; in their affliction they will seek Me earnestly" (vs 13-15).

Now what happens to the children of Israel whenever they have trouble? They always turn to God, always. That's what they do here, Hosea 6:1: "Come and let us return to the LORD, for He has torn, and He will heal us; He has smitten, and He will bind us up. After two days He will revive us; in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight" (vs 1-2). How long is a day in prophecy? A year! How long is two days? Two years—two full years and then in the third day—which what? Begins the third year—correct? 'He will raise us up and we will live in His sight.' Would you not say this interprets Rev. 7, the sealing of the 144,000?

A little simple math: If we have two full years subtracted from three-and-a-half, how much time is left? A year-and-a-half! So from this can we put in the time frame of the events in Tribulation at the end-time, can we put the sealing of the 144,000 about two years and a little more into the three-and-a-half years, in the third year. If we can, this gives us a time frame—doesn't it?

Let's ask another question: is this part of the vital harvest of God, harvest of the firstfruits? Yes, it would be! If you have seven churches and in type all the seven churches represent the seven weeks to the harvest, what do you have left yet to be fulfilled? You have 49 days—don't you? You have one more day—don't you? Would it be impossible, so let me ring my bell here, would it be impossible to say that this event occurs on the next to the last Pentecost? And could it be that this harvest of God is greater, because He did it personally, than all the work of all the seven churches? And it all fits in with the harvest and meaning of Pentecost.

Now they will be just exactly like the children of Israel were in the land of Goshen, when all the plagues and things against Pharaoh and the Egyptians reached a certain point—what did God do? Separated the land of Goshen and they didn't partake of those plagues. When Egypt was in total darkness, they had light. So will we have a repeat of that here with the 144,000 and the great innumerable multitude? Yes! So this event happens on Pentecost beginning the third year. Now when you get the chart on Revelation and Daniel you will see that the abomination of desolation undoubtedly takes place right near the Passover time when the sacrifices are cut off and the abomination of desolation stands in the Holy Place.

So you come down two more Passovers and then a little time after that to Pentecost, and that's probably where this event fits. Now in the meantime, what's still out there that they see every day? There's that sun that suddenly appeared. And they've been watching it and they're saying, 'Well, it's not coming any closer to the earth. What does it look like? It looks like it's kind of orbiting around the earth. We don't know exactly, it's out there. Sometimes it's stationery, sometimes it moves, but it's not coming closer. Well, what's going to happen? How much time is there left for the tribulation? About a year-and-a-half—right? So what happens?

Revelation 8, 9, and 10, men begin their war again. Now this time Satan sends in all of the angels and demons to work with them. Then the angels fight back from heaven. Quite a battle—right? So the end-time is going to be quite dramatic. How many trumpets have been blown up to Rev. 11:15? How many trumpets were blown? It began in chapter eight and then there were four of them blown. Then we have five, six, and seven, which are called the three woes, chapter nine and ten. I'll cover those leading up to Trumpets, but what we are doing we are going from the sealing of the 144,000 one year from Pentecost to Pentecost. That means there's still some time left—doesn't it?

Let's also add this in concerning Pentecost. The trumpet was to be blown on Pentecost—correct? Every Holy Day! What happened when God gave the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai? The trumpet blew long and loud! And what was that? That was the gathering of all Israel to God. So we come to the last Pentecost and the last trumpet, the seventh trumpet sounds. That's when the resurrection takes place. That's when the firstfruits are harvested. You're going to need more than just this one sermon. You're going to have to connect this also with the one on Trumpets.

Revelation 11:14: "The second woe is past. Behold, the third woe is coming immediately.... [And what was the second woe? That ended with the death of the two witnesses, the last two martyred, and the first two resurrected. How about fulfilling God's Word, 'the last shall be first.'] ...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'" (vs 14-15).This is the last trump—isn't it? Is that not when the dead in Christ are raised? Yes!

Verse 16: "And the twenty-four elders, who sit before God and their thrones, fell on their faces and worshiped God, 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.... [The nations were thrilled and happy and embracing everyone and loving everyone. Hooray! Jesus is here! No!] ...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'" (vs 16-18). That's the resurrection!

Put in your notes there 1-Thess. 4 where it says that at the last trump with the shout of an archangel, the dead shall be raised. Those who are alive will follow afterwards. Now we're going to be raised and we saw from Matt. 24 the angels are going to scoop us up and bring us up to meet Christ in the air. That's what it says, 1-Thess.s 4. We are going to meet Christ in the air. Now how is that going to work? Well, just like yesterday we saw that on Mount Sinai there was a sea of glass. There's going to all of a sudden appear right over Jerusalem a huge gigantic platform, called the Sea of Glass.

Let's come to Revelation 14:14. Here's the harvest. "And I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and one like the Son of man sitting on the cloud, having a golden crown on His head; and in His hand was a sharp sickle.... [harvesting the firstfruits] ...And another angel came out of the temple, 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 14-16). So that's the resurrection. Then it also talks about the harvest of the wicked. We'll tackle that at another time here.

Let's come to 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..." (vs 1-2). Hold your place here and come back to Revelation 4, because some people say, 'Well, that sea of glass is just a figure of speech.' If we're going to meet Christ in the air, and we may be there longer than people have thought—let's see is this a figure of speech.

Revelation 4:2: "And immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one was sitting on the throne.... [Is that a figure of speech or did he have a vision of God?] ...And He Who was sitting was in appearance like a jasper stone and a; and a rainbow was around the throne, like an emerald in its appearance. 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 throne were 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.... [That is extending out in front of it.] ...was a sea of glass, like crystal…." (vs 2-6).

Now is that just a figure of speech or did he actually see this heavenly sign, this heavenly vision of what it was really like at the throne of God. All right, a sea of glass. From that can we conclude back in Rev.15 that this sea of glass is also a literal sea of glass, like there in Rev. 4, and like it was explained back in Exo. 24 yesterday? Yes! Well, if we're going to meet Christ in the air, what's going to happen when we get in the air?

There are going to be a lot of things going to have to happen. I've got them listed in both the books, God's Plan for Mankind Revealed by His Sabbath and Holy Days, and also the Occult Holidays or God's Holy Days—Which? What are some of the things that are going to take place? Now here you are resurrected, angels have carried you up there, you might have a little conversation going on up and say, 'Boy, when I was a kid, did I cause you a lot of trouble?' They're going to carry us up there. What has to happen? Now we have a spirit body and a spirit mind. We've got to know something about them—don't we? What is the first thing we're going to receive when we reach the Sea of Glass? We have to have proper clothing—don't we? We're going to have that—right?

Going to have a new name. What are you going to be called in the spirit? What are you going to speak, what is the language of spirit beings going to be? Can we communicate with Abel in the language he had? Probably not, lest we're all given the same language at the resurrection. We need a new name, what else is going to happen? There has to be the marriage of the Church and Christ. Then what happens after the marriage? You have a marriage supper, yes! So we're going to have a big banquet.

Are we also going to meet the Father? Now, if we're spirit beings would we be able to meet the Father? Yes! One thing we're given right away is a lyre and harps and we're going to have to have the skill built into our brains to play them. An angel comes up and says, 'Here, take this.' What is this? 'That's your harp.' Really, never played one of those before. Oh, comes automatic. You know how to do it. What are we going to do?

Revelation 15:2: "And I saw a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, 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" (vs 2-3).

We'll finish by saying this: We are going to witness from the Sea of Glass the seven last plagues poured out on the armies of the world and the beast and the false prophet. That's going to take the time from shortly after Pentecost until Trumpets. God promised all the saints, 'Vengeance is Mine.' What are the seven last plagues? The vengeance of God! And He says, 'You will see the vengeance of God.' So we're going to picture it. Isn't that amazing? Then after that all of sudden we're going to be given white horses. And what are we going to do with the white horses? We're going to do a very daring thing—aren't we? We're going to get on the white horses and we're going to start coming down on the Feast of Trumpets with Christ to the earth. Wonder what that's going to be like?

I think about that every once in awhile when I'm flying in a plane and I look down and I think, 'Woo, I'm up in the clouds here. How high will the Sea of Glass be?' Can you imagine on the Sea of Glass here are all the armies gathered together and they have all of their weapons and they're shooting up at the Sea of Glass and everything just goes, Ping! Boom! nothing ever happened. Then here we come. Can you imagine the look on all those soldiers and the beast and the false prophet and he's saying, 'I'm God.' And Christ is saying, 'No, you're not, I'm coming.'

The coming of Christ takes place over a longer period of time than people have anticipated. And every eye will see Him and all will know that it is Christ. Now then, we've got to clean up the world.

Scriptural References:

  • Exodus 23:14-17
  • Exodus 34:21-22, 20
  • Matthew 13:18-19, 21-23, 28-30, 33
  • Leviticus 23:16-17, 10-11, 17, 20-21
  • Acts 2:1-4
  • Revelation 1:8, 11
  • Revelation 6:2-4
  • Daniel 11:40-42
  • Matthew 24:11-22
  • Revelation 6:5-17
  • Matthew 24:23-27, 29-31
  • Revelation 7:1-4
  • Hosea 5:13-15
  • Hosea 6:1-2
  • Revelation 11:14-18
  • Revelation 14:14-16
  • Revelation 15:1-2
  • Revelation 4:2-6
  • Revelation 15:2-3

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Exodus 21, 22, 24
  • Revelation 2-5, 13
  • Mark 13
  • 2-Thessalonians 2
  • Revelation 11
  • Psalm 91
  • Ephesians 1:13
  • 1-Thessalonians 4

Also referenced: Books:

  • After Shock by David Wiedemer, PhD; Robert A. Wiedemer, and Cindy Spitzer
  • Why Europe Will Run the 21st Century by Mark Leonard
  • Josephus
  • God's Plan for Mankind Revealed by His Sabbath and Holy Days by Fred R. Coulter
  • Occult Holidays or God's Holy Days—Which? by Fred R. Coulter

FRC:lp
Transcribed: 6-4-10
Formatted: bo—6-6-10

BOOKS