Fred Coulter  -  May 19, 2002

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This is the Feast of Pentecost, the year 2002.  Time just keeps rolling on it seems, and the feast days come up upon us real quickly, and especially this year because it seems as though with the year being earlier than it was last year, it just seems to come so much more quicker.   So anyway, I hope that you’re going to have a good Feast of Pentecost wherever you are, and today we’re going to cover the meaning of the Feast of Pentecost and to understand the things that we need to concerning it.

Now we know that God tells us to take up an offering on the holy days, so we take up offerings.  It says there in Deuteronomy 16, so let’s turn there.  And it says here, verse 16, “Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which He shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks [which then is the Feast of Pentecost], and in the feast of tabernacles; and they shall not appear before the LORD empty: every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which He hath given thee” (Deut. 16:16-17).  So whenever you give any offering of any kind, you need to consider the blessings that God has given you.  Consider the spiritual blessings, consider the physical blessings, and also consider some of the trials that you have gone through and count those also as blessings, because God uses these to help develop your character, to help develop more of the mind of Christ, and to understand what God wants you to understand because we learn through the things that we go through.

And it’s very interesting, and in reading about the life of William Tyndale, and reading his writings, he says that God gives trials to those who are His best friends.  And he says consider what Christ went through.  And so, what I want you to do in considering you blessings, I want you to look at all of your blessings.  Just don’t look at the blessings that you consider that are good.  Because we have learned over a period of time that even those lessons of trials that come along, that when we are in the midst of a trial, it does not seem like it’s pleasant, but afterwards then, it yields the peaceable fruits of righteousness.  And then afterwards it gives us the understanding that God wants us to have.  So consider that too when you consider according to the blessings that your Lord and your God has given you.

Now since Pentecost is a harvest feast, let’s come here to 2 Corinthians 9, and let’s see also, as we know - and these things we know, but you see what God has done with the feast days, and the reason that we have the feast days every year, and the Sabbath every week, is because as human beings if we don’t go over these things and learn them, and add to them every year, and come before God, and come before His presence on the day that He says to be there, which is His appointed time, then the lesson is this: spiritual things do not stay in a physical mind.  You have to have the Spirit of God, and you have to have it renewed, and you have to have it stirred up, and it has to be constantly fed so that you grow in grace, you grow in knowledge, you grow in the mind of Christ.  So to go over these scriptures, even some of them that we cover every year, then it’s important for us to realize the true and inspired meaning of what we have according to the scriptures.

Now let’s come to 2 Corinthians 9:6.  “But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly;…”  And that is an absolute truism.  And that is something you need to consider.  And you need to consider some of the things that you do are sowing for blessings, and for reaping of the things that God has for you, and to understand that if you are a curmudgeon with God, then God will be a curmudgeon to you, because God will judge everyone of us according to our attitude toward Him.  And so that’s why Paul wrote this.  Where on the other hand, “…and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.”  And this is very important to understand in relationship to the talents that God gives us.

Now I’ll just call your mind to the ones who were given the five talents, the two talents, and the one talent.  When it was all said and done, the one who had the five increased to five.  The one who had the two increased to two.  The one who had one went and hid it because he was a curmudgeon, and he was lazy, and he didn’t want to apply himself, and he didn’t want to ask for God’s blessing, and he was critical and accused God of being a harsh taskmaster, which when you accuse God of being that, He definitely is going to be.

Now, the one who had the one talent then, that was taken from him, and he was cast into the lake of fire, and the one talent was given to the one who had ten.  And every one said, “Well, Lord, he has ten.”  Well, God gave it to him because he wants it to increase and produce.  And so the one who increased and produced the more, it was given to him.  So that’s why it says, “…he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.”

“Every man according as he purposeth in his heart,..”  So you see, though God commands it, God desires your free will in it.  And God also desires that you purpose to do so.  Not something that’s kind of a last minute thing that’s thrown together at the last second.  “…So let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.”  And notice this.  Here’s a promise.  Now you tie this in with Malachi 3 about the blessings that God will give you.  “And God is able [that means God has the power] to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:” (vs. 7-8).  So the final analysis of all of this is kind of like a sphere.  It all fits together.  And it’s all part of what God wants.  And it’s all part of the character that we develop as firstfruits to God.  And so this is really a tremendously important thing to understand, especially when we are living in the land of plenty, and the home of the free and the brave, and while we still have time to work, to work, because we need to understand the darkness is coming and no man will be able to work, as Christ said.  So we need to understand that and realize it.  So at this time we’ll go ahead and take a pause and take up the offering.


Now then yesterday we thoroughly went through and saw how to count to Pentecost, so I’m not going to go back over it again, except to say that number eight is always associated with the resurrection.  We know with the Feast of Tabernacles that we have seven days, and then the eighth day.  And that eighth day pictures the second resurrection, which then is for the resurrection of all of those who never had an opportunity for salvation, who have not committed the unpardonable sin.

Now also we saw, as I mentioned during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, Jesus was selected as the Lamb of God on the 10th of Nisan, and He was raised from the dead on the 17th, which then inclusive counting is eight days.  From Sabbath to Sabbath inclusive counting is always eight days.  So again, number eight is associated with the resurrection.  When we come to Pentecost we count seven weeks plus one day, which is the 50th day.  And that 50th day then, is the eighth day of the seventh week.  So again we will see that this applies.

Now let’s understand something concerning that this is a holy convocation.  Let’s come to Leviticus 23:15 and let’s see all of God’s instruction for that.  “And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath [and that means beginning with the morrow after the Sabbath], from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete: even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath [that is the day after the seventh Sabbath] shall ye number fifty days;…” (Lev. 23:15-16).  And how on earth anyone can get 51 out of that is an amazing thing to me.  But you know, there are some people who just cling to the idolatry of their pet doctrine, that they are unwilling to yield to the word of God.

Let’s continue now.  “…And ye shall offer a new meat offering [meal offering, as it should read]…” (vs. 16).  And this offering then is from the wheat, whereas the wave sheaf offering was from the barley, which first ripens in the spring.  Now we’re getting later in the spring and close toward summer, not quite the summer, and now is the beginning of the wheat harvest, as we’ll see in just a bit.  And what you’re to do with this…here is the new meal offering, or the offering made from flour.  Now it says meat in the King James, and that is a very misleading term.

Verse 17, “Ye shall bring out of your habitations…”  Now everyone was to do this who came to the temple.  Or, I don’t know if they did this in the synagogues where they were, but at least all of those who went to the temple did.  “…Two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour;…”  Now it’s interesting how God gives specific instructions.  “…They shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto the LORD.”  Now this is unusual, especially coming from the Feast of Unleavened Bread, because the Feast of Unleavened Bread says you shall not have any leaven seen with you all during the days of Unleavened Bread.  Now here He specifically says, “Well, what I want you to do is to make it out of leaven.”  And there’s a special reason for it.  The only other offering that had leaven to it for the meal offering was the peace offering, which accompanied the offering of the sacrifice of the animals.

Now notice, they are firstfruits unto the LORD.  In other words they are accepted, you see, as firstfruits unto the LORD.  Now we come back up here to verse 10 and it talks about Jesus Christ, Who is the first of the firstfruits, the premiere wave sheaf, or the wave sheaf offering.  And from Christ being resurrected and accepted by God the Father, down to the first resurrection, which is called a harvest, we are going to see that it is one continuous thing.  There is no interruption between it.  And all the days are accounted, all the of weeks are counted, and then we come down to the 50th day.  And we are going to see then why the first resurrection cannot be on Trumpets.

And I’ll just state right here, the number one prime reason that it cannot be on Trumpets is because number one, Trumpets is not a harvest feast.  And that’s what’s important to understand.  Now I realize that in the past that was taught.  And I realize that it was a mistake made because of two things.  Number one, we didn’t keep Pentecost on the right day.  We kept it on a Monday instead of on the first day of the week as the Bible properly shows how we need to count.  And number two, because it was a concordance study where Trumpets is.  Here’s a trumpet, there’s another trumpet, there’s another trumpet like the seven trumpets in the book of Revelation.  And so obviously then the resurrection, because there is the trumpet sound associated with the resurrection, then it has to be on the Feast of Trumpets.  But you see, the Feast of Trumpets is discounted because there is a break after Pentecost until you get to Trumpets, which that break is not there between the Wave Sheaf Offering Day, which begins the count to Pentecost, and Pentecost.  So those 50 days are tied together, and we’ll see the symbolic meaning of that.

Then it tells all about the animal offerings they were to bring, and the sin offerings that they were to bring.  Now verse 21.  “And ye shall proclaim on the selfsame day, that it may be an holy convocation unto you: ye shall do no servile work therein: it shall be a statute for ever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.”  So then he gives something else here.  “And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy field when thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest: thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger: I am the LORD your God” (vs. 21-22).  Showing here, that not only are we to be generous to God, but we are not to be curmudgeons toward others, and this verse here really is a verse of love toward your neighbor, and love toward the stranger, and love toward the one who is poor.  That you leave something for them.  And they are not going for a handout.  They have right to come into the field and to glean the corners, and to harvest the things that were there, and God gave that to them so that they always had the dignity that they had to do something to get it, and they didn’t have to go beg, and they didn’t have to go on welfare.

Now let’s come to the book of Exodus 22:29, and let’s see how God talks about the firstfruits, and talks about the offering that we are to bring.  And after all, we need to understand this, as we will see we are firstfruits, and God want’s the firstfruit harvest on time.  And it belongs to Him.  So therefore we find the principle here in Exodus 22:29.  “Thou shalt not delay to offer the first of thy ripe fruits, and of thy liquors: the firstborn of thy sons shalt thou give unto Me.  Likewise shalt thou do with thine oxen, and with thine sheep: seven days it shall be with his dam; on the eighth day thou shalt give it Me.” (Ex. 22:29-30).  That is the firstborn.  So we find the firstborn and firstfruits always interrelated in the things that we find in God’s commandments here.

Now the firstfruits are very important to God.  Let’s come to chapter 34.  Let’s see this again, where after the children of Israel rebelled and built themselves the golden calves and had their orgy, worshipping the golden calves, then God regives the law, rewrites the ten commandments, and here are part of His instructions again.  So what you find is this.  You find the same instructions at one time.  You find the same instructions at another time.  And you come to the book of Deuteronomy and you find the same or very similar instructions at that time, which tells us then that God intends us to keep the holy days.  That these things are important for us to know and understand and realize, and they’re important to God.  And being important to God then, there are things from which we can learn spiritual lessons.

Now Exodus 34:22, “And thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest,…”  So we begin with the barley harvest.  And then down through the seven weeks that barley harvest is completed.  And then by the time we come to the Feast of Pentecost, then the wheat harvest is beginning.  So when we have those two tenth deals made into loaves, then we are talking about wheat.  And the leaven, we will see, has a special meaning.

Now let’s continue on.  Let’s come to Proverbs 3.  While we are going to Proverbs 3, let me mention this.  Remember what we covered yesterday concerning the battle of Jericho, and the fall of the walls, and everything that was involved with that?  Well, remember what God said, and this has relationship also to the fact that it is holy, even though it was contaminated and polluted by pagan hands of the Canaanites.  We saw that it’s not possible that for grain that was planted by a Canaanite could pollute the grain which grew, because the grain that is planted is not the grain that is harvested.  So there is no way that can be contaminated.  And God gave them the harvest, so it was their harvest.  And God said, “When you come into the land and harvest it’s harvest, rather than one that you plant by hand…”, after that first harvest, which the Canaanites planted for them, they harvested their own.

Now then, remember the instruction that God gave to Joshua, that all of the gold and the silver in Jericho was holy to Him.  And what happened was this, you go back and read the account.  Achan decided he would take some for himself.  And what happened?  He caused all of Israel then in the next battle, to be defeated.  And Joshua came moaning and groaning to God.  And God said, “Why are you moaning and groaning to Me?  You search out who took that which I said was holy.”  Because if it’s holy to Him then it’s His.  And so then they went through the Urim and Thummim and found out that it was Achan and his family.  And what did God do with them.  They were history.

Now let’s come here to Proverbs 3:5.  This is very important.  This is again, an overall principle, and let’s apply this to everything we’re learning on Pentecost.  “Trust in the  LORD with all thine heart;…”  Now that’s the whole key of everything that we do.  And if you do that, that means that you’re going to love God, that you’re going to love Jesus Christ, you’re going to love the brethren, you’re going to love your neighbor as yourself, and you’re going to do the things that God wants you to do.   And if you “…lean not unto thine own understanding”, as it says, therefore then God will lead you.  God will bless you.  God will guide you.  “In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths” (Prov. 3:5-6).  Now you tie that in with Colossians 3, which says do everything, whether in word or in deed, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.  That’s acknowledging God in all your ways.

“Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.  It shall be health to thy navel, and morrow to thy bones.  Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: so shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine” (vs. 7-8).  And so there again, that is to be a blessing in the physical sense.

Now then, let’s apply this to the church, which is the church of the firstborn, or the firstfruits of God.  And we are going to be this to the whole world after the resurrection and the kingdom of God being on the earth.  We then are going to be the firstfruits which will help the whole world increase and improve and have the knowledge of God.  So that makes it very profound and important for us to understand.

Now let’s understand something her concerning the feasts of God, that Pentecost is a harvest feast.  Now first of all we read all the instructions there concerning Pentecost, but then, let’s take a quick look back at Leviticus 23, for just a minute please.  Let’s go back there and let’s look at the Feast of Trumpets for just a minute.  Let’s see the command, you see.   Leviticus 23:24, “Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets [not a single trumpet, but many], an holy convocation.”  Now it says nothing about “in remembrance of” any harvest.  But what this is, this shows us that it is a feast of war when Christ returns to put down all rule.  That’s important for us to understand.  And that’s a great distinction.  But here’s where the confusion comes.

Let’s come to Numbers 10 and let’s understand something which many people do not really realize.  Numbers 10, and it talks about the blowing of the trumpet, making of the trumpets, two trumpets of silver.  And they were to be for the calling of assembly, for the journey, for the assembling of the princes, and God gives them the signals and how many times they would blow.  Also for spies, for the alarm of war, and blow the alarm the second time.  Then it tells when the camps are to move, when all of Israel is to be gathered together.  The sons of Israel shall blow them throughout their generations.  And if you go to war then you are to take them and blow them, and to have them go before the ark.

Verse 9, now that’s what they did in Jericho.  “And if you go to war in your land against the enemy that oppresseth you, then ye shall blow an alarm with the trumpets; and ye shall be remembered before the LORD your God, and ye shall be saved from your  enemies.”  Now remember the account of Eli’s sons, Hophni and Phinehas.  They went out to battle against the Philistines.  Now because they were corrupt, and they were sinful, God was not giving them the victory in the battle.  So they said, “We know what we’re going to do.  We’re going to go back and bring the Ark of God, and God is going to have to fight the battle and win the battle for us because His ark is here.”  So what happened?  They both died.  The Philistines took the Ark of God, and they had it for seven months.  And woe be unto them, they had it.  Remember what happened to them.   And then the news came back and told Eli, and he was so stunned at what happened, that the ark had been taken and the battle had been lost, that he fell over backwards and died.  So true to the prophecy that God gave to Eli, all three of them died the same day.

Now let’s continue on here and let’s see how was the trumpet is to be used besides war.  Verse 10, “Also in the day of your gladness [that is, when you have a special celebration to thank God], and in your solemn days [meaning all the holy days and on the Sabbath], and in the beginnings of your months, ye shall blow with the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offering; that they may be to you for a memorial before your God: I am the LORD your God.”  So you see, there is a specific reason why the trumpet is blown.  But remember, it’s blown on the Sabbath, it’s blown over every offering, it’s blown on the first day of Unleavened Bread, the last day of Unleavened Bread.  It’s blown on Pentecost.  Then on the Feast of Trumpets the trumpets is blown with many, many trumpets as a memorial of it, all day long.  Then it is blown again on the Day of Atonement.  It is blown again on the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles, and again on the eighth day or the Last Great Day of the Feast of Tabernacles, as well as going down through all the months.  So that’s why we need to understand that also on Pentecost a trumpet is sounded.  And we will see the relationship of that concerning the first resurrection a little bit later when we get into the New Testament.

Now let’s go ahead and let’s go to the New Testament, and I’m going to read out of the coming new translation.  Let’s come to John 4, and let’s understand something really important concerning the time coming up to the Feast of Pentecost.  Now remember, Jesus came up to the temple and suddenly appeared, according to the prophecy of Malachi 3.  We find that recorded in John 2, where He cleansed the temple, stayed there for the Feast of Unleavened Bread, did many miracles.  Then He did the conversation with Nicodemus concerning being born again.  Then He came on down, chapter 4, to Samaria and stopped at the well at Samaria, talked to the woman, told her about eternal life.  And then the disciples came back and they wondered who gave Him anything to eat.

 So let’s pick it up here.  They brought something back for Him to eat, verse 31.  “And in the mean while the disciples were asking Him, saying, Rabbi, eat. And He said to them, I have meat to eat that you are not aware of.  Therefore His disciples said to one another, Did anyone bring Him something to eat?  And Jesus said to them, My meat is to do the will of Him Who sent Me, and to finish His work” (John 4:31-34, AT).  Now there is a big goal for all of us.  That needs to be our goal.  That needs to be our whole purpose in life.  Why we eat, why we breathe, why we do what we do, and that’s what Christ was saying here.

Now notice what He said in verse 35.  Very important thing.  “Say not yet, that there are four months and then the harvest comes…”  Now this has to be just right around the time of the Feast of Pentecost.  So He, in the four months, then He is referring to the harvest as pictured by the Feast of Tabernacles.  All of the things that are harvested in the fall.  He’s saying, “Don’t say that there are yet four months to the harvest.”  “…I say to you, Look around, lift up your eyes, and see the fields;…”  Now what are you going to see?  You are going to see the fields of wheat, which are ready to be harvested for Pentecost.  “…For they are already ripe to the harvest.”  Now you see, this again is showing how Pentecost is involved in harvesting.  And no other feast is involved in that.  And we will see from the New Testament how that the church is the harvest.  We’ll see that whole parable here in just a little bit.

Now verse 36, “The one who reaps receives a reward, and gathers fruit unto eternal life, so that the one who is sowing and the one who is reaping may both rejoice together.”  Now the way they rejoice then, is they are resurrected together.  “For in this, the saying is true that one sows and another reaps.  I sent you to reap in that which you have not labored.  Others have labored and you have entered into their labor” (vs. 36-38, AT).  By how’s that?  By the law, by the prophets, by the Psalms, by John the Baptist preparing the way, and the work that God was doing in the land of Judea and Galilee to prepare the way for Christ.  And it was all ready for them.  That’s why they had to go out and preach the kingdom of God is at hand.  And then we will see on the Day of Pentecost, God gave the Holy Spirit to give them the power to do that, and to accomplish what God wanted them to do.

Now let’s continue on and let’s come here to Matthew 13.  And here we’re going to see that the whole work of Christ leading to the resurrection, is likened unto a harvest.  And that the harvest then, is that which once the seed is planted, then we are responsible for how it grows.  And of course one thing that is important, once we receive the Holy Spirit as a begettal from God the Father, His seed remains in us, and we are to grow in grace and knowledge, and we are to prepare for he harvest that God is going to do, which will be the harvest of the firstfruits.  And we’re going to see we are called the church of the firstborn, and we are firstfruits unto God.  So that’s important for us to realize.

Now let’s come here to Matthew 13, just explaining the parable, and let’s understand what Jesus is telling us.  Let’s start in verse 10 because this is important to realize.  You see, one of the things we need to do, and why we have Pentecost is so that we always focus on the goal of attaining the resurrection of the dead.  And this is such a tremendous and important thing.  And to receive the begettal of eternal life, which is pictured by the receiving of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost.  Now then, with that God also does something that He does not give to the rest of the world, and He wants us to realize that He has given us heavenly knowledge, spiritual knowledge, which other people cannot receive because they don’t have the Spirit of God.  Neither can they understand because they are so busy with their own things.  And this is why, then, when we come to the book of Revelation and it gives the account there of the Laodiceans, you see, they have clouded the vision that God has given them here.  And they do not count as much as they should, how great the blessing is, and hold it in high esteem to be called to the first resurrection.  That’s why they are naked and poor and blind.

Now let’s pick it up in verse 10.  “The disciples came to Him and asked, Why do You speak to them in parables?  And He answered and said to them, Because it’s given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.” So you have special knowledge that other people in the world do not have.  You have special understanding that God has given through the power of the Holy Spirit.  “For whosoever has understanding, to him shall be given…”  So God is going to give you more.  “…And he shall have abundance.  But whosoever does not have understanding, even that which he has shall be taken away” (Matt. 13:10-12, AT).

Now let’s just stop here for just a second and understand that that is exactly what is happening to Protestantism today.  We have seen that is exactly what happened to Judaism because they rejected Christ, and so when we go down through the whole history of the world we see that this is a living principle, and it’s going to be taken or it’s going to be given because Christ is the one Who gives and takes.

Now He says, “For this reason I speak to them in parables, because seeing they see not, and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.  And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, which says, In hearing you shall hear, and in no way understand; and in seeing you shall see, and in no way perceive.  For the heart of this people is grown fat, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and should understand with their heart and should be converted and I should heal them” (vs. 13-15).  Now that’s why God is not calling everyone.  That’s why God the Father has to intervene and draw those that He calls, grant them repentance, lead them to the acceptance of Christ as the sacrifice for their sins, and baptism and laying on of hands, and the Holy Spirit.  God knows what He’s doing.

He has given the world over to blindness.  He has given them over to their own ways.  That’s why He doesn’t want us going back into the world.  Because you see, you go back into the world and you walk back into the darkness, and you walk back into the blindness, and that’s the problem with the Laodiceans.  They have one foot in the world, and they have one foot in the church.  They have enough religion that they are acceptable to the world, and enough religion that if trouble comes that they feel they can run to God.  But you see, we need to understand the words of God.  Now we’ve seen this happen too, in our lifetime, haven’t we?  Yes, we have.  And the things that destroyed the Worldwide Church of God was internal corruption - lying, cheating, stealing.  False doctrine then, was the penalty that came upon them, and they closed their eyes, and they closed their ears to the word of God, and opened them to false doctrines and became a part of the world.

Now, they will receive what will come upon them.  Verse 16, “But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear.  For truly I say to you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see what you see…”  And as we saw recently concerning the book of Daniel, and the prophecies in Daniel, he didn’t know.  “…And have not seen, and to hear what you hear, and have not heard” (vs. 16-17).  Imagine, imagine what it would be if you could hear Jesus Christ in person.  Not just read the words which have been inspired to be preserved for us for the word of God to lead us to salvation.  But you could hear Christ in person.  What a fantastic thing.  You’d say, “What a fantastic thing that would be.”  Well, all the population there heard Him.  Healed thousands and thousands, and all of those things, and how many did they end up with on the Day of Pentecost?  One hundred twenty.  So it’s quite a thing, isn’t it, you see?  So God holds it.  Once you receive the word, you’re going to be responsible, even though there are outside influences that come along to affect you.  And let’s look at those influences that affect people, and where then, they make the wrong choices.

“Therefore hear the parable of the sower.”  Now you see, we’re talking about seed, we’re talking about sowing, and we’re going to see it talks about a harvest, in a little bit.  “When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it the wicked one comes and snatches away that which was sown in his heart.  This is he who was sown by the way.”  So, Satan the devil is able to come along and take away from you, and if you yield to him he’ll just suck it all out like a leach.  Verse 20, “Now the one who was sown upon the rocky places is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy.”  Now I remember a man that worked for me as a loan officer, and he thought, “Oh, this is great.  This is the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to me.  Boy, this is marvelous.”  Well, he fulfilled verse 21.  “Because he has not root in himself, he does not endure.  For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, he is quickly offended.  And the one who is sown among the thorns is the one who hears the word, and the cares of this life, and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word and it becomes unfruitful.  But the one who is sown on the good ground, this is the one who hears the word and understands, and who indeed brings forth fruit…” (vs. 18-23).    And that’s what God wants us to do.

Every Feast of Pentecost we are reminded that God has planted in us that which He wants to grow and to be harvested as the fruit of God.  The firstfruits of God in being in the church of the firstborn, as we will see, but God wants to come and reap a harvest from you.  And what will your harvest be?  And how will your harvest be?  Will it be with joy?  Will it be with happiness?  Will it be with abundance?  Or will it be like the one who had the one talent and went and hid it?  Those are all the choices that God gives us.  And that’s why, in order to produce the fruit, this is the one who hears and produces fruit one hundred-fold, another sixty-fold, and another thirty-fold.   And so we need to ask the question: how much are we producing?

Now let’s also put another factor into this equation.  Many times when trials are upon us and we draw close to God, that’s when we develop the most spiritual character, which is fine.  That’s absolutely true and needed, and there is nothing wrong with that.  And that will also produce fruit.  But let’s understand something else: that when you have things planted in the ground, and it’s bringing forth abundantly because there is peace, because there is time, because there is water, because there is fertilizer, because there is sunshine, because there is rain…and remember, God sends the former rain and the later rain, you see.  And we are the rain that the Holy Spirit brings upon us that we will bring forth the fruit and produce.

So in these times of peace, and I feel it more and more, brethren as we go along.  And I feel a sense of urgency that I have not felt ever before, that God wants us to really get serious about what He wants us to do, to really produce the fruit, to stay close to Him in prayer and study, and know the word of God and produce the character that God wants, because the day is coming when the night is going to fall.  And when it slams down with the new dark age, and all the hell that comes with it, there are going to be many running to and fro and wondering, “What are we going to do?”  There are going to be many who are going to be like the foolish virgins who did not do the will of God, who did not prepare themselves, who did not take oil in their lamps, who did not serve God with a pure heart, who did not get out and strive to produce and to increase and to bring forth fruit.  Because after all, you see, you belong to God, and you are His, and whatever fruit you produce is what He does in and through you.  And that’s why it’s so important that we understand the meaning of the Day of Pentecost and how it relates to the first resurrection.

Part 2

Now let’s continue right on here in Matthew 13. And He gives another parable. And this parable is that a man planted good seed in his field and then an enemy came along and planted tares. Now let’s see the explanation of this. Let’s pick it up here in verse 26. “And He put forth another parable to them saying, The kingdom of God is compared to a man who was sowing good seed in his field. And while men were sleeping…” Now tie that in with Matthew 25, the ten virgins, wise and foolish, both slumbered and slept. This means we’re going to have our down time. This means we’re going to have our weaknesses, you see. But then we need to be revived and really go forth in zeal. “While men were sleeping his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went away” (Matt. 13:25,AT). And this is like throwing infiltrators into the church. And this is why every once in a while God has got to scatter the church, He’s got to give the upheaval, He’s got to separate the wheat from the tares, He’s got to separate the enemy from those who love Him, and let the enemy go on their way thinking that they have a great victory, which they really don’t. But it has a way of cleansing and purging.

But you see, there’s something about tares, verse 26, “And when the blade sprouted and produced fruit, then the tares also appeared.” But you see, before the tares are apparent, before the wheat sprouts the heads of grain, the tares and the wheat look the same. So you can’t tell. And we saw how that happened. Some snuck in unawares, like it says there in Jude and 2 Peter, that they stealthily crept in. And they disrupted the churches. “So his servants came to the master of the house and said to him, Sir, now didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Now where did these tares come from? And he said, A man who is an enemy has done this. Then his servants said, Do you want us to go out and gather them? But he said, No, lest while you’re gathering the tares, you also uproot the wheat with them. But allow both to grow until the harvest. And at the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, reap the tares first, bind them into the furnace, but gather my wheat into my granary” (vs. 26-30). Now, gathering the wheat into the granary then is, being resurrected and coming into the house of God. So we are likened unto a harvest. That’s why Pentecost has to be the day of the first resurrection because it is a harvest feast.

Now, let’s come down to verse 33. And here’s where we understand the good use of leaven. Verse 33, “Another parable He spoke to them, The kingdom of heaven is compared to leaven…” Now you see, that’s why only during the Feast of Unleavened Bread is leaven compared to sin. And it’s compared to sin during that time because leaven is such a common thing. And leaven can do good things. It makes fine bread, it causes it to rise, you see. And it also helps to ferment wine and beer, and to do other things. It’s also is in the process of pickling and things like this. So here’s leaven in a good sense. Now you can’t say that the kingdom of heaven is likened unto sin because it’s not, it’s righteousness. So then here is a good use of leaven. “…Which a woman [a woman being a type of the church] took and hid in three measures of flour until all was leavened.” Now this shows the process the process of growing. Now when you reach a certain point, and I think it’s interesting that when you leaven bread, you let it rise and then you punch it down. And we can liken that unto trials and difficulties, and growing and overcoming. And then it rises again. Now I don’t know if you do it two times or three times. I suppose it would depend on what kind of bread you were making.

Now when it’s raised in it’s final form, it is either made into loaves and then raised to it’s final form, or into rolls or into whatever it may be. Now when you put it in the oven and bake it, you have permanently changed the nature of the dough into a finished product of bread. So likewise, that’s why we saw in Leviticus 23 there were to be two leavened loaves which were to be brought and accepted by God. These two loaves symbolize:

  • The firstfruits who will be permanently be changed forever at the resurrection, who come from the Old Covenant.
  • The firstfruits which come from the New Covenant, who at the resurrection will also be permanently changed.

Now, let’s understand something, in that then there are not going to be, as I will say, any half-baked Christians. Because you see, you’re either going to make the resurrection or you’re not going to make the resurrection. That’s the whole story involved. So this is why we have the two loaves in Leviticus 23. And this is why the kingdom of God is likened unto leaven, because those, as we will see, who are in the resurrection will be changed just like the dough when it’s leavened and then baked has been permanently changed.

Now let’s come to Acts 2, which is the whole focal point of Pentecost and it’s meaning in the New Testament. And this is a start. Remember, when you received the Holy Spirit, it is the planting of the seed. Then you go through your whole lifetime, which is the growth, and then you die and are put in the grave. And then the harvest comes. So right here we are seeing on the day of Pentecost:

  • The beginning of the church by the giving of the Holy Spirit.
  • The very firstfruits after the apostles and the 120, which included the apostles, the very firstfruits into the church who received the firstfruits of the Holy Spirit.

Now, verse 1. I’m going to read it to you the way that it should be translated. “And when the day of Pentecost, the fiftieth day was being fulfilled…” A present tense articular infinitive meaning, it was being fulfilled. Not after it had been completed, but during the completion of it, or while the day of Pentecost was being fulfilled, while the day of Pentecost was being completed. Or during the fulfilling of the day of Pentecost. All of those would be legitimate translations of the articular infinitive. “…They were all with one accord in the same place.” Now that’s interesting, isn’t it? Because what’s going to happen on the last Pentecost, we’re all going to be in one accord in one place, are we not? Yes, as we’ll see on the sea of glass.

Then suddenly there came the Holy Spirit, like the sound of a mighty rushing wind, the tongues of fire. They heard them speak in their own languages, and we find the whole end of this being…let’s come down here to verse 36 after Peter gives a powerful message, tells the meaning of it, tells about Christ, brings them to repentance. And verse 36, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know with full assurance, that God has made this same Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” Now God wants us to understand something concerning our sins. Since Christ died for the sins of the world, He also died for us. And if He died for us, that means He died for you as an individual. And if He died for you as an individual to cover your sins, that means you had your particular part in the crucifixion of Christ. You need to think about that. You need to understand the severity, and the consequences of sin that was put upon Christ.

So that’s why he said verse 37, “And after hearing this, they were cut to the heart, and they said to Peter and to the other apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? And Peter said, Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you, and your children, and to all those that afar off, meaning as many as the Lord our God will call” (vs. 36-40, AT). And that’s a prophecy coming clear down to our day. “And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Be saved from this perverse generation.” And if that was a perverse generation, oh I wonder what they’d call this generation. Perverse, perverse, perverse? And God is saving us from this perverse generation and we are to shine as lights in the world because of that, brethren.

Now, verse 41, “They those who joyfully received his message were baptized, about three thousand souls were added that day.” The day of Pentecost. So here is the first fulfillment of the day of Pentecost of the spiritual fulfillment of the two wave loaves which were waved before the Lord. The accepting of the 3000.

Now let’s go on and see some other things concerning the firstfruits. Let’s understand something here. In the Old Testament we were told that in Jeremiah 2:3 that Israel was firstfruits unto God. The church is the true Israel of God. We are firstfruits unto God. Now let’s see that. Let’s come here to James 1, and let’s see what James shows, what we are to God. We are called the firstfruits of His creation, the most important thing of all that God has created. Now you consider the heavens, you consider the earth, you consider the universe, you consider all of the planets, you consider all the people, you consider the earth and everything that is in it and all that God has done to make it so that mankind can be here, and the most important thing is those who are the firstfruits. That’s the most important thing to God.

Now, let’s pick it up here in the first chapter of James. Let’s begin in verse 17. “Every good act of giving, and every perfect gift is from above…” Now we have the good act of giving - God gave His only begotten Son, because He loved the world, and whosoever believes on Him should not perish but have everlasting life. That is a good and perfect gift. The gift of the Holy Spirit is a good and perfect gift. The gift of the understanding of the word of God is a perfect gift. Living in the day and age in which we now live, and able to see unfold before us all the things that have been prophesied from the creation of the world are going to be finished in this life. And we may be able to see all of that, which then is a good and perfect gift from God. And then the resurrection is the greatest and most perfect gift that comes from God because then you will be perfected, changed from flesh to spirit. Changed from a human being to a living eternal glorified son or daughter of God. “…And coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” Remember that. “According to His own will [because He desired to do so] begat us with the word of truth, for us to be a kind of firstfruits of all His created beings” (James 1:17-18, AT). And remember as we saw during Unleavened Bread, Christ is being created in us. Salvation is creation, and there is the final act of creation by resurrecting us from the dead.

Now let’s come to 1 Corinthians 15, and let’s see something concerning Christ. He, as we saw, for the Wave Sheaf Offering, is the first of the firstfruits. He is the premiere sheaf. He leads the way. Now here in 1 Corinthians 15:20. “But Christ has now been raised from the dead, and became the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death [that’s through Adam], by man also came the resurrection of death [the second Adam, Christ]. For as in Adam all die,…” (1 Cor. 15:20-22, AT). And no man has stopped that. The only ones who will not die in Adam are those who are still alive at the time of Christ. Everyone else before the return of Christ is going to die in Adam. No way around it.

Now let’s understand something also. That if you die in the faith, that’s a glorification of God, and you’ll be in your place of rest, and you will hear the voice of Christ to call you when the resurrection comes on that last Pentecost. “…So also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order…” (vs. 22). That shows no one is going to heaven, you see. Christ the firstfruit, then at His coming those who are Christ’s. So that’s why it’s so very important.

Let’s come to Romans 8:19 and let’s see something else concerning firstfruits. That we have what is called the firstfruits of the Spirit. And I want you to understand something here. Whether the world realizes it or not, the world is waiting for you, and all the sons of God. It’s out there going it’s own way, all the troubles, and difficulties, and war, and sin, and wretchedness, and it doesn’t know why. And it doesn’t have a clue. And they try everything to change. They try everything to make it work. But you see, human nature being evil, a mixture of good and evil, can never make things right. And all of that is part of the curse that came with Adam.

Now let’s understand this, verse 20. “Because the creation was subject to vanity, not willingly,…” God did it because there was hope. “…But by reason of Him Who subjected it in hope in order that the creation itself might be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God” (Rom. 8:20-21, AT). And that’s us at the resurrection. That’s what the world is waiting for now. And it doesn’t know that. And that’s why we need, brethren, to be dedicated. We need to be excited about what God has given us to do. Our calling that God has given us. It’s a one time special calling that is greater than anything else.

“For we know that all the creation is groaning together and travailing together until now. And not only that, but we ourselves who have the firstfruit of the Holy Spirit…” Yes, we have the firstfruit. That is the begettal, so that we become the bonified harvest of the full firstfruit at the harvest at that last Pentecost. “…Are also groaning within ourselves waiting for the sonship, that is, the redemption of our bodies.” Now also, let’s understand this, and how important that this is. And let’s understand how important it is in relationship to Christ, ok?

Now verse 26, “In the same way also, the Spirit is conjointly helping our weaknesses,…” That’s why God has given the Spirit. Because our weaknesses will pull us down, but the Holy Spirit there is to help us and lift us up. Because we do not fully understand...and this is true, and pray. What we should be praying for according is necessary, but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be expressed by us. God, in our prayers, conveys the meaning and feeling of our hear, and our mind, and our prayers, and brings that to God in an understandable language without all of the trappings and difficulties that happen because of the weakness of our mind, and brings to God a pure offering, which is, as we have seen, is like in the book of Revelation where the prayers of the saints ascend up to the altar of incense and before God, and are a sweet incense before Him, you see.

Verse 27, “But the one who searches the hearts comprehends what the strivings of the Spirit are,…” So God understands it. “…But makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” And right now, with the Holy Spirit of God, it is interceding for you to bring your thoughts, and your mind, and your heart, and your intent before Christ, before Whom everyone is laid bare. And He is our High Priest to help us, to hear us, to cleanse us, to forgive us, to lead us, to guide us, to develop His character in us, see.

Now verse 28, “For we know that all things work together for good to those who love God,…” And that’s the paramount important thing, brethren, to love God with all your heart, and all your mind, and all your soul, and all your being. “…To those who are called according to His purpose [which you have been]. Because those whom He did foreknow [which He knows you now], He did predestinate [and this is your destiny] to be conformed to the image of His own Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren” (vs. 28-29, AT). And that’s why He’s the firstborn of the firstfruits, and we are the firstfruits, and we are the church of the firstborn.

Now let’s come to 1 John 3, and here is a great and marvelous thing, brethren. I want you to understand that no religion in the world has a clue. They don’t understand. Now I know there have been people upset at me because I say God hates religion. He does. Now you just step back and you look at all religions, and you ask the question: are they doing the will of God or are they blinded? Do they understand the purpose of God? Do they know the plan of God? Do they understand what the whole purpose of human life is? The answer is, no. And as a matter of fact, the religions of this world decry what the Bible teaches, that we will become the very sons of God, and that we will share in the very glory of Christ, the same glory that He has. But God wants us to understand that, and keep that as a burning thing right in the forehead of our minds and our thoughts.

1 John 3:1, “Behold, what glorious love the Father has given to us, that we should be called the children of God.” Because you see, the people that are in the world are the children of the devil doing his will, see. Now we are the children of God. “For that very reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are the children of God…” Now you think about that. Because you have the begettal of the Holy Spirit, you are a child of God, just like when it refers to John the Baptist. Now remember what happened when Mary came to visit Elisabeth when she was six months pregnant. The child leaped in her womb at the sound of the voice of Mary coming to see Elisabeth. So though you are not yet born into the kingdom, you are every much a child as it describes John the Baptist was a child at that particular time, but you have not yet been born of the resurrection into the kingdom of God, you have not been born again. But God counts us in the same way. “…Now we are the children of God, and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be,…” Just like a baby that is developing before it’s born, you don’t know what it is. It hasn’t been revealed yet because it hasn’t been born. I mean, you can have a good idea, but you really don’t know. But this one thing John says we know, and I want you to know this brethren. And I want you to really grasp this, and I want you to understand the power and the meaning of the Day of Pentecost. “…But we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him because we shall see Him exactly as He is.” And this is to propel us in growth and overcoming. Verse 3 says. “Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself even as He is pure” (1 John 3:1-3, AT).

Now, let’s come to Revelation 1 and let’s see what Christ looks like. And let’s get a glimpse of some of this glory that God is going to share with us that we are going to be part of. Let’s come here to Revelation 1:11. “And I heard this loud voice like a trumpet saying to me, I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, and what you see, write in a book, and send it to the churches that are in Asia…” Now isn’t it interesting that there are seven churches? And isn’t it interesting that there are seven weeks unto the harvest? And there’s a parallel that takes place there.

Now verse 12, “And I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands.” That is seven, probably in a circle. “And in the midst of the seven lampstands, one like the Son of man, clothed with a garment reaching to the feet, girded about the chest with a golden breastplate. His head and His hairs were white like wool, white as snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and His feet were like fine brass, as if they glowed in a furnace, and His voice was as the sound of many waters. And in His right hand he had seven stars. And a sharp twoedged sword went out of His mouth, and His countenance was as the sun shining in it’s full strength” (Rev. 1:11-16, AT). And you are going to have that kind of glory, because it says we will be like Him.

Now let’s just briefly review the seven churches. I’m not going to go through them except to say this: each of the churches pictures the equivalent of a one week harvest, the seven weeks to the harvest, as fulfilled in the time leading up to the first resurrection from Christ Who is the first of the firstfruits, to the resurrection of the saints from the dead. And when that happens that is going to be a glorious thing. Now when we come to chapter seven we have something that is very important. So we have the seven churches - 1,2,3,4,5,6,7, but we also know that there is something else that God is doing, reserved for the 50th day, or the eighth day of the seventh week. And we find that in Revelation 7 which is the 144,000, and the great innumerable multitude.

Now what I am going to do, I’ve been, because working on the New Testament project, I have not been able to finish an article that was started by Harry and Cindy Curley, where they took the tapes I did on the 144,000…and I worked somewhat on it for a booklet on the 144,000. So what I’m going to do, I’m just going to say that if you want that preliminary draft…please understand it’s a preliminary draft and it needs to be finished, but there is a lot of good information there which will help you understand about the 144,000 and the great innumerable multitude of Revelation 7, and the 144,000 or Revelation 14. There are two different sets of 144,000.

But back here to Revelation 7. This is the 50th day harvest, which God reserves exclusively for Himself. This is one in which that He sends the Holy Spirit and has an angel seal them with the Holy Spirit, as differentiated from during the time now where we repent and are baptized and receive the Holy Spirit with the laying on of hands. And the 144,000 in Revelation 7 have to do with the children of Israel, and the great innumerable multitude are all of those who come out of great tribulation. And they are the last day harvest. Very similar to the parable that Christ gave of those who were working where the man went out, and he hired them the first hour. You know, and then all the way down through the day. And he came to the very eleventh hour and he hired them, brought them into his vineyard. They worked just a short time. He paid them first. And he paid them the same as the ones that started at sunrise. See because, that’s symbolic of eternal life. So likewise, the 144,000 / great innumerable multitude are those who are the eleventh hour. But they make it into the kingdom of God. And that’s what’s so important and what’s so profound.

Ok, so let’s come to Revelation 11, since we’re here, and let’s look at another principle that God has, and we’ll apply this, and then we will look at the thing concerning the trumpet, and the resurrection from the dead, and the harvest of the firstfruits and where they will be. Revelation 11, and let’s pick it up here with the two witnesses whose bodies laid in the street of the city called Sodom and Egypt, which is Jerusalem, where Christ was crucified. And then they’re resurrected.

Now let’s pick it up here in verse 11. “Then I saw the Spirit of life from God enter into them, after the three and a half days, and they stood on their feet, and great fear fell upon those who were watching them.” I guess so. Now here is a tremendous thing to understand. Remember the principle: the last shall be first, and the first shall be last. Here we see it exactly fulfilled in the resurrection. The last two who are martyred, the two witnesses, are the first two who are resurrected.

Now let’s continue on right here in verse 12. “Then I heard a great voice from heaven saying, Come up here. And they ascended into heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them rise. And in that hour there was a great earthquake, a tenth part of the city fell, seven thousand men were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were filled with fear and gave glory to the God of heaven. The second woe is past, behold the third woe is coming immediately. The seventh angel sounded his trumpet…” Now let’s notice what happened at this seventh trumpet. This is one trumpet, not many trumpets. It is the last trumpet, and it is the trumpet that sounds for the resurrection, as we will see right here. “And there were great voices in heaven saying, The kingdoms of this world have become the our Lord’s and of 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 worshipped Him saying, We give you thanks, O Lord God Almighty, Who is, and Who was, and Who is to come, that You’ve taken to Yourself Your great power and have reigned. The nations were angry, Your wrath is come, and that the time of the dead that You should judge them, and to give…” Now notice: “…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” (Rev. 11:12-18, AT). That is the time of the resurrection.

Now let’s come back to 1 Corinthians 15, and let’s see how this ties right in with it, and how with the sound of the trumpet, not trumpets… And remember that on the Day of Pentecost the sound of the trumpet was blown at the temple. Now let’s pick it up here 1 Corinthians 15:44. “It was sown a natural body…” That is when you are put into the grave. “…It is raised a spiritual body.” There will be a complete change, just like when the loaf of the leavened dough is baked, it is a permanent change. So here is a permanent change with a spiritual body. “There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.” So the very fact that you can put your arms around yourself, and give yourself a hug and squeeze, as it were, you have walking all the time with you, your body, wherever you go. That is an absolute guarantee, if you have the Spirit of God, that if you endure to the end, you will have a spirit body. No doubt about it. That’s why God does not want you to doubt one second. He does not want you to waver in belief one bit. And if you do, go stand in front of a mirror and see that you have a physical body, and know that you will have a spiritual body. Now, it’s not going to be the same kind of body that you have now, because it’s spiritual.

Now notice verse 45. “And according as it is written, The first man Adam because 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 the dust. The second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the one made of dust, so are also those who are made of dust. And as the heavenly one, so also are those who are heavenly…”, which you will be. You will have the glory of God with the spirit body. “…As we have borne the image if the one made of dust, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly one. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God…” You must be a spirit being. “…Neither does corruption inherit incorruption.” And Paul says, “Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep [that is remain in the grave], but we shall be changed, in an instant, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump [not trumpets]; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. And this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. Now, this corruption shall not put on incorruptibility, and this mortal shall not put on immortality. Then shall come to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory” (vs. 45-54, AT). And yes, that will be a tremendous victory. Absolutely marvelous.

Now let’s come to Matthew 24, and let’s see how this is going to happen here. Let’s pick it up here in verse 29. “But immediately after the tribulation of those days…” Now almost every Pentecost I go through the chronology of that, so this year I won’t, but you can go back over some of the other Pentecost tapes and get the chronology of it. “…The sun shall be darkened, the moon shall not give her light, the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. Then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven. Then shall all of the tribes of the earth mourn as they see the Son of man coming upon the clouds of heaven with great power and glory” (Matt. 24:29-30, AT). And let’s understand this brethren. What happens - they will see Him first. Those of us who are alive will see this.

Then an event happens. Here is the harvest, verse 31, “Then He shall send His angels with a sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven unto the other.” And they shall carry them, as we will see, to the sea of glass. Now let’s understand something: as you view the earth from God’s throne, as it is turning, when the Day of Pentecost begins at sunset, as you go around the earth, it’s 24 hours till sunset comes to everyone. And then when in order to compete the day, then sunset comes and it takes another 24 yours for it to come to everyone on the earth, so there is going to be 24 hours of resurrection if we could put it that way.

Now let’s come to 1 Thessalonians 4, and we see again that Paul also reaffirms and upholds the same teachings that Christ gave. Now let’s pick it up here in verse 13. “But I do not wish you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, 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 with Christ will God bring with Him. For this we say by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and are remaining unto the coming of the Lord shall in no wise proceed those who have fallen asleep. Because the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout of the command, with the voice of the archangel, with the trump of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first, and we who remain alive shall be caught up together to meet Him in the clouds for the meeting with the Lord in the air” (1 Thes. 4:13-17, AT).

Now where are we going to meet him? Now let’s come to Revelation 14, and let’s see the harvest. Revelation 14:14, “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 a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple crying with a loud voice, to Him Who’s sitting on the cloud, Thrust in your sickle because the time has come for you to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe” (Rev. 14:14-15, AT). And that’s the first resurrection. We are the firstfruits, the first resurrection.

Now where are we going to go? Now let’s pick it up here Revelation 15:2. “And I saw a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who had gotten victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they are singing the song of Moses [which is the victory song, overcoming death] 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 saints. Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name, for you are holy? And all nations shall come and worship before You, for Your judgments have been revealed.” So when we’re resurrected, we’re going to meet Christ in the air. We’ll meet Him on the sea of glass. We will be on the sea of glass from Pentecost until the time that we return to the earth with Him on the Feast of Trumpets. And that’s when the servants of God will fight. So that’s the meaning of the Feast of Pentecost.