Phases of Christ's Return

Fred R. Coulter—May 24, 2015

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Welcome to the Feast of Pentecost, 2015; time just keeps marking on! Delores and I were convinced when we got married that we would never get old. Well, maybe some of you younger people can think that, but don't be too surprised if it doesn't work out that way!

Exo. 34 is a very interesting chapter because it is after Aaron had made the golden calf, and through the prayers of Moses God spared Aaron and the children of Israel. He also gave these in earlier chapters in Exodus, so you can always know that when God says it once, it is true; when He says it twice, pay attention; when He says it three times, you better really listen! If He says it more and more times, then if you avoid it, you're in trouble!

Exodus 34:22: "And you shall observe the Feast of Weeks… [that's what this is, seven weeks plus one day] …of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the Feast of Ingathering at the year's end."

Here He repeats it and tells us how to count, Deuteronomy 16:9: "You shall count seven weeks to yourselves. Begin to count the seven weeks from the time you first began to put the sickle to the grain." Does this tell you the day it's to be done? No, it doesn't! Which means that you have to get the information someplace else. Where do we find that? Lev. 23!

Verse 10: "And you shall keep the Feast of Weeks to the LORD your God according to the sufficiency of a freewill offering from your hand, which you shall give according as the LORD your God has blessed you. And you shall rejoice before the LORD your God, you, and your son, and your daughter, and your male servant, and your female servant, and the Levite inside your gates, and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, those among you, in the place which the LORD your God has chosen to place His name there" (vs 10-11).

Where is that today? It's not Jerusalem because Jesus said to the woman at the well, 'You're not going to worship the Father in Jerusalem.' Where is the place He chooses today? Where two or three are gathered in My name He's there! Where else has He placed His name? With His Spirit, right here!  Remember, if you're alone on the Sabbath, you're really not alone!

Lev. 23:15 in the Favorite Version is the correct translations. Michael Heiss and I went over this very, very carefully, just exactly like it is in Gen. 2. It says, 'On the seventh day God finished His work.' That means by the beginning of the seventh day God finished His work. He didn't work on the Sabbath!

Leviticus 23:15: "And you shall count to you beginning with the next day after the Sabbath, beginning with the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven Sabbaths shall be complete."

What they did is cut the wave sheaf at the end of the weekly Sabbath during Unleavened Bread. OR: if the Passover falls on the Sabbath, that is still a day of Unleavened Bread, and that is the day that it is cut.

Then it is brought to the priest and it is waved before the Lord. We'll just review this a little bit: "…beginning with the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven Sabbaths shall be complete." That means every week is a complete week. That's why Monday can never be Pentecost. That false doctrine, or wrong teaching, caused a lot of problems for 40 years.

Verse 16: "Even unto the day after the seventh Sabbath you shall number fifty days…." Here we are, and remember, counting and numbering is not like adding or subtracting. When you begin mathematically with zero, zero is a digit. However, when you subtract, you take 50 minus 3 and you get 47. But if you count, you have 47, 48, 49, 50—there's the difference. Then we're to bring an offering.

(pause for the offering)

Let's come forward to 2-Peter 1, and what we are going to do is what God does many times. He gives us the summary of what He's going to do and hen tells us how He's going to do it.

Did God give us a partial summary of His plan in Gen. 1? Yes, He did! 'Let Us make man in Our image after Our likeness.' The rest of the Bible says, 'after his kind.' That's the plan of God. He gave a partial summary.

Peter gives us the ultimate conclusion of it and why this day. Notice how He includes all the brethren with him:

2-Peter 1:1: "Simon Peter a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained the same precious faith as ours… [the apostles] …by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ." That's calling Jesus Christ God! What a summary!

Verse 2: "Grace and peace be multiplied to you…" You don't have to go to the priest and buy it. You don't have to go to the pope and get a blessing. It comes straight from God the Father!

"…in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord" (v 2). Today we have more knowledge of God than ever before, and available to more people than ever before.

I don't know how many Bibles you could say that there are in the world today, when you count every handheld device with the potential to download it right in front of them. I wish that all the people walking along the sidewalk looking at their thing were downloading the Bible.

We know that there are 7-billion that have been printed. How many electronic devices are there in the world? Five billion? Think of the witness that's going to give!

For us this tells God's whole plan; v 3: "According as His Divine power has given to us all things… [not yet, but they're coming] …that pertain to life and Godliness, through the knowledge of Him Who called us by His own glory and virtue; through which He has given to us… [notice the superlative description]: …the greatest and most precious promises…" (vs 3-4).

Keep that in mind. Whenever you have a trial, trouble, difficult, problem; if you get mad a God or you're not satisfied with what God is doing with you or for you, don't worry about it, there's more beyond!

"…that through these you may become partakers of the Divine nature…" (v 4)—the nature of God; that's why He's created us in His image. That's fantastic! But just like a baby when it's newly conceived, it doesn't look anything like a human being.

Just like with us, our minds and thought process as human beings—without the Spirit of God—is more like Satan the devil than God. So, God is taking that and changing it and converting it, because the promises are so great and awesome that He is never going to have rebellion in His kingdom again for all eternity!

"…having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust" (v 4). This is how God has called us to overcome.

God has a lot of work to do with us! He wants our full cooperation and participation. He's given us free moral agency. We are to direct our lives His way. During the Feast of Unleavened Bread, leaven is a type of sin. However, it's only during that time that it's a type of sin. In every one of the sacrifices they are commanded to bring unleavened bread with the exception of the peace offering and the Pentecost offering. I've had some people argue with me, saying, 'God would never do that.' Do you have the mind of God that you can decide that?

Leviticus 23:16: "…And you shall offer a new grain offering to the LORD. You shall bring out of your homes two wave loaves of two tenth parts…. [specific measurement] …They shall be of fine flour. They shall be baked with leaven, they are the firstfruits to the LORD" (vs 16-17). Why leaven? If it represented sin, then you would have to say that the Kingdom of God is full of sin! But it's not!

Is there a good action, a good use of leaven? Yes, indeed! Let's see how that leaven is used as a parable depicting the Kingdom of God, which then is the good use of leaven.

Matthew 13:33: "Another parable He spoke to them: 'The Kingdom of Heaven is compared to leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of flour until all was leavened.'" Is that equal to the two-tenths deal that was in Lev. 23? I don't know!

What happens when you put leaven into flour? It raises the dough! How does it raise the dough? It's the unseen work of the leaven! Mixed with the ingredients it releases an invisible gas. If you don't like it the way it is, you can punch it down again and let it rise again. What happens when it is baked? It is permanently changed! That is exactly what this means.

It's the unseen work of the Holy Spirit within our minds to help us develop the Divine nature that comes from God the Father and Jesus Christ. Just like you cannot see leaven when it's working, you can see the results of it! The result of the good use of leaven is conversion! Then the finished product is when you're put in the grave and 'baked.'

Now then, let's tie all of this together. We talked about the first phase of Christ's coming. Today we'll talk about the second phase, and on Trumpets we'll talk about the third phase. The first phase [transcriber's correction] begins in:

Matthew 24:30: "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."

They won't see Him on the clouds immediately. That comes later. We saw how that that sign of the Son of man is going to be just like the 'light of day' in v 27. There will be two suns, apparently, to the world.

Let's just review how God has used Pentecost, beginning with ancient Israel:

  • they were the firstfruits to the Lord
  • God gave them the Ten Commandments
  • God personally spoke to all of them

Such a thing of this magnitude had never happened before. We know the rest of the story with that, so fast-forward to after Jesus' resurrection and Pentecost at the temple: God used this to establish His Church!

God used Pentecost to establish Israel, and He used Pentecost to establish His Church and from there forward. What happened on that day? The Holy Spirit came and it was only visible because God made it visible like flames of fire! It entered into all of the disciples and they all spoke with different languages.

What did this signal? Remember what Jesus told the woman at the well: you're not going to worship in Jerusalem! This tells you that the Word of God is going to the whole world and in many languages. It also was a prophecy of the coming destruction of the temple in Jerusalem.

We covered in Rev. 7 how that the sign of the Son of man appears. We will see that this ties in with Pentecost this way: How many churches do we find in Rev. 2 & 3? Seven! How many weeks to the harvest? Seven! The work of the Church is symbolized by the seven weeks of the harvest leading up to Pentecost, and to produce the firstfruits.

The harvest continues. Every time someone dies in the faith, that's part of the harvest. That's storing up for the resurrection. How many will be at the resurrection? We don't know!

Let's get a timeframe as to how this ties in with the timing of the Great Tribulation! God brings destruction to cause us to return to Him. God says that He's going to punish Ephraim and Judah. Ephraim is symbolic of all the ten tribes, just like Jerusalem is symbolic of all the 12 tribes, including the Jews.

Hosea 5:14: "For I will be to Ephraim as a lion… [the symbol of Ephraim is the lion and He's going to correct them] …and as a strong lion to the house of Judah…. [their symbol is a lion, too; also the Brits have a bull. What are the faces of the living creatures overshadowing the throne of God? A bull, a lion, an eagle and a man!

"…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 14-15). Remember what happened on '9/11'? Everybody come to church, come to the synagogue; God bless America! Three weeks later they were back to their old things. Didn't last.

Here is what they say when they are in captivity, pictured in Rev. 7; 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…" (vs 1-2).

  • How long is a day in prophecy? A year! So, two days is two years!
  • How long is the Tribulation? Three and a half years!
  • After two years, how much time is left? A year and a half!

"…in the third day… [the beginning of the third year] …He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight. Then we shall understand, if we follow on to know the LORD…." (vs 2-3).

They go into captivity at the beginning of the Millennium. This means that when the sign of the Son of man appears (Rev. 6:12) we have come to the end of the two years. What happens at the beginning of the third year?

This is a type of Pentecost, because there are seven churches, seven weeks to the harvest, but then there is one more day, the 50th day. That 50th day is depicted by Rev. 7. Here we find listed, first of all involving the 12 tribes of Israel. "After two days He will revive us…" (Hosea 6:2), so in the third day He will revive us. Here we are two years into the Tribulation. The Tribulation against Israel is two years, plus whatever. The rest of the world is going to get the worst of it.

Revelation 7:1: "And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, 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."

Here we have the heavens opened up, the sign of the Son of man appears, the second sun comes up and it shines right along with the regular sun—that's the sign of the Son of man. Since it's out there for a while, people get used to it and they don't think it's going to be any more harm to the earth. Then all of a sudden after that there's a great calm! Then notice that God begins to work:

Verse 2: "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 2-3).

This also tells us something very important: None of us today having the Holy Spirit of God can be any part of the 144,000 of Rev. 7! Why? Because we're sealed!

Ephesians 1:13 "…in Whom also, after believing, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise."

If they have to be sealed that means that they were not converted until this time. This is a direct work of God! So, this probably falls on a Pentecost.

Revelation 7:4: "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."

If you want to know who the 144,000 come from, they come from the tribes of Israel, the 12 tribes. God gives them the Holy Spirit, commissioned to do it was an angel and they're converted.

Just think of after seeing the awesome sight of the rolling back of the heavens? There are going to be people falling on their knees crying out to God. There is going to be a great repentance, too, because there's the 144,000 plus the innumerable multitude.

God is going to do a greater work. Are all of these combined converted at this time actually be more than all that has been done by the work of the Church? Could be, we don't know! But this is going to be a fantastic occurrence! Then it lists all of them'

Verse 9: "After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude, which no one was able to number, out of every nation and tribe and people and language, was standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes and holding palms in their hands."

Remember, God tells us what's going to happen in summary before it occurs. Some people think that they go to heaven right then. Do you know where a verse is that shows that's not so? We'll find it here in just a minute!

Verse 10: "And they were calling out with a loud voice to Him Who sits on the throne and to the Lamb, saying, 'The salvation of our God has come.' Then all the angels stood around the throne, and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, 'Amen. Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power and strength be to our God into the ages of eternity. Amen'" (vs 10-12). Here's John seeing all of this.

Verse 13: "And one of the elders answered and said to me, 'These who are clothed with white robes, who are they, and where did they come from?' Then I said to him, 'Sir, you know.' And he said to me, 'They are the ones who have come out of the Great Tribulation; and they have washed their robes, and have made their robes white in the blood of the Lamb. For this reason, they are before the throne of God and serve Him day and night in His temple; and the One Who sits on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall not hunger any more, nor shall they thirst any more; neither shall the sun nor the heat fall upon them, because the Lamb Who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them, and will lead them to fountains of living waters; and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes'" (vs 13-17). We also have a repeat of this in Rev. 21-22.

Revelation 8:1: "Now, when He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about a half hour. Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. And another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar; and much incense was given to him, so that he might offer it with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar that was before the throne" (vs 1-3).

This verse tells us that they are not in heaven, yet. Why? They're on the earth, and their prayers ascend like incense! Once they've been sealed they're saints. Also, you have those who are in a place of safety (Rev. 12). I'm sure they're praying. Why are there going to be a few going to a place of safety. No church can appoint it; no minister can decide it. God alone can choose it!

What is the fifth seal? Martyrdom of the saints! They're going to have the ability to know where all the saints are. They will martyr every single one! If they were all martyred and there weren't a few in the place of safety, what promise of Jesus would be broken? The gates of the grave will never prevail against the Church! That's why they are there! That keeps us all in proper perspective of what God is doing!

Let's run a parallel here: Pentecost, Rev. 7 to Pentecost, Rev. 14-15, and a repeat of that in Rev. 11. With these trumpets we have the trumpet plagues. Running parallel to that, we have from Trumpets to Trumpets. When you consider the time from Pentecost, when the 144,000 and the great innumerable multitude are sealed, until they all come back to the earth is right at a year and a half, because Pentecost to Trumpets is 4-1/2 months. If—which it probably will be—the last year is a leap year with a 13th month, you have a year and a half from the sealing of the 144,000 and the great innumerable multitude until we all come back to the earth with Christ (Rev. 19).

But the 144,000 and the great innumerable multitude will be in the first resurrection. That runs from Pentecost to Pentecost. But what happens beginning with Rev. 8, this runs parallel to it, but extends beyond Pentecost the next year and goes Trumpets to Trumpets.

We have the resurrection on Pentecost and there's going to be a lot of things that have to take place on the Sea of Glass. I'm not going to go through all of the trumpet plagues—we'll save that for the Feast of Trumpets.

The Feast of Trumpets is a war feast and a memorial of the blowing of trumpets. In other words, trumpets blown all day long. How many are blown? We don't know! How many trumpets do all the angels have for that day?

This is the only place in the New Testament that gives us a first trumpet and a last trumpet, and the last trumpet is the seventh trump. Again, what we will do is read the completion and then go back and fill in the details.

We find the two witnesses are raised from the dead. What did Jesus say concerning the last? The last shall be first and the first shall be last! The last two martyrs are the first two resurrected! They are raised and probably changed instantly as they are going up, because as they are going up the seventh trump blows. What does it say concerning the last trump? We shall be changed!

Revelation 11:14: "The second woe is past. Behold, the third woe is coming immediately. 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, 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'" (vs 14-17). That's the beginning of the reign of the Kingdom of God, as soon as the seventh trump is blown!

Verse 18: "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." That's the resurrection, at the seventh trump!

Did you all understand counting to the Day of Pentecost as 'the last day'? That becomes important!

(go to the next track)

As we read these next Scriptures, ask yourself how many trumpets does it talk about?

1-Thessalonians 4:13: "But I do not wish you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep…" When you die, that is likened to falling asleep, because God is going to resurrect you.

"…that you be not grieved, even as others, who have no hope. 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" (vs 13-14).

When people read that they think that they're all up in heaven. But this is a summary before He tells how they're going to get there 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; and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds for the meeting with the Lord in the air; and so shall we always be with the Lord" (vs 15-17).

How do we get to be with the Lord? By the resurrection! If you just read v 14 and take it out of context, which they do for the rapture, then everything becomes discombobulated.

1-Cor. 15 is a long chapter concerning the resurrection of the dead. Paul says that some did not have the knowledge of God. Here he is straightening them out. Always remember: The Jews searched everywhere for the body of Jesus Christ! They wanted to do everything that they could to declare Him a hoax, but they couldn't find the body, because He was resurrected and ascended to heaven!

Everything that we do is based upon the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Paul says that if Christ is not raised, then there is no resurrection from the dead. He makes that very clear.

1-Corinthians 15:16: "For if the dead are not raised, neither has Christ been raised…. [Where is the body?] … But if Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain; you are still in your sins" (vs 16-17). This is where a lot of people believe in going to heaven and get way off base.

Always remember that even in Jesus' time there were those who were casting out demons in Jesus' name. James and John came to Jesus and said, 'Lord, we saw them casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade them.' Jesus said, 'Forbid them not, because those who are not against us are on our part,' which tells you that just because you are on Jesus' part does not mean you are with Him. Or, put another way, does not mean that they have the Spirit of God within them.

Verse 18:39: "Likewise, not all flesh is the same flesh. Rather, there is one flesh of men, and another flesh of beasts, and another of fish, and another of birds…. [and all the other creatures] …And there are heavenly bodies, and earthly bodies; but the glory of the heavenly is different, and the glory of the earthly is different. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption" (vs 39-42).

That's why the Spirit of God and the spirit of man being joined together is important. That is the seed that contains everything we will be when we're raised from the dead. When we die, our spirit goes back to God. It's stored right there! It says in Heb. 11 that 'the spirits of men made perfect.' Then God puts that in another body, for us spirit! That is the code to recreate us, just like a seed. It has everything from the parent plant, you put it in the ground and it grows up just like the parent plant. That's how the resurrection is going to be! "…it is raised in incorruption."

Verse 43: "It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power." Whenever there's a funeral this shows you the great weakness of human beings. They have no power over life and death!

They may be able to extend the number of years of their physical life if they take care of themselves, or reduce the number of years of their physical life if they disobey God and go do things that are wrong and are killed at an early age. But you have no power over life or death! God has that power! He has the power to raise us from the dead, or if we're still alive, to change us.

Verse 44: "It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body…. [we're with our body everyday] …There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body." What is the guarantee of the resurrection if we are faithful:

  • Christ is raised from the dead
  • He says He will raise us, which is His promise
  • our physical body that we have; we have a natural body and we will receive a spiritual body

If you believe that you have a natural body and can see it and touch it; then God us going to give you a spiritual body if you're faithful unto Him! He will give you a spiritual mind. We won't have any of these forgetful spells that we have now!

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. 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 45-48). We'll be like Christ because 'we will see Him like He is.'

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. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God, 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…" (vs 49-52). Where's the only place we have the last trumpet? Rev. 11, the resurrection!

"…for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruptibility, and this mortal must put on immortality. Now, when this corruptible shall have put on incorruptibility, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: 'Death is swallowed up in victory.'" (vs 52-54). No more sadness! No more sorrow!

Verse 55: "O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?" The next time you see a documentary on WWII, and you see all of those crosses—thousands and thousands of them—think of all who have died in the wars.

Just do some channel surfing and you will find that everything today is a fight, a war—whether between human beings, male/female, between races, between nations, between governments. Then go to NatGeo and they show you all of the animals and what do they do? They fight! Everything is fighting and warring! Then they show you the insects and they're fighting and warring. They show you about the birds and they're fighting and warring.

This whole earth, and everything in it has got to be changed. Nature must be changed and only God can do that. We have been called to help Him do that!

Here is what God is going to do; this is really something! You can read all the first part of Philip. 3 and Paul called everything that he had in the flesh to gain Christ and the resurrection just a pile of dung.

Philippians 3:20: "But for us, the commonwealth of God exists in the heavens… [He's going to bring it to the earth] …from where also we are waiting for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, Who will transform… [because all of our genes and chromosomes, with the Holy Spirit] …our vile bodies, that they may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the inner working of His own power, whereby He is able to subdue all things to Himself" (vs 20-21). That is a fantastic thing!

Revelation 14:12: "Here is the patience of the saints; here are the ones who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus." Very interesting, you have to have both!

  • Does it take faith to keep the commandments of God? Yes, you have to believe God!
  • Does it take any faith to not believe in God? If you're an atheist you have the reverse faith, but that isn't going to get you anything!

Verse 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…. [this has to be right at the beginning of the Tribulation] …Yes, says the Spirit, so that they may rest from their labors; and their works follow them.' And I looked, and behold, a white cloud…" (vs 13-14). What happens is that there is the second sun out there, the sign of the Son of man, the first phase of His coming.

The second phase is the harvest and the resurrection at the last Pentecost. What has to happen? That sun, at a particular time has to start streaking toward the earth. When it looks like it's close enough to hit the earth, it comes into the clouds and spreads out into a great sea of glass. That's the second phase of the coming of Christ combined with the resurrection.

If we're going to meet Him in the air, what are we going to stand on? Being on the Sea of Glass is going to be a tremendous and wonderful thing.

Verse 14: "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. 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'" (vs 14-15).

That is going to be quite a thing! This is the first resurrection! Right after that comes the beginning of the seven last plagues.

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).

  • How long has the beast been in existence? Ever since Satan rebelled! Rev. 12 shows the great red dragon with seven heads and ten horns!

That's down through the history of mankind.

  • How did he appear to Adam and Eve? As a serpent! A serpent is a beast!
  • What do all the religions of the world say? Who gave them their knowledge and understanding? The serpent, from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil!

"…and over his image…" (v 2).

  • Was the image of the beast just that which was in Rev. 13?

or

  • Did they have idols and statues of their gods and goddesses, and serpents and things like this? Yes, indeed!

"…and over his mark… [that's coming down to our time] …and over the number of his name…" (v 2). This includes all who have been faithful throughout all history.

"…standing on the Sea of Glass, having the lyres of God" (v 2). We're all going to sing; no more 'joyful noise.' We're all going to be in tune!

How are we going to learn how to play lyres? When Adam and Eve were created, did God put within them a working language? Yes! They could think, reason and talk. They could talk with God and with each other. That's a good thing!

Look at all of the thousands of years of those who are going to be in the first resurrection. Very few before Pentecost in Acts 2; nevertheless, there will be those. Then everyone from that time forward until the return of Christ and the second phase of His return and the resurrection to the Sea of Glass from every country.

Do we all have different languages? Yes, indeed! When we're resurrected, God will give us all one language, with a spirit mind so we can talk. So, God can communicate with us in His language. That's going to be a great thing! Think about all who are going to be on the Sea of Glass. This is going to be a great celebration.

They have the basketball playoffs coming up now, and the one that wins all celebrate. They're all happy! Think what it's going to be like:

  • to be resurrected from the dead and changed from flesh to spirit
  • to be able to fellowship with those who died before you did: husbands, wives, children, etc.
  • to talk with the Apostle Paul, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the Prophets

Daniel is going to be raised and he's going to say, 'Hallelujah! I see how all these prophecies came to be.'

Remember what Jesus told the Scribes and the Pharisees: Because they did not bring forth the fruits, that the kingdom would be taken from them and given to another nation! That nation was not the Church.

Isa. 66 shows not to make a temple, that everything you make it with God has made, so what are you going to honor Him with that?

Isaiah 66:5: "Hear the Word of the LORD, you who tremble at His Word… [that's us] …'Your brethren…'" That could be your relatives, your children, different ones in different Churches of God, whatever.

"…who hated you…" (v 5). There are people who hate us because we keep the commandments of God.

"…who cast you out for My name's sake…" (v 2). A lot of us had that happen exactly that way. How many were disfellowshiped because you wanted to stand for the Truth?

"'…[they] said, "Let the LORD be glorified." But He will appear to your joy and they will be ashamed.' A sound of noise from the city, a sound from the temple, the sound of the LORD repaying His enemies. 'Before she travailed, she gave birth; before her pain came, she delivered a man-Child [Christ]'" (vs 5-7). The Church is the Body of Christ!

Verse 8 is incredible: "'Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things like these? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day?…. [Yes! That's the resurrection from the dead!] …Or will a nation be born at once?…. [Yes! The firstfruits!] …For as soon as Zion travailed, she also gave birth to her children. Will I bring to the birth, and not cause to be born?' says the LORD. 'Shall I cause them to be born, and shut the womb?' says your God" (vs 8-9). It's going to happen!

All the suffering, pain and everything that we go through in our life, and the difficulties to grow, change, overcome and develop the Divine nature, the character of God—He wants that character developed in this life—so when we are changed it will all be locked in.

Verse 10: "'Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all who love her. Rejoice for joy with her, all who mourn for her." That's what's going to happen. It is going to be the birth all at once, the first resurrection! That's why we're going to meet on the Sea of Glass. It's going to be a joyful time.

We will end by mentioning all of the things that have to take place on the Sea of Glass. With so many people from so many different ages all being resurrected at once, how long do you think it's going to take for us to be prepared to come back to the earth? From Pentecost to Trumpets!

God will fulfill the promise to every one of the saints, which is you shall see the vengeance of the Lord! We will view it first hand; front row seats looking down on the earth, as the angels go about bringing the seven last plagues and then gathering the armies together. But before that:

Revelation 15:3: "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, for Your judgments have been revealed'" (vs 3-4).

What is going to take place on the Sea of Glass? The very first thing that's going to happen, I believe, is that we will be able to see God the Father at that time we're the children of the Father; don't you think He wants to see His children? Yes!

So, we have the ceremony; we're all gathered and see God the Father. We worship Him! Jesus stands right up front. We can see Him and the Father and He says to the Father, 'Behold, the brethren that You have given Me!'

Then we will probably all say, 'Amen!' The angels will probably say, 'Hallelujah!' He'll probably have angels help out with this; they have to give us our new name written in a stone; so we're going to be renamed.

Before that we've got receive our clothing. We've got to be dressed for the occasion. Remember the parable if you weren't dressed for the occasion. So, we'll all have our white robes. What are those going to be made out of? How do you have spirit-based clothing that shines and glitters?

I've often thought about this, just to project ahead a little: We're going to have a place in New Jerusalem—but that comes later from this—and I think an angel is going to take us from where we're going to live, because Jesus said, 'I go to prepare a place for you and will receive you to Myself.'

What's it going to be like when He opens the door to wherever we're going to be living, and He gives us a tour of what He has made for us. 'Oh, by the way, over here is your closet. Look at all these glittering clothes that you can wear for special occasions.' We have to be clothed.

Then there has to be a special ceremony, with various grades of crowns. We're going to get a crown of life.

  • What's that going to be like?
  • How long will that take?

Then we have to have a meeting so that we can prepare for the marriage supper of the Lamb, preparing for the marriage of the Lamb. Then the supper, just think what that's going to be like: great banquet tables! Here's God the Father, Jesus Christ, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Elisha, Elijah… and we're all there.

The angels are waiting on us. I don't know what spirit wine will be like, but I bet it's going to be just absolutely marvelous. What kind of food are we going to eat? Well, the Israelites ate manna, and that was called 'angel's food'!

If there's a supper, there's food, and if there's food, we're going to eat it. If we eat it, there's going to be taste to it. Wonder what that's going to be like? I mean, this is going to be thrilling! This is something to really get excited about!

Then the marriage takes place; the marriage supper takes place. What a joyous time that is going to be!

We'll catch up to that when we get to the third phase, the coming back to the earth, which means the last thing that we will be given as instructions:

  • What do we do, Lord, when we go back to the earth?
  • Where do we go?

We're each going to be given a white horse and angelic horse. What is that going to be like? At that time Jesus will say, 'All right, follow Me!'

We'll end Pentecost with that!

Scriptural References:

  • Exodus 34:22
  • Deuteronomy 16:9-11
  • Leviticus 23:15
  • 2 Peter 1:1-4
  • Leviticus 23:16-17
  • Matthew 13:33
  • Matthew 24:30
  • Hosea 5:14-15
  • Hosea 6:1-3
  • Revelation 7:1-3
  • Ephesians 1:1-3
  • Revelation 7:4, 9-17
  • Revelation 8:1-3
  • Revelation 11:14-18
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17
  • 1 Corinthians 15:16-17, 39-55
  • Philippians 3:20-21
  • Revelation 14:12-15
  • Revelation 15:1-2
  • Isaiah 66:5-10
  • Revelation 15:3-4

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Genesis 2; 1
  • Matthew 24:27
  • Revelation 2; 3; 6:12; 21-22; 12; 15; 19
  • Hebrews 11
  • Acts 2

FRC:bo
Transcribed: 6/28/15

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