Count to PENTECOST #2

Fred Coulter – May 26, 1996

  • Barley Facts from the Department of Horticulture, Purdue University.

Let’s go to Leviticus 23 and continue on where we left off yesterday.  Now let’s examine this just a little bit more because we’re also going to answer a question here.  Let’s come to Leviticus 23:14.  It says, and I’m reading again from the Schocken Bible.  If you don’t have one, let me just hold it up so you can take a look and see what it looks like.  I think you’ll find that this is a very good and highly readable translation, and very accurate because it’s more literal than any of the other translations that I have seen.  And so let’s pick it up here in verse 14.

Now it says, “Now bread or parched-grain or groats, you are not to eat, until that same day [that is you go into the land and wave the wave sheaf offering], until you have brought the near-offering of your God…” (Lev. 23:14, Schocken).  Now let’s understand something.  The wave sheaf offering was cut before the wave sheaf offering day.  The wave sheaves that different people would bring in was cut before the wave sheaf offering day.  And then they would bring it.  And so someone asked, “Well, how can they cut it on the holy day?”  Well they don’t.  They wave it and then they use the grain, and they may have harvested some other things too, some more than just for the firstfruit, but then after the waving of the firstfruit they are able to eat the new grain.

And the question that came up was concerning Joshua 5, now how are they able on the holy day, to go out and harvest the grain.  Well they didn’t.  They harvested it before time.  It didn’t say not to harvest it before time but you’re to bring the premier sheaf of your harvest.  Now it would have to be harvested before time, without a doubt.  So the main thing is here, that you are not to eat parched grain or groats or new or old, when they went in to the land of crossing over the river Jordan, until the same day that they entered the land.

Now then we went through the counting and how it’s supposed to be.  Let’s drop down here to verse 15.  “Now you are to number for yourselves, from the morrow of the Sabbath [which is the regular Sabbath during the days of Unleavened Bread], from the day that you bring the elevated sheaf, seven Sabbaths-of-days, whole (weeks) are they to be; until the morrow of the seventh Sabbath you are to number—fifty days [we went through great detail how to understand that], then you are to bring-near a grain-gift of new-crops to [the LORD] YHWH” (vs. 15-16).

Now here’s what it was to be, verse 17, “From your [habitations, as it says in the King James, or] settlements you are to bring bread as an elevation-offering, two (loaves of) two tenth-measures of flour are they to be, leavened you are to bake them, as firstfruits to [the LORD] YHWH.”  Now this pictures us being the firstfruits.  Now notice there was a continuous harvest, and they were allowed to eat beginning from the day that the wave sheaf offering was waved, until they came clear down to the end of the harvest on the 50th day, and then they were to take the grain and they were to make two loaves with leaven.  Now every other meal offering that God commanded to be offered were offered unleavened.

Now there’s a special reason why these are leavened.  That pictures those of us who are the firstfruits of the harvest of God in two major categories.  Number one: those who are going to be in the kingdom of God who were under the covenant beginning, actually with Able, and then on down to Noah and Abraham, and then Isaac and Jacob, and those kings and prophets that were those who qualified, or received the Spirit of God so they could be in the first resurrection.  Such as David and Jehosophat, and Hezekiah and different ones like that.  And I’m sure that all the prophets will be in the first resurrection too.  Now then, the reason that I believe that is so, and I think that holds out quite substantially, the reason that they put the leaven in there is because leaven is a type of sin.  And sin is always in our members, and they are going to be in our members until we die or resurrected or changed, whichever comes first.  And so this shows an acceptance of God the way that we are but with His Spirit.

Now let’s go to Hebrews 11 for just a minute and we will see that that tells us that they are going to be in the first resurrection with us.  Let’s go to the New Testament, Hebrews 11, and this is where it’s talking about all of those who went through the different trials and scourgings and everything that they went through.  Hebrews 11:39, “And these all, having obtained a good report through faith…”  Because it is by faith you are saved, through grace.  And they received the grace of God, and they had faith.  They “…received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect” (Heb. 11:39-40, KJV).  And so that’s why there are those two loaves, and that’s why they are there made with leaven.  Because remember as we learned during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, that even though we have the law of sin and death within us, this is not a condemnation to us, because God understands that.  That’s why we have His grace to cover our lives.  And as Paul said, it doesn’t give us an excuse to go out and sin, it doesn’t give us reason to go out and do away with the laws of God.  You cannot have grace without the laws of God and you cannot have the laws of God without grace, and so both of them go hand in hand.

Now let’s understand something else.  When you take grain and you thrash it, and then you gather together and you clean it and you winnow it, and you bring it in to make flour to grind it.  Now what happens when you grind the flour?  You completely change the grain, don’t you?  You change it from a kernel into flour.  Now then what do you do?  You take and add the ingredients to it.  You put in the oil and you put in the sweetening, if you want it sweet, which you should have a little bit in there.  And then you put in the salt, and then you put in the leavening, and then what happens?  You bake it.  Now when it’s baked, the grain has permanently been reformed, hasn’t it?  Now it’s the same way that God wants with us.  Grinding flour is like the trials and difficulties that we go through, and sometimes you may even feel like ground up flour.  And then adding the ingredients into it, the flour, the water or the milk, and all of those things, you can go add the sweetening and so forth.  You can actually make a case that this is a type of our lives that we go through in preparation for acceptance by God.  And also all of these trials are to add to us character.  And that character is to become permanent.  Just like when you make a loaf of bread, you put all the ingredients together, you mix them all up, and you knead it, and you form it, and you mold it, and you put it in the pan, and you bake it in the fire.  And baking it’s kind of like the fiery trial, isn’t it?  Yes it is.  So when the loaf is done you have something brand new.  Now that’s exactly what it’s going to be with us, we’re going to be something brand new.  Something that has never been done before.

Now, let’s come over here to Hebrews 12:18.  Now we’re going to draw a comparison between coming to the mountain on the day of Pentecost when the laws and commandments of God were given, as Paul draws that analogy here showing in verse 18.  “For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest [as it was there at Mt. Sinai when God descended on the top of the mountain], and the sound of the trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: And so terrible was the sight…” So it was an awesome event, the giving of the Ten Commandments and God coming down on top of Mt. Sinai.  What a tremendous thing this was.  “…that Moses said, I exceedingly fear an quake:)”  I guess so.  “But ye [that is “we”, brethren] are come unto mount Sion [that is mount Sion in heaven above, not the one on earth], and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn…”

Now Christ was the firstborn of God the Father.  We are going to be the firstborn from the rest of the human family that God is bringing into His Kingdom.  So that’s why we are called the church of the general assembly of the firstborn.  “…Which are written in heaven…” Our names are written in the book of life in heaven.  Jesus has His reward, which He is going to bring with Him, and I think that is very important for us to understand when we understand all the events that are going to take place on this day of Pentecost.  “…And to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant…” And that new covenant is a spiritual and everlasting covenant.  “…And to the blood of sprinkling…”  The very blood of Jesus Christ that opens the way for us into the holy of holies.  “…That speaketh better things than that of Abel.  See that ye refuse not him that speaketh” (Heb. 12:18-25).  Now we have covered, as we did very recently, how that anyone who is going to do any speaking, anyone who is going to hear anything that God has to say had better listen and do because God is going to require it.

Now what is a way to refuse him that speaks?  Well, first of all we have all the word of God.  And what a wonderful blessing it is indeed that we have it brethren.  And so we need to be very diligent to be about studying and knowing as much of the word of God as we can, without a doubt.  And that’s what we’re trying to do.  Every word here was spoken by God or inspired by God.  Now when you read the prophets what do you see all the time?  “And the word of the LORD came to me saying, Speak to the children of Israel and say, Thus says the LORD of hosts.”  Exactly the same thing that happened with Moses, correct?  God came to Moses and said, “Moses, I want you to tell the children of Israel thus and such.”  Now if we refuse him who speaks, what we are doing, we are refusing to listen.  We are refusing to hearken.  And that is done most particularly by those who say, “Well, you don’t need to keep the Commandments of God.”  That is refusing him who speaks.  “For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth [that is Moses], much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from Him that speaketh from heaven: Whose voice then shook the earth: but now He hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.  And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain” (vs. 25-27).  Now that’s why God is going to almost literally destroy the whole face of the earth.  Completely redo it to show that spiritual things cannot be measured by physical things.  That which really endures is the Spirit of God and the love, and the hope, and the faith that God gives us.  Now that can’t be shaken.  That’s what he’s talking about here.  We don’t want that shaken.  Brethren don’t let any, anything or person or idea or whatever it may be shake you or remove you from Christ.  Remember the warning that Jesus gave.  “Let no man take your crown.”  Remember that.

Now let’s come to verse 28 of Hebrews 12.  “Wherefore we [are] receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved [because it’s coming down from heaven above from God the Father], let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.”  And that’s what this day is all about, how we can understand and realize the tremendous plan that God has for us and to serve Him, and to love Him, and do so with godly fear.  Now verse 28, “For our God is a consuming fire.”  Now you think about that.  You don’t want to appear before God in the flesh.  You want to appear before God as a Spirit Being so that you will see Him face to face.  You will see Him as He is because you will be like Him.

Now let’s come over here to Acts 2, which pictures the very first Pentecost for the Church.  Now we covered a little bit of that when we were going over how to count to Pentecost, and showing that chapter 2, and verse 1 really means that when the 50th day, or namely when the day, the 50th day was being fulfilled, and that is during the accomplishing of these things.  Many things took place.  Now we know exactly what took place.  Now I’ve got them broken down in this way seeing that Pentecost fulfilled many different things for us.  Now you can go back and you can say, ok, on the first Pentecost they received the Ten Commandments.  Well, on the second Pentecost they received the Holy Spirit for the power of preaching and also 10 events took place.  Now these are not the Ten Commandments but these are 10 fulfillments of things that took place during the fulfilling or the accomplishing, or the completing of the day of Pentecost.

Now let’s read those, because they were all there in one place.  And then what happened?  The sound of a mighty rushing wind filled the house where they were all gathered together.  And we find in verse 2.  Then the second thing that happened was, there appeared as cloven tongues right upon their heads, of fire, which sat upon each one of them.  Number three, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, verse 4.  Let’s read that.  “And they were all filled with the Holy [Spirit] Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”  So this is a factor of a double miracle, that not only did they speak in other tongues or languages, which they did not know before, but also those who were hearing understood them but while the ones who were speaking were speaking, they were speaking in their tongue of their mind, otherwise they wouldn’t have understood what they were saying.  But it was coming out of their mouth as another language.  And it reached out to all of those Jews who were there to keep the day of Pentecost.

Now let’s go back and reflect just a minute as to why this was a special Pentecost,  in addition to the giving of the Holy Spirit.  Remember the week of the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Passover, Jesus was crucified and died on the Passover day.  He was put in the tomb and was there three days and three nights.  He was resurrected at the end of the Sabbath.  He was seen of Mary Magdalene and the others on the first day of the week, He ascended into heaven and came back an appeared to the disciples.  Now, all the events that took place with the crucifixion – the darkness, the earthquake, the saints that were resurrected after Jesus was resurrected and went into the city and appeared to many.  And don’t you think that this was noised abroad?  Don’t you think that this went out to all of the Jewish community and the Israelite community, wherever they were between that time and the day of Pentecost?  And I just imagine there were a lot of them who came and said, “Boy, let’s go to Jerusalem, find out what’s going to happen this Pentecost.  Is something going to happen?  Let’s go up there and check out and make sure that this man was really resurrected, that the body was not taken someplace.”  You know what they’re doing today?  They’re actually saying, “Well, Jesus was not resurrected but dogs ate His body.”  That’s why Jesus said, when He comes to the earth will the Son of man find the faith.

Now let’s continue on.  So they were filled with the Holy Spirit, number 4 they began to speak in other tongues, meaning other languages.  Because it says right here in verse 8, “And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?”  Then it lists all the countries, every one of them with a different language.  And they said, verse 12, “…What meaneth this?”  Well, we’ll find out the meaning.

Number 5, when the multitude of devout Jews who gathered in Jerusalem for the Feast of Pentecost heard of this they rushed to see what was going on.  They were amazed and confounded each one of them, because they heard the apostles speaking in a language in which they were born.

And number 6, the multitude said, “What could this mean?”  And then other said, “Well there drunk.”  But it couldn’t have been because it was the third hour of the morning, or about 9 o’clock.

And Peter stood up at that time, that’s the 7th thing that happened, and preached a very powerful sermon.  Now let’s look at some of the things concerning this.  So Peter, verse 14, “…standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words…”  Isn’t that interesting.  On the Pentecost when the Ten Commandments were given God said, “Hear My voice.”  On the Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was given Peter stood up and said, “Hear my voice, listen to my words.”  “For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.  But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel…” (Acts 2:14-16).

Now why bring this in?  The prophet Joel?  Well we need to understand, also on this day of Pentecost the trumpet was blown.  And I think being the third hour what we actually had was this: we had the morning offering as the daybreak began, and then that was being consumed.  We had other offerings, which were about to be offered, thank offerings, peace offerings.  We also had the two loaves, which everyone was bringing in to present to be waved.  We also have concerning this that the trumpet was blown.  The ceremonial trumpet, because it’s blown on every single holy day.

So Peter said, quoting Joel, “And it shall come to pass in the last days…”  Now I want to focus on this “the last days” because this is important.  As we will see a little later on, the term “the day of the Lord” has a narrow meaning and a broad meaning.  “The day of the Lord” includes all of the last 3 ½ years, and it also includes the Day of the Lord when He brings the seven last plagues.  It also includes the Day of the Lord from the opening of the sixth seal on to the return of Jesus Christ, including the resurrection.  So sometimes it is a broad term, and sometimes it is a narrow term.  Here it is, it’s used in a broader term “the last days”.

“…saith God, I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams” (vs. 17).  I think that is going to happen right when the 144,000 then are sealed.  This is a special work that God is going to do.  He did it here with all the disciples didn’t He, on that day?  One hundred twenty were sealed with the Holy Spirit.  And then we had, as we will see, the very last thing that happened that day was that 3,000 were baptized and added to the Church.

And continuing on he says, “And on My servants and on My handmaidens I will pour out in those days of My Spirit; and they shall prophesy: and I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke…” (vs. 18-19).  Now did that happen on this Pentecost that we’re reading of here in Acts 2?  No, it didn’t.  So not only is this being in prophecy that he’s talking about of the last days, but what it is also doing, it’s another projected prophecy showing that these things are going to take place on the day of Pentecost in the last days in the future before Christ returns.

“The sun shall be burned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come” (vs. 20).  Now notice we have last days, the great an notable day of the Lord.  So we have a definition even right here.  “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.  Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by Him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know.”  It’s like the apostle Paul said, this was not done in a corner.  They knew.  And then he said, you know He was delivered to Pilate, and so forth.  All the way through he began telling about it.  He referred it then back to David, because Jesus was of the seed of David.

And he said, “Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day” (vs. 29).  So we know that this was not referring to David.  They knew, they understood the prophecies up to that point.  But, verse 30, “Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, He would raise up Christ to sit on His throne: he seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that His soul was not left in hell, neither His flesh did see corruption” (vs. 29-31).  And all of these go right back to the prophecies to fulfill the scripture.

“This Jesus hath God raised up…” And I imagine he could speak that with power because he saw Him, he felt Him, he talked to Him, he ate with Him, he fished with Him.  And Jesus told him the very last there in John 21 about loving Him and feeding the sheep, so he knew.  Therefore, he says, “This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.  Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy [Spirit] Ghost, He hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.  For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, sit Thou on My right hand, until I make Thy foes Thy footstool. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, Whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ”  (vs. 32-36).  And when he said those words they knew what he was talking about.  There was not a single doubt whatsoever.

“Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart…”  They were led to repentance.  The graciousness of God moved in their lives of the power of the Holy Spirit there over the whole area were they were preaching, and they were moved to repentance.  Deep in their heart, pricked to their hearts, that’s what it means.  “…And said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?”  Yes when you understand that you’re sins personally had their part in killing Jesus Christ, because He died for your sins and my sins, and the sins of the whole world, then that needs to really prick your heart and get deep within your very being.  And that is called repentance, which is not to be repented of.  “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (vs. 37).

“Then Peter said unto them…”, and then this was the ninth thing that was to be done after they…the eighth thing was after they heard the sermon they said, “What should we do”…the ninth thing was then, verse 38, Peter said to them, a verse you all ought to have memorized, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy [Spirit] Ghost.  For the promise is unto you…” Because the promise is what first to who?  The Jews.  And at this time they didn’t even know that they were going to go to the Gentiles.  They didn’t understand that until Acts 10, which is down about 10 – 12 years down the road.  “…Unto you and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.  And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward [or this wicked] generation” (vs .38-40).

Now the 10th thing that happened was, “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day…”  Now I want you to tie the phrase in: and the same day.  I want you to go back and tie that in with verse 1, “And when the day [namely the 50th day, or the Day of Pentecost was [being fulfilled]…”,  then all of those things took place.  The last thing being the baptism on that day.   “…the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls” (vs. 41).  So that was quite a harvest for that day, wasn’t it?

Now let’s look and see why the firstfruits, why what we are doing now is likened unto a harvest.  Let’s go to Matthew 13 where it talks about seven parables altogether.  And I think it’s interesting that there are seven parables, because we will see the number seven ties in very clearly with the Feast of Firstfruits or the Day of Pentecost.  We have, you just count the things that there are number 7, and there is also a 7 plus 1, which is added into this all the way along.  First of all we have the Passover, which is 1, then plus 7, which then equals 8.  Next we have 7 weeks, 7 Sabbaths unto the morrow after the 7th Sabbath, so again we have a number 8 being the 50th day or Pentecost.  Number 7 is complete, number 8 is a new beginning.  And so Pentecost really is picturing a new beginning.  So we’ll see that as we go along.

Now we’re not going to go through every one of these parables, but here there are seven different parables, each of them showing a different aspect of the Kingdom of God.  Now let’s come to verse 18 where it is the parable of the sower.  And let’s understand that as we read this we can see this happening in the world and the church today.

“Here ye therefore the parable of the sower.  When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart.”  Now we’ve seen that happen with some people, haven’t we?  Yes, they have lost the word of God, they have lost the truth, they have gone after Satan the devil.  “This is he which received seed by the way side.  But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it…” Oh they get all excited, “Ou, this is wonderful.”  “Yet hath he not root in himself, but [endures] for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word…” (Matt. 13:18-21).  Now Peter said if we’re corrected for our own mistakes, that’s one thing.  Don’t say you’ve done anything great with that, you’re just being corrected for what you did that was wrong, yourself.  But if you are persecuted for righteousness sake because of the word, he said count it all joy.  But not everyone does that.  Some of them count it as an offense and by and by they are offended.  They get madder and mad and bitter and go their way.

Now verse 22, “He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.”  You go back and you read concerning the seven churches and the one that this fits the most is Laodiceans.  Cares of this world, deceitfulness of riches.  Now let’s just summarize it very carefully here.  Physical blessings are no measure of spiritual attainment.  They just are not.  Spiritual attainment is measured by God.  Spiritual attainment is something that God Himself knows that is growing in grace in knowledge, and growing in the fruits of the Spirit of love, and joy, and peace, and faith, and longsuffering, and temperance, and goodness, and meekness against such there is no law.  So you see that’s how you measure.  You don’t look at your home and say, “Well, God blessed me with a home.”  Maybe He did but does that mean you’re righteous.  Don’t look at the money you may have and say, “Well, God has blessed me with all of this money therefore I’m righteous.”  Don’t trust in it because it’s the deceitful of riches.

Now verse 23, “but he that received seed into the good ground…” Now that’s where God wants it to be.  The good ground then is, “…he that heareth the word [to obey it], and understandeth it [God wants us to understand it], which [is] also beareth fruit and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”  And that’s what God wants us to do so that it all can be harvested on the day of Pentecost.

Now let’s come down here and let’s just look at the explanation of one other parable.  This is the parable of the wheat and the tares.  Now we’ve also experienced this also haven’t we?  To where within the Church there have come in the tares.  And at first you can’t tell the difference because a tare looks just like the wheat.  But when the wheat starts bringing forth fruit then you can tell the difference between the wheat and the tare because the tare doesn’t bring forth any fruit.

So Jesus said in explaining this to hear the parable of the tares.  “He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one…” Satan has his own children.  The ones that follow him, that worship him, that do his will, that do his bidding.  Therefore, it continues on, “…the enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world…” Now are we getting ready for the harvest?  Is that why all the upheaval within the Churches of God?  Could very well be.  “…And the reapers are the angels.  As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.  The Son of man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity [or lawlessness, reject the laws of God]; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth” (vs. 37-42).  So we see that the harvest comes right down to the time in when the harvest is made then there’s a separation of the wicked from the righteous.  And we’re going to see that’s exactly what will take place on the Feast of Pentecost.

Now let’s come to James 1 because we find in James 1 that we are called the firstfruits of His creation, as it should read.  James 1:17, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with Whom is no variable ness, neither shadow of turning.  Of His own will…”  Now this is quite a verse of God the Father’s own will.  “…Begat…” Now we’re begotten again.  We’re not born again until the resurrection.  No one is born again now.  That is a misnomer, a complete false doctrine, it is not true.  They can twist and turn the words all they want but the scriptures clearly show that we are not born again until the resurrection.  Jesus was raised from the dead to be the first born, prototokos of those that are Christ’s.  Firstborn among many brethren.  “Of His own will begat He us with the word of truth…” By God’s Spirit, which of truth?  By the word of truth.  By Christ Who is the word and God’s own seed in us.  “…That we should be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.”  Now that really means of His creation.  We are the firstfruits of His creation.  And that’s why the Feast of Pentecost pictures the first resurrection.  Now we’re going to see this.

Let’s turn over to Revelation 2, please.  And we’re not going to go through each one, but what I want us to do is I want us to understand the flow of events as they come along.  In the first chapter, Revelation 1, let’s go there first before Revelation 2 and 3.  But let’s read this beginning in verse 18.  Here’s what Jesus said.  He said, “I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.  Write the things which thou hast seen [that is everything leading up to this point in chapter 1], and the things which are [beginning now], and the things which shall be hereafter…”  John was instructed to write.  So we find that there is a sequence of events and a time setting of things as they come along.  And it begins with the mystery of the secret, “…of the seven stars which thou sawest in My right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks.  The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches…” Now we have seven weeks to harvest, don’t we?  We have seven churches, do we not?  Yes we do.  So there is the sequence that we have.  Seven churches.  “…And the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches” (Rev 1:18-20).

Then He lists out the seven churches and these are in fact everything that has been said, which means that:

#1 – Seven literal churches at the time that John wrote.

#2 – Seven churches down through history as God views His Church.  Not as we view the Church.

Many people have tried to claim to be Philadelphians.  Hardly any have accepted the fact they may be Laodicean.  I have no one yet to claim that they are Thyatiran.  I have no one to say yet that they brag that they’re Pergamos, or anyone dare say that they’re Smyrna, because Smyrna, they were poor, suffered tribulation, throne in jail and killed.  Now we have some which would dare say that they have the spirit and attitude of the Ephesians.  However all of these things also show all the major doctrinal problems which shall assault the church.  All of the physical circumstances that we are going to go through as Christians, all of the spiritual problems that we will go through, and also is meant to inspire us to understand that in spite of all the difficulties that are done, Christ wants us to make it to the end for the resurrection and to be in the Kingdom of God.  He wants us to do that brethren.  And let’s really understand that.  That’s why it’s very important.

Now if you have the tapes, “The Assaults Against The Church”, there are four of them which we did.  You go back and re-listen to them again and I’m sure you will be amazed what you will find that we covered there.

Now also there’s one other thing that we need to understand.  In the book of Revelation we have this pattern.  We have the seven seals out of which come the seven trumpet plagues out of which come the seven last plagues.  So do we have the same pattern here?  Seven churches which were seven churches through history and at the end seven churches all together as God views His Churches.

Now let’s continue on right here in Revelation 2 and three.  And as you read this you will find that it flows in a time sequence.  That which you have now seen, that which shall be hereafter.  And that’s what we’re dealing with.  And let’s understand something, the reasons why that these are prophecies of the history of the Church, two simple reasons:

#1 – God also gave the history of Israel in all the nations of the world and then what He did, He gave a summary of that in the book of Daniel.  Now do you think that since the Church is the most important thing to God on the earth that He’s going to do any less with the Church?  That’s why the book of Revelation starts out this way.  To show us that yes, God is going to do what He’s going to do with the Church, and so He records this here.

Now let’s come to Revelation 5 for just a minute and let’s see something that I think that is very important, which shows us that this is undoubtedly true.  We’ll go back and pick up some in Revelation 4 here in just a minute.  Revelation 5:6, “And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four [living creatures] beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns…” Now what is a horn?  Now it’s in its head.  “…having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.”  Now why seven horns?  Normally a lamb would have two horns.  So we know that this Lamb is Jesus Christ.  And we know then that the seven horns… let’s ask the question… what do these mean?

Well we know the seven spirits are the seven angels to the seven churches, but what are the seven horns?  Seven horns…let’s look at it this way, let’s start by asking a question.  What is a horn in the book of Daniel?  Each one of the horns represents a king or a kingdom, does it not?  Yes.  Why then do we have seven horns on the head of the Lamb, if it is not to show us that the successive epics of the Church of God?  Now some people have gotten all carried away with eras and saying, “We are this era and we are that era, and we are the other era.”  Well no one really knows for sure, and no one has really been right in any of these prophecies.  But however this does tell us and give us the, I think, the Biblical interpretation that those seven churches do represent the Churches of God down through history.

Now let’s come over here to chapter 3 and let’s see how it ends, and let’s see what Jesus is saying.  Now let’s come here to Revelation 3:20, “Behold I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.  To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne.”

Part 2

Then He says , “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches” (Rev. 3:20-22).  And all the way through that’s what He said to all of the churches.

Now let’s come to chapter 4, because let’s ask the question… is there coming a time when the work and the harvest of the Church will be over?  And the answer is, yes.  And that ends right here.  Whenever the fulfillment of this is going to take place with the seven churches.  Notice what happens then.  When it comes right to the time that it’s about ready to come to an end, chapter 4:1 it says, “After this…” So we find a sequence of time from chapter 1 through chapter 2, and chapter 3.

Now the beginning of chapter 4:1, “After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter [the time sequence].”  So what it does, it shows us before the beginning of the seven seals it shows that God is actively involved in carrying out His plan from heaven above from His throne.  And it shows the throne of God, shows Christ before the throne of God.  It shows the 24 elders, it shows the great innumerable multitude, and it shows that Christ is worthy to open the seven seals and loose them.

Now let’s come to Revelation 6.  Revelation 6 is the beginning of the opening of the seals.  And these are going to be major swift moving events in this earth.  We’ll see why.  Verse 1, “And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals [or that is the first seal], and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four [living creatures] beasts saying, come and see.  And I saw, and behold a white house…” Now we know this is not Christ because Christ has not returned with the saints until Revelation 19.  This is a false christ.  This is a false religion.  This is a false savior, and it’s on a horse.  Now why a horse?  A horse is to show that these things happen suddenly.  Just like He opened the seal and –Bam- here comes a horse real quickly.  And I think this is showing the false world religion, which is about ready to take place.  Now let’s understand something about misinterpretation in the past before.  Some have read this and said, “Well all the seals were opened except the sixth seal, all during the time of the apostles.”  Not so.  However, Matthew 24 can give us an interpretation as to what these are.  False prophet, war, famine, starvation, persecution, and martyrdom.  That is true.  But these are going to happen, and when they happen it is going to be sudden.  It is going to be breathtaking.  It is going to be so swift, and it’s going to be so convincing.

Now notice what He does.  “…And he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.  And when He opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see.  And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword” (Rev. 6:1-4).

Now, let’s stop right here and understand the time frame in which the second seal, or the red horse takes place.  This coordinates with events in Revelation 12.  Let’s turn there and then we’ll come back.  Let’s put this all together. When Satan knows he has but a short time he is cast back down to the earth and he knows he has but a short time.  Notice what he does when he is cast down.  Revelation 12:12, “Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them.  Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come unto you, having great wrath…”  Now that is the beginning of the tribulation.  That is the beginning of where the great sword is taken out.  Not quite.  Before the sword comes something else is going to take place in a very short period of time.  And it’s going to be a persecution.

“…He knows that he has a short time.  And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.”  Now there’s going to be a persecution against the Churches of God.  And when it comes it is going to be universal and all of them will be involved.  Now notice what takes place.  “And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness into her place [the place of hers]…” Yes, there is a specific place of safety and yes, God is going to take those who go there who are going to go.  No man is going to plan it.  No passport is going to be required.  No plane tickets are going to be required.  No boat tickets are going to be required.  God is going to send His angels, just like He did when He took Lot and his family out of Sodom.  That’s what Jesus said in Luke 17, that they are going to be taken.  God is going to make that decision.  So if you find anyone who is saying, “Oh get your passport together brethren, because we’re going to go to Jordan have the place of safety.  I already cut a deal with King Hussein.”  Don’t believe them, you’re headed for a destruction.  Or another man will say, “Move down here to Texas, because down in Texas that’s going to be the place of safety.  Because after all, Texas is going to succeed from the Union.”  Don’t you believe him, because everyone of those things are saving your own neck.  And if you try and do that you’re going to lose it.

And there “…she is nourished…”, it’s in the wilderness.  Now let me ask you a question.  Is Texas a wilderness?  No, all these people they live in cities down there, don’t they?  Now some place in Texas may be a wilderness, but some places of Arizona are, and so are Utah, and so is Idaho, and Montana.  And so is the Sahara desert and so is Petra and so are other places on the earth a wilderness, you see.  Now one thing else that is important too.  If you don’t know where the place of safety is and you get there, you’ll find out when you arrive.  But if you know where it is and you don’t get there, that knowledge doesn’t do you any good, because it’s a spiritual character and choice that God is going to make based upon that spiritual character.  Not the one who runs the race.  Not the one who is fighting.  Not the one who thinks he knows, because those who think they know don’t know.  Now, “…she is nourished [there] for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent” (vs. 12-14).

Now notice what happens, and this is when the sword comes down.  “And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.  And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.”  Now notice what happens.  “And the dragon was wroth…” WROTH.  “…was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed…”  Now remnant means “the others” with no limitation as to the numbers.  Remnant in English means “a small remaining”.  But this means merely the others, who what?  The others “…of her seed which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (vs. 15-16).  This then becomes the beginning of the martyrdom.

Now let’s tie that in with chapter 13 so we have all of these parallel events taking place.  And if you don’t have the two tapes, “The Outline of Revelation, #1 and #2” and the chart that goes with it, write back and we’ll send it to you.  If you have it, go back and review it.

Now after the beast receives the deadly wound and is brought back to life, now then it says all the world worshipped him.  They worshipped the dragon saying, “Who is able to make war with the beast?”  Because he has a great sword, which [it] says in Revelation 6.  “And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.  And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle [or dwelling place], and them that dwell in heaven.  And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.  And all that dwell upon the earth…whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world”… shall worship him. (Rev. 13:5-8).

Now then let’s go back to Revelation 6 because these events tie in, in parallel, because Revelation 6 when the big sword is given, that’s when he starts coming against the Church.  It’s going to be a general war against many people but then it’s going to narrow down and come against the Church, those who remain that were not taken to a place of safety.  Now notice Revelation 6:4, “And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him…” Notice “power”, same thing as Revelation 13.  Power was given to him.  Authority was given to him. “…To take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.”  Great, GREAT war making capacity.  Who’s able to make war against the beast?

“And when He had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see.  And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand” (vs. 5).  And this is a rationing of food. Famine and starvation follow.  Immediately when war comes food supplies are disrupted, and today when they are disrupted you only have a few short days and starvation starts setting in.

Verse 7, “And when He had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.  And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell [or the grave] followed with him.  And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth” (vs. 7-8).

Now notice verse 9.  Here’s when the war is against the saints.  Now it’s going to take a period of time.  But what’s going to happen is this:  you’re going to have two groups of Christians.  You’re going to have those who are in a place of safety that Satan cannot touch.  So they’re not going to be martyred.  You have all the rest who don’t go to a place of safety and Satan comes after them.  Now he’s going to get every single one because they won’t have the mark of the beast and they will be easy to find and detect.  And so when the fifth seal is opened that’s when it begins.

“…I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: and they cried with a loud voice…”  These are all the past martyrs now, in symbolism crying out.  They’re not yet resurrected, that’s why this is in symbolism.  “How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost Thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?  And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet…”, that is they’re going to remain in their graves.  That’s what rest means.  “…for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled” (vs. 9-11).  He’s going to kill every one.

Now at that time what do we have?  We have the completion of the work of the Church, do we not?  When all those have been killed and been martyred for the word of Christ we no longer have the work of the Church going on do we?  The harvest of the Church is complete.  It has come to an end.  That is pictured by the seven churches, the seven weeks of harvest, but for Pentecost there is yet, what, one more day.  And there’s going to be a day of harvest, which is going to be God’s and God’s alone as we will see.

Let’s come down here to Revelation 6:12.  And I beheld when He had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake…” Now I want you to tie this in with what we read back in Acts 2, that Peter quoted of the prophet Joel.  Notice, the same thing.  “…Great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; and the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.”  Remember God said He’s going to shake the heavens, He’s going to shake the earth.  And this is going to be a tremendous and fantastic event.  “And the heaven departed as a scroll…”, just rolled back and there’s going to be a tremendous thing that takes place at that time.  And they’re going to see the sign of the Son of man in heaven.  And it’s going to be like, all of a sudden there’s something they have never seen in the heavens before.  A brand new star.  And the world is going to be all prepared for the invasion from outer space.  So they’re going to look at that and they’re going to say, “Oh what is happening?”  Great event.  So much so that “…when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places” (vs. 12-14).  So if you think you’re going to find a place of safety in a cave in a mountain, guess what?  It won’t be there.  If you’re in the cave when this takes place you’re part of the rock.  You’re mincemeat.  You’re ground up.  You are dead.  See because if you seek to save your own life you’re going to lose it.  So if you say, “Ok, I’m going to buy an island out here in the sea and I’m going to hide away.”  It’s going to sink.  Now what are you going to do?  You know, how long can you tread water?

“And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men [this affects everybody], and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of His wrath is come…” (vs. 15-17).  Now we’re dealing with the day of the Lord, and His wrath is coming.  Who shall be able to stand?

Now then, when God intervenes directly, then He’s going to do something else very important.  And I think that this fits right in with the Feast of Pentecost, which is this: the harvest of the 50th day begins on the next to the last Pentecost and there is that one day, that 50th day, that one year of harvest that God is going to do.  And it starts out right here chapter 7.  And it is the 144,000.  Now if you haven’t received the tape “Who are the 144,000?” you need to write back and request it because we go through and explain it.  Now each one of these are of the 144,000 here, are of the 12 tribes of Israel being 12,000 from each tribe.  We have no account in the Bible what so ever as to why Dan is not among the 144,000 at this point.  So we’ll have to find out why that is when Christ returns. This is a harvest of God.  Let’s notice something particular about this.

Here’s the message, verse 3 chapter 7, “Saying [to the angels which held back the wind], Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed he servants of our God in their foreheads.”  Now let’s understand something very importantly.  2 Corinthians 1:22 says that you are sealed with the Spirit of promise, the earnest of the Spirit.  Everyone today who has the Holy Spirit today cannot be any one of the144,000 nor the great innumerable multitude here, as we find in Revelation 7, because we have already been sealed.  These are people who are converted right in that last year. From next to the last Pentecost until the last Pentecost.  And then we’ll see what takes place from Pentecost till Trumpets.  Just like everywhere else in the scriptures we have, to the Jew first or to the Israelites first, and then to the Gentiles.  We have the 144,000 of the children of Israel, and then verse 9, “…a great multitude, which no man could number…”  No limit to this, no one numbers.  Of what?  “…Of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.”  So it shows that they’re going to be in the resurrection.  It also shows, verse 14, “…These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”  So there we have right there the harvest of God.

Now let’s get a time frame as to when this is going to occur in relationship to the last 3 ½ years.  And we can understand that from the 144,000 of Israel.  They are of the children of Israel.  Now let’s go back to the book of Hosea.  I covered this in quite detail when I gave the study on “Who Are the 144,000”.  Let’s go back to the book of Hosea, chapter 5, the very last verse, and we will see how this fits in and it will give us a time frame at that particular point that we can take back and understand what occurs here.

Hosea 5:15 it says of Israel, it says of God in relationship to Israel.  God says as He corrects them, He says, “I will go and return to My place, till they acknowledge their offense, and seek My face: in their affliction they will seek Me early.”  And they will.  It’s not going to be at the end of the 3 ½ years.  As we are going to see this is going to be at the end of two full years of the tribulation against Israel.

Now let’s continue on chapter 6:1 where Israel says, “Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for He hath torn, and He will heal us; He hath smitten, and He will bind us up.  After two days will He revive us: in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight.”  Now that’s an absolutely perfect description of what is going to happen to the 144,000 of Revelation 7 of the children of Israel.  Thy are as good as dead, but they repent and return to God and He will raise them up.  He will heal them and they will live.  Not only will they live, He gives them His Holy Spirit so that when Christ returns at the end of that year then they are going to be resurrected and be in the Kingdom of God.

Now let’s look at this time frame again.  “After two days.”  How long is a day in prophecy?  It is a year.  So this is after two years and in the “third day.”  So this is the beginning of the third year.  So that means there is one year and six months left, approximately, until Christ puts His feet on the earth.  So this gives us the time frame.

Now then, this is a special harvest of God.  This is His 50th day harvest.  And brethren, I think that the harvest of God, His harvest alone for that one year with the 144,000 and the great innumerable multitude, may very well be more than all the Churches have done down through history.  And after all, why not.  It is God Who is doing it directly.

Now then, after they are sealed, then we have the flow of events continue.  Notice it’s a continuous flow of events from chapter 1, chapter 2, chapter 3, through 4, 5, 6, 7.  It continues the flow of events in chapter 8 where we have the trumpet plagues.  And the trumpet plagues then, come after a space of time.  So I believe that when this next to the last Pentecost takes place and all of them are sealed with the Holy Spirit, a great and tremendous event, repeating in a greater way what happened on the first Pentecost at the temple with the Church.  That there’s going to be that space of time between Pentecost and the Feast of Trumpets when there is not going to be too much activity going on in relationship to the events of prophecy.  But after that then, I believe that beginning with the next to the last Feast of Trumpets, then the first trumpet is blown.  And we have that space of time from that Trumpets on down to the next Pentecost when the resurrection takes place, when the seven trumpets will be blown.  Each one of them gives a space of time.  Each one of them gives an event, which is going to take place.  Each one of them progressively gets worse and worse and worse, and worse.  Then we have the 5th seal, we have the 6th seal, and all of those show a space of time and activities to take place.

Then we come to chapter 10.  All of this now, right up through chapter 9, beginning in chapter 10.  Then right at chapter 10 something happens in chapter 10 with the seven thunders.  We don’t know what the seven thunders are.  God told John, “Don’t write what the seven thunders are.”  No one knows.  Nor do we know what was written in the little book that John was told to eat, except that he had to go preach.  He had to go out.  So at that time is there going to be a time of preaching just again before the seventh angel sounds?  However little bit of time there’s going to be, and will the 144,000 be involved in that?  It’s possible.  Will those who were in a place of safety, will there be those who leave that and go preach again?  That’s possible.  I do not know so therefore we’ll just have to say, let’s hold that judgment in abeyance until we understand it a little bit more.  And I don’t think we’ll understand it until we’re able to look back and see how the events occurred.

Now let’s come to chapter 10:7.  “But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he [is about] shall begin to sound...” That’s what it means.  “…the mystery of God should be finished, as He hath declared to His servants the prophets.”  Now then when the seventh trumpet sounds…now we skip by the inset chapter of chapter 11 and the two witnesses, but the two witnesses come down here to a point don’t they.  They shall prophesy for a thousand two hundred sixty days.  They will be killed, their dead bodies shall lie in the street of Jerusalem for 3 ½ days.  Then notice what happens, chapter 11:11. “And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.  And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither.”  Now that’s going to be quite an event, isn’t it?  And right when they’re watching “…they ascended up to heaven in a cloud’ and their enemies beheld them” (Rev. 11:11-12).

Now where are they going to go?  “And the same hour was there a great earthquake [again], and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.  The second woe is past; and behold, the third woe cometh quickly” (vs. 13-14). The seventh trumpet ends, the second woe, it’s over with.  The seventh trumpet begins the third woe but it comes quickly after the trumpet is blown.

Verse 15, “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever.  And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their [thrones] seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, saying, We give Thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because Thou hast taken to Thee Thy great power, and hast reigned” (vs. 15-17).  That’s when God starts reigning on the earth.  That’s when He is directly doing all of this.  Now before it was, Christ opened the seals and men did it.  The trumpet plagues then came and it was angels that did it.  And then it was demons working with men to bring them to fight and battle and war.  Now then we have Christ is going to do it.  What happens from now on is what Christ is going to do, not what men are going to do.

Verse 18, “And the nations were angry, and Thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that Thou shouldest give reward unto Thy servants the prophets…”, because the resurrection takes place at what?  At the last trump.  Not trumpets.  At the last trump, “For the trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised incorruptible and we shall be changed.”  That’s what it’s talking about right here.  That’s what it takes place.  And the very two last to be martyred, the two witnesses are the very first to be resurrected.  So again we have fulfilled to the very letter – the first shall be last and the last shall be first.  And that You “…shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.”  So that was a tremendous thing that’s going to take place here.  Now I believe that the resurrection is going to take place on that last Pentecost.

Now let’s go back and look at these events as they’re described in Matthew 24.  Let’s come to Matthew 24:29 where it says, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.  And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.  And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet [not trumpets]…”  Remember the Feast of Trumpets is a memorial of blowing of trumpets, and we will see what that will be when we get to Revelation 19.  “…And they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” (Matt. 24:20-31).

Now let’s go to 1 Thessalonians 4 and let’s understand something here which I think is really very important.  We are going to meet Christ in the air.  Now what’s going to happen, and what are we going to do when we meet Him in the air?  Are we going to be resurrected and go woop, “Hi Lord, let’s go back”?  Or are there some things that have to happen?  And if there’s some things that have to happen, how long are we going to be in the air in the clouds?

Let’s go to 1 Thessalonians 4:16 where it says, “For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God…” The last trump, which is the seventh trump.  “…And the dead in Christ shall rise first…”, that is after the two witnesses.  Paul didn’t know about the two witnesses or the book of Revelation at that time.  Then the dead in Christ shall rise first.  “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds…” Now notice “caught up”.  We will be taken up.  The angels are going to take us there.  “…To meet the Lord in the air…” Now actually in the Greek it means this: for the meeting with the Lord in the air.  So there’s going to be a meeting.  What kind of meeting?  How long is it going to be?  Where is it going…it says in the air.  And it says, “…and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thess. 4:16-17).  That doesn’t mean we’re going to be in the air all the time cause other verses show that we come back down out of that.  So what I believe is this:  I believe when the heavens are rolled back as a scroll, they see the sign of the Son of man coming and it’s like a big sun that gets closer and closer and closer to the earth.  And it will look like just like the sun as it shines from east to west as the earth is turning.  And as it gets closer and closer and closer to the earth, getting down toward the last Pentecost, it’s going to come down into a position in the clouds and then it’s going to lock into orbit right over Jerusalem, and there is going to be there the sea of glass.

Now let’s go back to Exodus 24 because we need to understand something that when God came down and talked to Moses and the elders there in Exodus 24, it talks about a sea of glass.  Just like we saw in Revelation 4, that there was a sea of glass where the throne of God is.  So God is going to have a sea of glass on which, when we are resurrected, as we will see, we’re going to stand.

Let’s come here to Exodus 24:9.  After they were there, received the Ten Commandments, received all the words of the Lord then the day afterwards they went on up there.  Verse 9, “Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel: and they saw the God of Israel: and there was under His feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness” (Ex. 24:9-10). So this is describing a sea of glass.  Now we know from the book of Ezekiel that there are other Cherabim that God uses to transport Himself from one place to another, and here we find, here’s a sea of glass.

Now let’s go back to the book of Revelation and let’s see that also all of those who are resurrected are going to be on the sea of glass.  Let’s come to Revelation 14 and let’s see again the harvest.  This time the harvest is likened unto the grapes and the vine that are ready.  Let’s pick it up here in verse 14, “And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud One sat like unto the Son of man…” So Christ comes right down into the clouds.  That’s what all the other scriptures say.  “…Having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle.  And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in Thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for Thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.  And He that sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped” (Rev. 14:14-16). That’s the first resurrection.  Are we all not like a vine?  Are we all not likened unto a harvest?  Are we not the firstfruits?  And I believe that this takes place on the Feast of Pentecost, and we will see by the flow of events that it has to.

And let’s see what happens…and this is showing those who are resurrected, who are going to meet Christ in the air, in the clouds, and were they will be.  Chapter 15:1, “And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.”  Now we know that Christ and the saints do not return to the earth until after the seven last plagues are competed, however notice this, verse 2.  “And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark…”  Question – how long is the beast been around?  Well the true beast is Satan, isn’t it?  Yes.  Revelation 12 shows that Satan the devil depicted as the dragon with seven heads and ten horns has been the beast that’s always been around.  And this is the system, which is called also in the prophets of the book of Revelation, Babylon.  Babylon the great.  And it’s always had its system, which it has tried to impose upon the people of God.  And everyone of them has to get the victory over it.  Did not Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego get the victory over the image of the idol of the beast of Nebuchadnezzar commanded them to bow down to?  Yes they did.  So you see it goes all the way back.  “…Gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark…” And that’s going to come in our day.  “…And over the number of his name…”  That’s going to come in our day.  “…Stand on the sea of glass…” There’s a place to stand.  “…Having the harps of God” (Rev. 15:1-2).

Now how long are we going to be on the sea of glass, and what is going to take place on the sea of glass?  And why do we have to be resurrected to meet Christ in the air and be on the sea of glass?  Well, we’ll answer that in just a minute.  But first of all we’re going to see… “And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are Thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are Thy ways, Thou King of saints.”  And that can be none other than Christ.  “Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify Thy name? for Thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before Thee; for Thy judgments are made manifest” (vs. 3-4).

Now let’s continue on here in Revelation 15:5, “And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened…”, right into the holy of holies, as it were.  Now who is there in the holy of holies but God the Father, correct?  “And seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles.  And one of the four [living creatures] beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth forever and ever.  And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from His power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled” (vs. 4-8).

Now one of the reasons why we are on the sea of glass there at this time when the seven last plagues are poured out is this, let’s go back to Psalm 58:10 where it tells us here’s a promise that God has given to every one of the saints.  He said vengeance is Mine, vengeance belongs to the Lord, give place to wrath, don’t take vengeance into your hands He will do it for us.  Now notice Psalm 58:10, “The righeous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked.”  Now that’s describing the end time brethren.  We’re going to see the vengeance of God.

Now let’s go to Psalm 149, because I think this is going to take place right on the sea of glass when we are resurrected there.  We’re going to sing the new songs.  We’re going to sing the song of Moses, the song of the Lamb.  Now Psalm 149:1, “Praise ye the LORD.  Sing unto the LORD a new song, and His praise in the congregation of saints.”  That’s all of us together.  And wasn’t it said of Jesus that He is not ashamed to call them brethren.  He will declare His name in the great congregation.  What is the great congregation?  That is only when we are all resurrected and on the sea of glass with Jesus Christ.

“Let Israel [that is spiritual Israel] rejoice in Him that made him [we are the creation of God]: let the children of Zion…”, who are us, who come to the living Mt. Zion, which is in heaven above.  “…Be joyful in their King.  Let them praise His name in the dance…” So we’re going to dance on the sea of glass.  Now I don’t know what that’s going to be like.  That’s going to be something.  “…Let them sing praises unto Him with the timbrel and harp.  For the LORD taketh pleasure in His people…” God is going to be happy.  God is going to be glad and so are we.  Resurrected there and on the sea of glass with Christ.  “…He will beautify the meek with salvation.”  That is giving out the rewards and giving us our clothes and giving us all the things that we need.  “Let the saints be joyful in glory…”  Because that’s when we will have glory.  “…Let them sing aloud upon their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a twoedged sword in their hand…”, because we then are going to come down and fight.  To what?  “To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; to bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all His saints.  Praise you the LORD” (Psa. 149:1-9).

Now let’s go back to Revelation 16.  “And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.”  So the went one after the other.  “And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image” (Rev. 16:1-2).  And then the second angel, and this time now every living thing in the oceans die because it were turned to blood.  The third angel, all the rivers turned to blood.

And then is proclaimed that these are the righteous and holy and true judgments of the Lord because He has judged this.  Verse 6, “For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and Thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.  …Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are Thy judgments” (vs. 6-7).  And the fourth angel poured out his vial and the sun became very intense with heat and burned the men, and yet they repented not nor gave glory to God.  The fifth angel sounded and the seat of the beast and his kingdom was filled with darkness, just like in Egypt, full of darkness.  “And [they] blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.”  Then the sixth angel poured out his vial and then the spirits like frogs came out of the mouth of the beast and the false prophet, and Satan, and then went out to all the kings of the earth to gather them together to the great battle of God Almighty, then which is the seventh vial that is poured out, which then is then a great and tremendous thing that happens here.  And the earthquake took place.  All the cities of the nations fell.  Great Babylon came into remembrance before God for judgment against it.  And then out of heaven came a hail weighing 180 pounds, which killed all those men.

Now the events that are going to take place on the sea of glass.  We’re going to be resurrected, number 1, and meet Christ in the air there.  We are going to have great and marvelous fellowship up there.  It’s going to be something.  We are going to receive our new name, number 2.  Number 3, we are going to receive our reward.  Number 4, the marriage of the Lamb is going to take place.  And brethren I believe that God the Father Himself is going to come down to that sea of glass and He is going to perform the wedding vows between those of the first resurrection and Jesus Christ our Lord.  And what a time that is going to be.  Whatever the ceremony is going to be, and God the Father looks down upon us and says, “Do you faithfully promise…”, and we all look back at Him and say, “We do.”  And Christ looks at the Father and says, “I do.”  Then we have the marriage supper of the Lamb next, that’s number 5.  Then we have the giving of our assignments so we know what we’re going to do, number 6.  Then number 7, we’re going to come back to the earth with Jesus Christ.

Let’s go to Revelation 19 and we will see where this takes place.  Great and tremendous thing is going to take place brethren.  The heavens again are going to open up, we’re going to be mount up on our horses, we’re going to follow Christ,Who’s name is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness does He judge and make war to come back to the earth, and this brethren will be on the last Feast of Trumpets, because we’re going to be on the sea of glass between Pentecost and Trumpets.  And then when the Feast of Trumpets comes and all the trumpets are blown, great and fantastic time.  Then the earth is going to look up and see the armies of God coming and that’s us coming back to the earth with Jesus Christ.  And God is going to execute His judgment, and execute His vengeance in this and great all consuming war.

So brethren this is why we have the Feast of Pentecost, the harvest of the firstfruits, and we are harvest, and we are raised, and we are given eternal life.  And then we are going to be there with the wedding of the Lamb.  All of these events are going to take place and then we’re going to have the great and marvelous thing to be able to see God the Father, to be married to Christ, and then to come back to this earth and begin the Kingdom of God on earth for a thousand years.  And when we come back, we’re going to destroy every enemy that there ever has been of God.  And then we get on into the time when Satan the devil is bound.

So that’s the meaning of the Feast of Pentecost.  So always keep these things in mind brethren, we are the firstfruits of the creation of God.