Fred R. Coulter - May 30, 2004

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And greetings, brethren. Welcome to the Feast of Pentecost, the day of Pentecost, 2004. And as we are going to see, this is going to be the greatest day in the history of the Church of God, and the second greatest day in the history of the world since the creation. And we’re going to approach taking up the offering in a little bit different way. What I want you to do, I want to think about the calling that God has given, and I want you to go ahead and base your offering on what God has done for you. Now let’s come to 2 Peter 1:1, so that we understand what God is doing. Because we need to realize God has called us to the greatest, most precious calling that there really is. And this day of the Feast of Pentecost shows us how it’s going to end. And the end, then, will be a new beginning; and that the rest of the plan of God cannot continue until the fulfillment of this day of Pentecost and the first resurrection.

“Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained the same precious faith as ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, according as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him Who called us by His own glory and virtue; through which He has given to us the greatest and most precious promises, that through these you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” (2 Peter 1:1-4, FV). So God doing this for us, and in calling us, and having us the special firstfruits of His spiritual creation, we’re going to go ahead now and take up the offering. But base it upon the promises that God has given you, as well as all of the blessings that He has bestowed upon you.

(Pause)

Now let’s begin this holy day by turning to Leviticus 23. Of course, we know all the holy days are listed there. Now we have already covered on how to count Pentecost. But I just want to cover two things here in Leviticus 23, and that is on the counting. And this is so important because one of the things Satan likes to do, and the reason he does is because the plan of God, and the calling of the saints, and everything leading up to the first resurrection is so profound and important, that Satan likes to get all of his devious devices to change and twist and turn and get people confused. So because of that we need to go back and just reiterate so that we understand exactly how to count, where we end up, and why we end up on this day. And it has to be a continuation from the Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the resurrection of Christ; and then to Pentecost. It is all one long process in those two seasons. So let’s read it here.

Leviticus 23:15, “And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath [that is, the first day of the week], from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering;...” which was the premier sheaf, then which was a type of the resurrection of Christ and the acceptance of Christ, the resurrected Christ. He was resurrected just as the Sabbath ended before this day began, and then in the morning He ascended to the Father. It says, “...seven sabbaths shall be complete: even unto the morrow after the seventh Sabbath...” And the only way you have the morrow after the seventh Sabbath - and the Hebrew here is shabot - is that it starts out on a Sunday and ends up on a Sunday. Then it says, “...shall ye offer a new [meal] meat offering unto the LORD” (Lev. 23:15-16). And a special offering was to be brought of two loaves. And these loaves had leaven in them.

Now you see, during the Feast of Unleavened Bread the leaven was a type of sin. But here now, leaven is a type of a good action of leaven. And then when the loaves were baked it was permanent. Now back in Matthew 13 it talks about the woman who took three measures of flour and put leaven in it until all was leavened. And this was like the kingdom of God. So this really means that because the leaven is in there, you put in the dough, and then when it is leavened it’s changing form. It is changing. It is growing. And that is much like to our spiritual growth from the good side of the action of leaven, which is then a type of the Holy Spirit, as far as changing the bread. So likewise, through the Holy Spirit our natures are to be changed, completely changed. And then when the bread is risen it may be knocked down several times before the baker is ready to put it in the oven. But when it is ready to put in the oven and baked, then the dough is permanently changed. Now this is what we are talking about in relationship to those who are the firstfruits. When the resurrection comes, as we will see, we will be permanently changed forever. During the seven weeks leading up to Pentecost, that’s the harvest of God, as we have seen through the seven churches. And there has to be growth, there has to be change, as we saw yesterday. The message was, “And he who has an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” So this is God’s message to us so that we can come to the point of the resurrection and be permanently changed. So that’s why these loaves were made with leaven.

Now let’s look at some other things concerning the Feast of Pentecost that we have already covered. And as we went back and we started with creation, let’s come on down to one of the greatest and most significant events that took place this side of the Flood. And that’s after God took the children of Israel and led them out of Egypt, lead them through the Red Sea, led them to Mount Sinai, God came down and spoke to His people on Pentecost and gave them the Ten Commandments. And then after they agreed to all the words - not only the words that God has given, but also to all the statutes and judgments which Moses read in their ears - and they said, “All that the Lord has commanded we will do.” So then God established a covenant with them. And we’re going see there is going to be likewise many, many parallels that we will see that took place there in Mount Sinai and the giving of the Ten Commandments, and how that applies to the church, and how it applies to the resurrection, and how it applies also to the new covenant that will be given at that time. Because whenever God deals with His people He always begins with a covenant. We saw that He did with Abraham; we saw that He did with the children of Israel; we saw when Hezekiah did what he did, that he made a covenant in his heart to love and serve God. When Christ came He established the New Covenant. Now when the resurrection occurs there’s going to be another covenant that will be given just based upon the parallelism that we find there in Exodus 20 through 24.

Now when we come to Exodus 24 - let’s go there, and let’s see one thing. But if you do not have the tapes that I have done on the sea of glass, be sure and write for them. Because we’re not going to go through it in great detail today, except just to go ahead and announce that we have the tapes. Now let’s come to Exodus 24:7. Now this is the day after Pentecost, and it’s very interesting that it takes place the day after Pentecost. Because the covenant between Jesus Christ, God the Father, and the resurrected saints cannot take place until after the resurrection. Then there will be that new eternal covenant which will go on forever. Now let’s pick it up here in verse 7. “And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the LORD hath said we will do, and be obedient. And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD hath made with you concerning all these words.” Now we have had the blood of Christ applied to us. So that is our covenant now.

Now let’s see what happened then. And this is kind of a type of - going up on the mountain - is kind of a type of being resurrected to meet Christ in the air, as we will see a little bit later here. Now notice, “Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel:...” So God wanted to have plenty of witnesses to this. “...And they saw the God of Israel:...” Now they didn’t see Him directly, but as they were looking up toward the top of the mountain 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.” So what was the Lord God standing on but a sea of glass? That’s what He was standing on. Because there had to be a separation between all of those other than Moses, that they would not be able to come up near to God as did Moses, as we will see.

Now notice, “And upon the nobles of the children of Israel He laid not His hand: also they saw God, and did eat and drink.” So this is almost like a wedding feast, is it not? Because the covenant that God made with Israel was to take them as His people. Now that’s a covenant that God has made with us now. So this is almost like the wedding feast. Now then, here is where it gets a little different here: “And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to Me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them” (Ex. 24:7-12). So Moses was allowed to go up and see God and talk to Him, as it were, face-to-face. So this is the second greatest event that happened since the creation of the world - God speaking to the children of Israel and giving the Ten Commandments.

Now then, let’s see what happened on the Pentecost when we come to the New Testament. Let’s come to Acts 2. And while we’re turning there let’s understand something: that God, through the Old Testament, established Jerusalem as the place where He would place His name, and the place where He would have the temple built. And so the temple that was there in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus and the apostles was the second temple, which was actually started by Ezra and Nehemiah after they came out of the Babylonian captivity; because seventy years before the captivity, God destroyed it because of the sins of the people. So then we come down to the time of Herod, and Herod had a great building program where he beautified the temple, where he really expanded the area and made it one of the near wonders of the world at that time. So here’s the place where God’s name was placed. Here is where His temple was. Here is where His people would come and worship. Here is where His priesthood was. Now God, in showing that He was going to do something different, then a very startling event took place, unheard of in all of the history of the world. So this again - brethren, I want you to understand something very important: God has called us and has given us the understanding of the most important events in the history of the world and mankind. And this knowledge and understanding is really fantastic and profound. How many people have this knowledge and understanding? How many people have some knowledge of it, but they really don’t have the full understanding?

Let’s come here and begin in verse 1. “And when the day of Pentecost, the fiftieth day, was being fulfilled,...” Now that is as clear a translation as you can get out of it. “...They were all with one accord in the same place.” And then God did a profound miracle: “And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like the rushing of a powerful wind, and filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them divided tongues as of fire, and sat upon each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit; and they began to speak with other languages, as the Spirit gave them the words to proclaim,” Now let’s understand something. Let’s just make this clear: one, God is not the author of confusion; two, God will not do something that leads to confusion, and His Spirit is the Spirit of the truth. Three, God created all the languages back at the Tower of Babel. So what God is doing here in opening the way, as we will see, to proclaim through this salvation to all men, He is going back and He is saying that He is going to, as it were, in spite of the confusion of the languages that He gave, now He is going to make it known to all people in their language the words of salvation. So this goes back very similar to where on Pentecost God spoke the Ten Commandments from Mount Sinai.

Now here after the three and half year ministry of Jesus Christ and the teaching of the apostles, what do we have? We have the apostles now speaking the words of God in multiple languages so they can all understand the beginning of salvation to those that God will call. So this is a tremendous thing. This is a fantastic witness. The ministry of Jesus Christ was not done in a corner, as the apostle Paul said. And as Peter told Cornelius when he went to see him in Caesarea, he spoke of Jesus and said, “And you know these things” (Acts 10:37, paraphrased). In other words, the whole ministry of Jesus Christ was powerful and well known. And it was also well known that Jesus Christ was crucified and died. And many of them probably heard that He was raised from the dead, although the guards and the Jews and the Romans kept saying, “The disciples came and stole His body away.”

So now here they are all gathered there. And just think, I want you to also think of two things as we’re going through here: all of those who came to the days of Unleavened Bread, and the Passover, and were there for the crucifixion, and the resurrection, and so forth, I want you to think about what they must have told all the other Jews when they went back to their synagogues and their cities and their countries where they were in the Diaspora. They probably told them about Jesus. They told them about what He went through, told them about the darkness that covered the land from noon until 3:00. They told them about the rent of the veil in the temple, and the great and fantastic earthquake that took place. Many of them were probably there even when some of the relatives came in who were resurrected from the dead back to the flesh again so that they could be witnesses in Jerusalem. Maybe they even talked to some of them.

So here they are all coming to the temple of God in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost. And this is a momentous event. Imagine how everyone was anticipating, just like they did when Jesus came up to the feast. They said, “Where is He?” Imagine what they were now here on the day of Pentecost saying: “I wonder what’s going to happen at this Feast? I wonder where His disciples are? I wonder if the priests know about it? I wonder what is going to happen?” Let’s put this back in the setting in which it really took place.

Now Acts 2:5, “Now there were many Jews who were sojourning in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven. And when word of this went out, the multitude came together and were confounded, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. And they were all amazed, and marveled, saying to one another, ‘Behold, are not all these who are speaking Galileans?’” Now this also tells us they knew an awful lot about the disciples didn’t they? They knew they were from Galilee; they knew they were with Jesus. And now look at what’s happening. This is an amazing event. “‘Then how is it that we hear each one in our own language in which we were born? Parthians and Medes and Elamites,...’” All from the ten tribes of Israel scattered out because of the captivity. “‘...And those who inhabit Mesopotamia [the Jews who did not come back with Ezra and Nehemiah], and Judea and Cappadocia [that’s Asia Minor], Pontus and Asia, both Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt [and there are lots of Jews down in Egypt] and the parts of Libya which are near Cyrene, and the Romans who are sojourning here, both Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians; we hear them speaking in our own languages the great things of God.’” So this was a momentous day.

Today when you have those who claim a “Pentecostal” religion, let’s understand something - that is nothing but a lying, satanic, counterfeit; had nothing to do with what this event portrays, or what was going on there. So they said, verse 12, “And they were all amazed and greatly perplexed, saying to one another, ‘What does this mean?’” Because they knew that at the temple that if something like this took place, it had to have great meaning. And so there it is. This is not only when the Church was formed, but this is when the beginning of the preaching of the gospel in power by the apostles went forth in a most dynamic and miraculous way. “But others were mocking and saying, ‘They are full of new wine.’” Now you’re always going to have the dissenters. You’re always going to have the skeptical and unbelieving. So don’t worry about them. Don’t pay any attention to them. It’s just like it is today with the religions of this world.

Brethren, I want to tell you something very clearly: all of those who are Sunday-keepers, all of those who keep the holidays of this world, all of those who go into the Scriptures and pick and choose what they want - to have their nice little Jesus, and to have their nice little gospel - they need to be ashamed because they would be so partial with the Word of God. We have nothing to be ashamed of. God has called us to the greatest calling, to the greatest thing. He has called us to eternal life, to be as He is; to educate us with His Word; to grant us His Spirit. And to show you how great and Almighty He is, He started the church this way.

So, “Then Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice and spoke out to them: ‘Men, Jews, and all those of you who inhabit Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and pay attention to my words. For these are not drunken as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day.’” Right at the time the Jews were offering the morning sacrifice (because at that time they were not offering the morning sacrifice at sunrise like God said - they were doing it about 9:00 in the morning). So right at this time when all of the things were going to take place right at the temple, here this begins. And you know when they offered the sacrifices they blew the trumpet. So we have a parallel back there, going clear back to Exodus 20, where on the day of Pentecost when God gave the law, the trumpet of God was blowing. And now here the trumpet blew, the sacrifices were started, and all of a sudden this great commotion comes about of speaking in tongues. And they didn’t know what to do.

So Peter said, verse 16, “‘But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel:...’” Now we want to read this, because this is going to give us a clue as to how God is going to finish the Pentecost harvest. Because what he quoted here did not all take place on that day of Pentecost. Now at this time, the apostles were thinking that Christ would come back very soon. That’s why Jesus told them the night of His last Passover, He said, “I have many things to say to you, but you’re not able to bear them now” (John 16:12, paraphrased). And they wouldn’t have been able to bear the fact that it was going to be nearly two thousand years before He returns. So they were thinking that this was going to happen quite soon. So this is why he goes to this prophecy and he brings this prophecy of Joel. Now it did apply in part then. But as we’re going to see, it is going to apply in its fullest at the last Pentecost before the resurrection. So that would actually make it the next to the last Pentecost. So hang on, we’ll get there.

“‘ “And it shall come to pass that in the last days,” says God, “that I will pour out 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; and even upon My servants and upon My handmaids will I pour out My Spirit in those days, and they shall prophesy; and I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and vapors of smoke.” ’” Now part of this occurred, verse 20, “‘ “The sun shall be turned into darkness [which it did] and the moon into blood [which it probably did], before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.” ’” Now we’re talking about the Day of the Lord. Now here what do we have? We have a prophecy, and the Day of the Lord, and Pentecost put together. So we need to keep this in mind. “‘ “And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” ’”

Now he continues, verse 22, “‘Men, Israelites, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarean, a man sent forth to you by God, as demonstrated by works of power and wonders and signs, which God performed by Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know;...’” So this is widespread knowledge. Now someone will surely ask the question, “I wonder why we can’t find the historical Jesus?” I’ll tell you why: because it’s contained in the Bible. And if you don’t believe the Bible you won’t find it. Because the Orthodox Jews who succeeded in writing the history of the Jews eliminated Jesus from their history because of their hatred toward Him. That is why. And that’s why the ossuary which says, “James the son of Joseph the brother of Jesus” that was found absolutely turned the Jewish community on edge. Now they say it’s not authentic. But later proof has shown that it is authentic. And that shows that Jesus the man, Who was the Son of God, did exist and did preach. But their expunging from history the historical Jesus was very thorough and very complete. That’s why we go to the Word of God. That’s why the history is contained here. And that’s why when you read the commentaries in the New Testament, why God had the apostles write it and canonize it, because they preserved the truth; whereas the world would not preserve the truth.

Let’s ask another question. As Jesus said, “They hated Me and My Father” (John 15:23, paraphrased). Now do you suppose that they are going to preserve the history of someone they absolutely reviled and hated with the greatest despicable hatred possible? Of course not. So that’s why it’s in the New Testament. So they knew back then. Now also, verse 23, “‘Him, having been delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you have seized by lawless hands and have crucified and killed.’” And as I said earlier, these were the very ones who stood there and said, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” And God offered them forgiveness and repentance and many of them took it. He said, “‘But God has raised Him up, having loosed the throes of death, because it was not possible for Him to be held by it;…’” And then He gave the prophecy of David.

Let’s come down here to 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 after hearing this, they were cut to the heart; and they said to Peter and the other apostles, ‘Men and brethren, what shall we do?’ Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent and be baptized each one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you yourselves shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’” So the very ones who said, “Let His blood be upon us and upon our children,” some of those very ones now had the blood of Jesus Christ applied to them for the forgiveness of their sins, and that particular sin of condemning Jesus to death. He continues on, “‘For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all those who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God may call.’ And with many other words he earnestly testified and exhorted, saying, ‘Be saved from this perverse generation.’ Then those who joyfully received his message were baptized;...” I imagine so. Can you imagine how those felt who said, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him! Away with Him! Away with Him! Give us Barabbas!” now God brings to repentance? Can you imagine the joy of having that lifted from off your mind and heart and soul? Yes, they joyfully received the message were baptized, “...and about three thousand souls were added that day” (Acts 2:1-24, 36-41, FV).

Now let’s come to 1 Corinthians 15, because this is talking about the resurrection. The resurrection is what the day of Pentecost is all about, as we’re going to see. Now let’s pick it up here, 1 Corinthians 15:20. “But now Christ has been raised from the dead; He has become the firstfruit of those who have fallen asleep.” That’s the wave sheaf offering. And the Wave Sheaf Offering day begins the fiftieth count, and it ends on Pentecost, and so you see the connection. Now let’s see when the rest of the firstfruits will be resurrected. Because James the apostle wrote that we are a kind of firstfruits of His creation. And that means the spiritual creation that God is doing in us now. That is the greatest creative work that God is doing at the present time. So here, Christ the firstfruits, “...of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in His own order:...” There’s an order of things in the plan of God.

Now notice the connection here: “...Christ the firstfruit; then, those who are Christ’s at His coming.” Now it’s talking about the resurrection. So this tells us clearly - and Paul is refuting the fact of verse 13, were they were claiming that there is no resurrection. In other words, in the church in Corinth they were already preaching the immortality of the soul. And of course, that’s no strange thing, because that’s what the Hellenist religionists believed anyway in the immortality of the soul going back to heaven. So Paul, this saying here that none have gone to heaven. And of course, that sounds familiar, doesn’t it? No one has gone to heaven. That’s what John wrote - only Christ. Notice when it takes place. “...Then, those who are Christ’s at His coming.” So this ties together Jesus’ resurrection and acceptance of God the Father, beginning the count toward Pentecost, and it ties in the end together. And those who are resurrected at that time, then, are the firstfruits unto God.

Now let’s continue on. “Afterwards the end comes...” So even Paul didn’t understand the fullness of what we understand concerning the plan of God through His holy days as we do today. But he knew that the rest would come later. “...When He shall have delivered up the kingdom to Him Who is God and Father, when He shall have put an end to all rule and authority and power. For it is ordained that He reign until He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.” And so the resurrection is going to destroy that death.

Now then let’s understand something. Let’s see how Paul likens this to a harvest, just like Jesus did back there in Matthew 13. 1 Corinthians 15:35, “Nevertheless, someone will say, ‘How are the dead raised?’” We can answer that very clearly: by the power of God. “‘And with what body do they come?’” Now the Catholics have a real horrible problem, because they still preach the resurrection of the dead, but somehow the soul has got to come back down from heaven, and it’s got to enter into a fleshly body again. So they have a real difficult problem with that. But the problem is, the fleshly body has been corrupted and rotted away. So here we have the same argument, don’t we? He says, “Fool! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body that shall be;...” Because we will see, we will have a body like Christ’s. “...Rather it is bare grain - it may be of wheat, or one of the other grains; and God gives it a body according to His will, and to each of the seeds its own body.” Then he talks about the flesh of men, the flesh of birds, the flesh of fish, and all flesh is not the same flesh, etc., etc.

Now let’s come down here to verse 44. “It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body; accordingly, as it is written, ‘The first man, Adam, became a living soul; the last Adam became an everliving Spirit.’ However, the spiritual was not first, but the natural - then the spiritual.” Now let’s understand something that he is also refuting here, which is this - because those who believe in the immortality of the soul, there is also the doctrine which goes way back into paganism (which is also one of the major doctrines of Mormonism today), which is this: souls are in heaven. And they have to be sent down to be put in a person. So that is saying in essence that the spiritual is first, then the physical. So that contradicts what Paul was teaching here. The spiritual was not first, but the natural, then the spiritual. “The first man is of the earth - made of dust. The second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the one made of dust, so also are all those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly one, so also are all those who are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the one made of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly one.” That is the harvest. As we saw earlier, the harvest is the end of the age.

Now let’s understand something. We’ll get into this just a little bit more here as we go along. “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I show you a mystery:...” And it is a mystery. It is something that God is going to do, and He alone can do. Human beings can’t do anything like this. “...We shall not all fall asleep, but we shall all be changed,...” Now at this time he knew, he was convinced in his own mind that Christ would return not too far down the road. So that’s why he is saying this. But little did he realize that this is a prophecy for us today. We’re not all going to fall asleep and go into the grave. But we shall be changed. “...In an instant, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” That’s what we are looking for. Now we’re going to see how all of this transpires in just a bit.

“For this corruptible must put on incorruptibility, and this mortal must put on immortality. Now when this corruptible shall have put on incorruptibility, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory’” (1 Cor. 15:20-26, 35-38, 44-54, FV). And this is why Christ kept saying to the churches, “To him who overcomes…” And Paul also wrote that in Christ, as we saw on the last day of Unleavened Bread, we are more than overcomers through Him Who loved us and gave Himself for us. So brethren, this is what we have to look forward to, and this is the meaning of the Day of Pentecost, the firstfruit harvest, those who will be resurrected when Jesus Christ returns. And it starts with His resurrection and comes all the way down on continuous count to the first resurrection when He returns.

Part 2

Now let’s come to Revelation 2 and 3. We’ve already covered that yesterday. So now we want to pick up on it and go beyond and show what happens. Because in the harvest there are fifty days. The harvest of the church is represented by the seven churches. And the harvest of the church represents the seven weeks of the harvest. But remember, it was to the morrow after the seventh Sabbath. So there is one more day of harvest. This is the sole harvest of God. And He is going to do it at a particular and a set time. And that in itself is going to be quite spectacular. This is not going to have anything to do with the church, except that maybe the churches help spread the seed a little bit. But by the time it comes down to the fiftieth day harvest that God is going to do, and those whom He is going to convert at that time, it’s going to be an entirely different situation than what we’re facing today. Because He is going to save them from the destruction of the world. So it will seem to them.

Now when we come to Revelation 5, this is where we see that it begins because Christ is the one Who is worthy to open the seven seals. Now let’s understand this: there is coming a time when this event is going to start taking place, when these things are going to happen. Now let’s come and instead of chapter 5, let’s come to chapter 6, because then what we’re going to do is lead up to the events of the resurrection. And let’s understand something, that chapter 6 and 7 end the meaning of Pentecost in prophecy. Chapter 8, 9, and 10 show the trumpet plagues. Chapter 11 then shows when the first resurrection - including those of the 144,000 and the great innumerable multitude - will all be resurrected at the last trump, which then will be the last Pentecost. So let’s put this all together. Because what we are going to do now is come back to Revelation 6 and we’re going to lead up to the next to the last Pentecost. Let’s see the events that will take place.

Let’s begin right here in Revelation 6:1. “And I looked when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures say, like the sound of thunder, ‘Come and see.’ And I looked, and behold, there was a white horse; and the one who was sitting on it had a bow, and a crown was given to him; and he went out conquering, and to conquer.” This is the false Christ. This is the false messiah. And what we are going to see beginning with “The Passion” by Mel Gibson, we’re going to see a flood of movies which Satan is going to put out there, which is going to help give the mindset of millions and millions and millions of people to accept the false Christ, to accept the antichrist. And that’s what this is preparing the way for. Now the false Christ is going to come and be spectacular. And when that occurs, all those who have the Spirit of God will understand it.

Now right after that, shortly after that - now, could it be that the false messiah is going to be here? Because we see in Revelation 13 that he is going to be here for quite awhile, and then the last three and half years is when the tribulation begins. So could it be that in the seven year period we have the false Christ, and he’s going out and doing all of these things, bringing everybody into the one world government, bringing everybody in with the false prophet to the one world religion? And then all of those who are not a part of that, as Revelation 13 shows, those who have the name of God written in their hearts and their minds and their foreheads, they then are going to be killed by the beast; with the exception of the few that go to a place of safety to fulfill the Word of God, that the gates of the grave would never prevail against the church. Now I need to give some sermons on the deception of the rapture. And millions of people believe those things. Here’s a good thing to understand: not only do we know if it’s not according to the Word of God, it’s not from God. But when the majority of the people in the world do it, then it is not from God. It’s just that simple. Let’s go on.

“And when He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, ‘Come and see.’ And another horse went out that was red; and power was given to the one sitting on it to take peace from the earth, and to cause them to kill one another; and a great sword was given to him.” Now this is when the tribulation breaks out with all fury. Now I’m not going to bring in all the scriptures, but this is talked about in Daniel 11, Daniel 12, Revelation 13, and so forth. And this is when world war breaks out. Now it’s not going to be everywhere in the world all at once. It will be in different places and different locations. And as we will see here a little later on in just a few verses, all of this encompasses one-fourth of the part of the earth. So three-fourths of the earth have not been affected in the same way yet. But it will be affected later. Now let’s look at the third living creature. The seal is opened. Now notice, Christ is the one Who is doing the opening of all of these seals. Everything in prophecy is in control by God. Nothing is going to take place except He makes it happen. And so all these things that are taking place today are building up, building up, building up, building up so that it will eventually come to this point.

So then right after war, what do you have? You have famine, you have rationing, and that’s what we find in verse 5 and verse 6. Then in verse 7-8, “And when He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, ‘Come and see.’ And I looked, and behold, there was a pale horse; and the name of the one sitting on it was Death, and the grave followed him; and authority was given to them over one fourth of the earth,...” Not the whole earth yet. That will all take place a little later. Just one fourth of the earth, “...to kill with the sword and with famine and with death, and by the beasts of the earth.” Now then, when that happens they’re going to be looking for scapegoats. And the scapegoats are going to be all of those whose names are written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. And they’re going to come and here will be a great and awesome martyrdom.

Now people say, “I wonder why God would have saints killed?” Just realize this - God even had Himself killed by His own creation. So those that He has called will have to die for Him. And besides, as far as the flesh is concerned, and sin is concerned, we are already dead through baptism. We’re alive through Christ. So when this martyrdom of the saints comes, which is the fifth seal, verse 9, “And when He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the Word of God, and for the testimony that they held;...” That’s why it’s so important, brethren, that now that we have things where we can study, we can grow, we can overcome, we can do the things that we can do while there is still enough time, and peace, we need to be about it in a very zealous and profound way. Because the time is coming when it won’t be able to be done. The time will come when the preaching won’t be able to get out. And that’s why God has to intervene and do what He is going to do. And that’s why He has the harvest of the fiftieth day which is His and His alone.

So, “...they cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘How long, O Lord, holy and true, do You not judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?’ And white robes were given to each of them; and they were told that they should rest a short time yet, until it be fulfilled that both their fellow servants and their brethren also would be killed, just as they had been.” And so then there is going to come a time when, with the exception of those few who are in the place of safety - and as I have said many times, if you know where the place is and don’t get there, your knowledge isn’t going to do any good; and if you don’t know where it is and you get there, you will know when you arrive. So let’s not worry about the place of safety. God is going to choose them and take them Himself, and undoubtedly by the hand of an angel, just as it happened with Lot and his family when God bought them out of Sodom. And at that time there will be no brethren left except those who are in the place of safety. All will have been martyred. That ends the church harvest. The martyrdom of the saints here ends the church harvest.

Now then, since God’s interest is that He increase His family, He is not going to stop there. He is going to show His own harvest, as beginning right here in Revelation 6:12. And when we come down in a prophetic setting we are down just before what would be called the next to last Pentecost. “And when He opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as the hair of sackcloth, and the moon became as blood; and the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its untimely figs...” Now you compare that what went on there at Mount Sinai when God gave the Ten Commandments, and now here we have God intervening and showing that He is going to declare and save the 144,000 and the great innumerable multitude. And He is making it absolutely irrefutable that He is the one Who was doing this. “Then the heaven departed like a scroll that is being rolled up,...” Imagine the spectacular thing that will take place.

By the way, I need to mention that there is a defense plan that is being circulated among the major nations of the world to fight an invasion from outer space. And so when they see this take place, and the heavens roll back as a scroll, guess what they’re going to say? “The aliens are coming.” And that will be a true statement. Because God is alien to them. And when the saints are resurrected and they are coming with Him, we’re going to be all counted as aliens. So Satan is getting things set up. We’re getting close at hand. Now notice, “...and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the powerful men, and every bondman, and every free man hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains;...” Because when God fulfills the prophecy like He said that He is going to rise and shake the heavens and shake the earth and shake the sea, and all things that are therein. And as we go through the rest of the book of Revelation, as we come down through the holy days, there are going to be many great earthquakes. But this is really a tremendous one - God announcing His direct personal intervention in the world.

“And they said to the mountains and to the rocks, ‘Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him Who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb because the day of His wrath has come, and who has the power to stand?’” (Rev. 6:1-4, 7-17, FV). Now as soon as that is done, God is going to perform a great act of grace and mercy. And the world isn’t going to know what’s taking place. Because after all of this upheaval of the earth and the sign of the Son of man in heaven - because that’s what it is. Here, hold your place and let’s come to Matthew 24. When the heavens roll back as a scroll, there’s going to be the sign of the Son of man in heaven. And it’s going to be like the light of day, like a new star suddenly bursting on the scene, and will start coming closer and closer to the earth. Now Van Ambrose with the help of a mathematician wanted to figure out how far out that this sign of the Son of man would have to be for all the earth to see it. I don’t have all the figures with me, but it was really quite a wonderful paper that he did. And then He showed how it would be as it comes down closer and closer and closer to Jerusalem. So that was quite a tremendous study. I’ll see if I can give a sermon on that one of these days here.

Now let’s come to Matthew 24:29-30 (FV). “But immediately after the tribulation of those days,…” Now we’re talking about the sixth seal here, so the tribulation which kills all the saints who have the Spirit of God, that ends the tribulation against the church; and as we will see, against Israel. But it doesn’t end-the end time events. Because it’s going to go on with greater than the tribulation through Revelation 8, 9, and 10, and then finally the return of Christ as we see there in Revelation 19. “...The sun shall be darkened [just like it said back there in Revelation 6], and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven; and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming upon the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” Now we’ll come back to verse 31 here in a minute, because it talks about the resurrection. Because between verse 30 and verse 31 we have quite a few other events that take place.

Now let’s come back to Revelation 7, and let’s see what that great event is going to be. So with all this upheaval, the sign of the Son of man appearing, then there will be a great calm for a little bit. Revelation 7:1, and we will get into the 144,000. “And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, so that the wind might not blow on the earth, or on the sea, or on any tree. Then I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God;...” Now the “seal of the living God” means that they are going to be sealed with the Holy Spirit. Today we are sealed with the Holy Spirit of God. We find that in Ephesians 1:13. We are sealed with the Spirit of God. So when we talk about the 144,000 and great innumerable multitude, please understand that doesn’t include any of us because we have already been sealed. However at this time, according to the prophecies that we see in the Old Testament, Israel and Judah, all the twelve tribes are going to be in captivity. And so there aren’t any ministers around to baptize them. So God is going to do a supernatural and profound thing in His day of harvest. And this is His fiftieth day right here.

“...And he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to damage the earth and the sea, saying, ‘Do not damage the earth, or the sea, or the trees until we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.’ And I heard the number of those who were sealed: one hundred forty-four thousand, sealed out of every tribe of the children of Israel.” And that’s who this 144,000 is. Now we know from the book of Hosea that they are in captivity. And we also know that this event - the saving of the 144,000 - begins when the prophecy is fulfilled in Hosea 5, that in the third day, that is, the third year, He will raise up the children of Israel and they shall live. This is it right here, of all of the tribes of Israel. Now since it is to the Jew - or Israel - first, then it is also to the Gentile. Because with all of these events that are transpiring, there are going to be a lot of people knowing that this is the hand of God. There will be people falling on their knees and crying out to God in mercy and forgiveness and asking God to spare them. So God will look down and He will spare them.

Verse 9, “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude, which no one was able to number, out of every nation and tribe and people and language, was standing before the throne and before the Lamb,...” This shows that they’re going to be in the resurrection. So here is the great innumerable multitude. Now it tells us very clearly here who they are. Verse 14, “Then I said to him, ‘Sir, you know.’ [when he said ‘Who are these?’] And he said to me, ‘They are the ones who have come out of the great tribulation; and they have washed their robes, and they have made their robes of white in the blood of the Lamb.’” So here, go back and see what we covered in Acts 2 on the day of Pentecost, how the blood of Christ, then, covered the sins of even those who slayed Him. Even those who cried out, “Crucify Him!”

Now here we have those coming out. And this is on the day of Pentecost, then, which will be fulfilled for one year. Because the resurrection does not take place for another year, because there are many other events that have to take place. Now we will cover those as we get down toward the time of the Feast of Trumpets. “For this reason, they are before the throne of God and serve Him day and night in His temple; and the one Who sits on the throne shall dwell among them” (Rev. 7:1-4, 9, 14-15, FV). The same promise. Now you tie this in together with Revelation 21 and you see the parallels there when salvation is granted to those people.

Now then, let’s understand something about this fiftieth day harvest. This is the fiftieth day harvest of God, which is done unilaterally by God the Father, and Jesus Christ and the angels, and is not done by the church, and includes no one yet in the church. These are all people to be saved during the great tribulation. So now if you are one of the 144,000 and the great innumerable multitude, that is when you will be harvested. God is going to make the decision. Now then there many, many other things that are going to take place in that. But let’s go on and see some more things concerning the resurrection. So all of these things will come down. Let’s come to Revelation 11 and let’s see something here. Let’s see when the resurrection actually takes place. Because you have all the trumpet plagues coming down leading from that time, leading up to the literal return of Christ to the earth. But first we have on the next to the last Pentecost the sign of the Son of man in heaven. Now it appears for a whole year, and keeps coming closer, and closer, and closer, and closer, and closer, and closer to the earth.

Now then, let’s come to Revelation 11. And we have to bring you up to speed as to what’s happening. All during this time in Jerusalem you have the two witnesses, and you have the beast and the false prophet. And the two witnesses begin their ministry in such a way that it ends at the resurrection. So the only way to know, if you put it out on a calendar, which we have done, to know when the two witnesses begin their ministry is to know when it ends. And since the resurrection is on Pentecost, and they are the first ones to be raised, then that’s when their ministry ends, and you go back 1,260 days. Now then, let’s see what it says here about the two witnesses and what they are able to do. It falls right in with what God has said. And if you need to have some information on the two witnesses, we have “The Two Witnesses And Elijah In Prophecy.” So they prophesy 1,260 days; which, by the way, is different than forty and two months. And that’s the key to understanding, where people put the forty and two months and the 1,260 days as equal, that’s where they get off in understanding prophecy. And that’s where they get off in understanding when the resurrection is.

Now verse 4, “These are the two olive trees, and the two lampstands that stand before the God of the earth. And if anyone attempts to harm them, fire will go out of their mouths and devour their enemies. For if anyone attempts to harm them, he must be killed in this manner. These have authority to shut heaven so that no rain may fall in the days of their prophecy; and they have authority over the waters, to turn them into blood, and to smite the earth with every plague, as often as they will.” Now the trumpet plagues accomplish a lot of these things too. And then the two witnesses have this ability. That’s why it is such a thing that nobody better appoint themselves as one of the two witnesses. Or as one man did, the two witnesses. Now you figure that out. Anyway, they are so close to God that they have this authority and they use it in this way.

Now God is going to let the enemy be trapped. Just like God let Pharaoh go into the Red Sea, because he thought, “Now all is safe, and now I can go get them.” So likewise, God is going to let the two witnesses be killed, and everyone is going to say, “Hurray, it’s over with! Now we need to start fighting this enemy that’s coming that we see out here in outer space. We better do something about this.” Verse 7, “And when they have completed their testimony, the beast who ascends out of the abyss will make war against them, and will overcome them, and will kill them. And their bodies will lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, were also our Lord was crucified. Then those of the peoples and tribes and languages and nations shall see their bodies three and a half days, for they will not allow their bodies to be put into tombs.” Very interesting, isn’t it? Could it be that by that time everyone is going to have a portable phone that is able to have portable TV, either on their wrist or in the hand, and everyone will be able to see, and everyone is going to be so happy, they’re going to have a three day party like there was never any party before. That’s what it says here.

It says, “And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, and will make merry, and will send gifts to one another, because these two prophets had tormented those who dwell on the earth. Then after three and a half days,...” Just when the enemy is rejoicing and thinking, “Man, we’ve got it made!” God intervenes with the final coup. Here it is. “...The spirit of life from God entered into them and they stood on their feet; and great fear fell upon those who were watching them. And they heard a great voice from heaven, say, ‘Come up here!’ And they ascended into heaven in a cloud; and their enemies saw them rise.” Now what a thing that is going to be. Now here is a literal fulfillment of “the last shall be first.” The two last who were killed, the two witnesses, will be the first who are resurrected. Because if they are ascending up into heaven, if that’s not a resurrection, I don’t know what it is. Do you? They were dead, weren’t they? They came alive and they ascend up into heaven.

“And in that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell; and 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 passed. Behold, the third woe is coming immediately. Then...” So right after they are raised, while they’re ascending into heaven, that ends the second woe. The third woe is coming quickly. And right while that is taking place the seventh angel sounded his trumpet. This is the seventh trump. This is the last trump. This is when the resurrection takes place. Now we will see that in just a bit here. “...And there were great voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and His Christ, and He shall reign into the ages of eternity. And the twenty-four elders, who sit before God on their thrones, fell on their faces and worship God, saying, ‘We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, Who is, and Who was, and Who is to come; for You have taken to Yourself Your great power, and have reigned. For the nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, and the time for the dead to be judged, and to give reward to Your servants the prophets, and to the saints, and to all those who fear Your name, the small and the great; and to destroy those who destroy the earth’” (Rev. 11:4-18, FV). Now that tells us an awful lot what’s going to happen right after the resurrection occurs.

Now then, let’s come back to Matthew 24, and let’s see how this parallels with what we read earlier after the sign of the Son of man in heaven. It has to be coming closer and closer to the earth all during this time, because as we are going to see, when the saints are raised, they have to go somewhere. And we’re going to see that is going to be a sea of glass. Now then, Matthew 24:31 (FV). So when the seventh trumpet sounds, the dead are going to be raised. That’s what we read earlier in 1 Corinthians 15. The trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised. Now let’s see how God is going to accomplish this. “And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet; and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” In other words, the angels are coming down and they are going to be gathering the people that God is resurrecting. They’re going to then take them.

Now where are they going to take them? We will see. Hold on. Let’s come to 1 Thessalonians 4, and let’s see how the apostle Paul explained it and the resurrection here to the Thessalonians. And then we will put this together with some other scriptures in the book of Revelation and see exactly how this is going to take place. 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 in Jesus will God bring with Him.” So they are going to be brought with Him, and they are resurrected from the earth. Before they’re resurrected, they are not with Him. So when they’re resurrected they then become with Him, and then they’re going to come back to the earth.

Now let’s see. “For this we say to you by the Word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall in no wise precede those who have fallen asleep...” The dead in Christ shall rise first. And that’s what we read. Then we which are alive, as it says here, will be caught up with Him. “Because the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds for the meeting with the Lord in the air; and so shall we always be with the Lord” (1 Thes. 4:13-17, FV). Well, the Lord is coming to the earth. The saints are coming to the earth. So that’s where we will be. There we have it.

Let’s come to Revelation 14, and let’s see the harvest, and let’s see where everybody is going to be. Because, brethren, when we are raised - and I am looking forward to the time when we are going to be talking to the angels as they take us up to the sea of glass. Because all the saints through all ages are going to be raised, and they are going to meet Christ in the air. And we will see this described in Revelation 15 in just a minute. Let’s come here to 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 was a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him Who was sitting on the cloud, ‘Thrust in Your sickle and reap, because the time has come for You to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.’” So at the set time the resurrection is going to take place. And that is the Feast of Pentecost, the firstfruits, because we are the firstfruits of God as we have seen. So here is the harvest. “And He Who was sitting on the cloud thrust forth His sickle upon the earth, and the earth was reaped” (Rev. 14:14-16, FV).

Now then, after the resurrection takes place, then what’s going to happen? There is going to be the judgment of the wicked, as depicted from verses 17 through 20. Now let’s come to Revelation 15:1. “Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and awesome: seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them the wrath of God is filled up. And I saw a sea of glass mingled with fire,...” Now wherever God is, there is a sea of glass. You go back and read Revelation 4, and when John saw the throne of God it was in the middle of a great sea of glass. Now here it talks about a sea of glass. And it says it’s mingled with fire. In other words, it was sparkling and shimmering. “...And those who had gotten the victory over the beast,…” This is the resurrection. And the beast has been there ever since what? Ever since Satan has been here. “...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 were singing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, ‘Great and awesome are Your works, Lord God Almighty; righteous and true are Your ways, King of the saints’” (Rev. 15:1-3, FV). So here we are on the sea of glass.

Now one of the first things that’s going to happen while on the sea of glass, we’re going to see Jesus Christ, all the saints, and undoubtedly God the Father is going to come down there because He is going to have to perform the marriage of Lamb and the bride. We’re all going to get our rewards, as we saw there in Revelation 2 and 3. We are all going to get our new name; we are all going to get the righteous garments, which is talked about. We are going to be given our assignments; we are going to be given our horses, so that when we come back with Christ that we are going to be able to fight. We are going to know exactly what we’re going to do. It’s going to take all the time from that Pentecost until Trumpets, about four months. And as we come to Trumpets we will fill in the missing blanks as we get to it, in order for all of these things to transpire. And part of that time is going to be the seven last plagues, which are poured out. That takes part of the four months. And then when it’s finally over, and the marriage of the Lamb has taken place, and God the Father tells Jesus Christ, “Now is the time – go!” we will all come back to this earth on the Feast of Trumpets, as we find in Revelation 19.

So all of the feast days of God are connected: Passover, Unleavened Bread, and Pentecost relate to the church and the plan that God has now for the firstfruits and that harvest. Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles, and the Last Great Day relates to the plan of God for the world. And we have a part in carrying it out as the sons and daughters of God. So brethren, look forward to the great resurrection that is going to take place. Because we will be glorified, and be spirit beings, and this will be the greatest event to take place since the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and you are a part of it.

Scripture References:

  1. 2 Peter 1:1-4
  2. Leviticus 23:15-16
  3. Exodus 24:7-12
  4. Acts 2:1-24, 36-41
  5. Acts 10:37
  6. John 6:12
  7. John 15:23
  8. 1 Corinthians 15:20-26, 35-38, 44-54
  9. Revelation 6:1-4, 7-17
  10. Matthew 24:29-31
  11. Revelation 7:1-4, 9, 14-15
  12. Revelation 11:4-18
  13. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17
  14. Revelation 14:14-16
  15. Revelation 15:1-3

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