"Is Pentecost a Harvest Feast and Why Trumpets is Not"

(Pentecost—2008—PM Service)

Fred R. Coulter—June 8, 2008

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Greetings, brethren! In order to cover all the things concerning Pentecost we really need two services on the Feast of Pentecost; so between Day 49 and Pentecost we ought to be able to get all three of the messages in.

Now there has been a great consternation in some of the Churches of God, because we believe and preach that Pentecost pictures the first resurrection and is the harvest of the firstfruits! While those churches who object to that and do not understand some of the flows of the prophecies in the book of Revelation because of that, they do acknowledge that in the Old Testament, Pentecost is a harvest feast.

Let's examine the Feasts of God. First of all we have the Passover, which is a Feast but not a Holy Day. That day is required so that we have the proper Sacrifice of God, Jesus Christ—so that we can approach Him. Because no one can come to God without a sacrifice! You must have a sacrifice! That's why Jesus said in the New Testament, 'No one can come to the Father except through Me.' You must accept the sacrifice and blood of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins upon repentance to God. Remember that only God can forgive sin. So this is why it starts out with the Passover.

Then we have the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Now, the Feast of Unleavened Bread is not a harvest feast completely, but there is one day, that  is a harvest day which we will cover here in just a little bit: The Wave Sheaf Offering Day. Then whatever days that are not Holy Days during the rest of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, they can begin the harvest. Then we have the Feast of Firstfruits, which is Pentecost, a wholly, completely a harvest feast.

Now we come to the Feast of Trumpets; and please note this: There is no Scripture in all the Bible—Old Testament or New Testament—that shows that Trumpets is a harvest feast. Likewise, with the Day of Atonement. The Day of Atonement is not a harvest feast, but the Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day are the one harvest, the great harvest of God at the end!

Now, let's notice a similarity here between the first three Holy Days: Passover, Unleavened Bread and Pentecost, and that has to do with the Church. Then we have Trumpets and Atonement, which has to do not only with the Church, but primarily with the world after Jesus Christ returns. Then through Atonement the sacrifice of Christ is applied to the whole world, and is not applied to the whole world until that time. Then that ushers in the 1,000-year reign of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God with the resurrected saints being kings and priests and ruling with Him. And Then the Last Great Day is also a harvest feast, which then is harvest from the point of view: the greatest harvest of all. Yet, it is the least mentioned Feast day in the Bible.

So let's look at the Feasts of God in review. Then we will look particularly at the commands concerning Pentecost, even though we've examined them previously. Then we will look into the New Testament and see the comparison; because:

  • we have the Passover meaning of the Old Testament
  • we have the Passover meaning of the New Testament
  • we have the Old Testament meaning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread
  • we have the New Testament meaning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread
  • we have the Old Testament meaning of Pentecost

But some people don't believe that there is a New Testament meaning to Pentecost, because they're stuck in their corporate way of believing things and thinking that one certain man only had the whole truth on when the resurrection was to take place. So, they shifted the resurrection to the Feast of Trumpets.

  • When the trumpet is blown, does it anywhere say that 'trumpets are blown'?
  • If the resurrection is on the Feast of Trumpets and they're to blow the ram's horns and the trumpets all day long, which trumpet then is the last one?
  • Since they're to blow all day long, don't you miss the whole day?

Therefore, the resurrection would have to come after the day of Trumpets in order to get to the last trumpet.

We need to be consistent with the Word of God. We need to be consistent with the parallels between the meaning of the Feasts in the Old Testament and the spiritual meaning in the New Testament and what God is doing.

Exodus 23:14: "You shall keep a Feast unto Me three times in the year…. [three seasons] …You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread…. [which we did] …You shall eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded you, at the time appointed in the month of Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt. And no one shall appear before Me empty" (vs 14-15).

Now, I think this is very interesting because this is part of the Covenant that God gave to Israel based upon the Ten Commandments. Each of the Ten Commandments is the foundation for all of the sub-laws in the Old Testament. It is the Sabbath that sanctifies the meaning and relationship of all the Feasts of God. That's why Lev. 23 is written in the way that it is, starting out with the Sabbath.

Verse 16: "Also the Feast of the Harvest of the Firstfruits of your labors…"

This does not include all the firstfruits of every plant. This is just the firstfruits of the harvest of the wheat and the barley, not the firstfruits of the grapes and wine, the orchard trees or the nut trees. Not the firstfruits of any of the fall harvest. But those firstfruits were still to be brought to the Levite and the priests, because, it says 'do not hesitate to bring your firstfruits.'

"…the Feast of the Harvest of the Firstfruits of your labors, which you have sown in the field.… [grain] …And the Feast of Ingathering… [Feast of Tabernacles] …in the end of the year, when you have gathered in your labors out of the field. Three times in the year all your males shall appear before the Lord GOD. You shall not offer the blood of My sacrifice with leavened bread…" (vs 16-18)—with the one exception that we will see a little later.

"…neither shall the fat of My sacrifice remain until the morning. The first of the firstfruits of your land you shall bring into the house of the LORD your God" (vs 18-19).

Very important, because that is the first of the firstfruits. The very first ripe of the firstfruits has to do with the Wave Sheaf Offering, and in the New Testament with the ascension of Jesus Christ to heaven, to be accepted by God for us for the sacrifice for our sins.

In Exo. 32 the children of Israel, under the direction of Aaron, made the golden calf and sinned against God. God didn't come along and say, 'Well now, I understand why they rebelled, and what I'm going to do, to make it easy for them is that I'm going to allow them to have a certain amount of idolatry.' That would make it easy for them. That would go along with what they feel. But God didn't do that.

After they had sinned, and after Moses had intervened to ask God not to destroy them, because God said He would, every one of them! Because of his importunity and mediation toward God, God spared Aaron and most of the children of Israel. Only those who were directly involved paid the penalty of death.

Right after they made the golden calf, and God obliterated it—He had Moses obliterate it—he destroyed those who were involved, He didn't budge one-septillionth of an inch away from His Law.

Exodus 34:17 "You shall make no molten gods for yourselves…. [because that's what they just did, and sinned] …You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread. You shall eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded you, in the time of the month Abib, for in the month Abib you came out from Egypt. All that opens the womb is Mine; all firstlings of male livestock, of oxen or sheep. But the firstling of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb. And if you do not redeem it, then you shall break its neck. All the firstborn of your sons you shall redeem. And none shall appear before Me empty" (vs 17-20).

We're going to see that there is a parallel between firstfruits and firstborn. In the New Testament they are used to explain the same thing.

Verse 21: "You shall work six days, but on the seventh day you shall rest. In plowing time and in harvest you shall rest. And you shall observe the Feast of Weeks… [Pentecost] …of the firstfruits of wheat harvest…" (vs 21-22)—and barley harvest!

All the other fruits were to be brought in and given to the Levites and priesthood, all the firstfruits. But they were not counted for this Feast of Pentecost, and there's a reason: because the harvest feast Jesus makes great detail in explaining about it.

"…and the Feast of Ingathering at the year's end. Three times in the year shall all your males appear before the Lord GOD, the God of Israel" (vs 24-23).

Let's see the command concerning the beginning of the harvest and the command concerning the end of the harvest, which is 50 days later on the day that we call Pentecost, because Pentecost means fiftieth, and a variation of the term can mean to count 50.

Leviticus 23:9: "And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 'Speak to the children of Israel and say to them, "When you have come into the land, which I give to you, and shall reap the harvest of it, then you shall bring the premier sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest"'" (vs 9-10). This is the first of the firstfruits!

They had a special place where they planted the barley so that for the Wave Sheaf Offering Day that they would have the sheaf to cut. They would cut it just as the Sabbath was ending, and they would take this special sheaf and they would bring it and lay it alongside the altar of God so that in the morning the priest could wave it.

All of that has its fulfillment in the death of Christ, the resurrection of Christ and the ascension of Christ. From the Old Testament we have the type. Then in the New Testament we have the anti-type. So, we have the first fulfillment; the second fulfillment. If there's a first fulfillment for this part of it, is there not going to be a second or New Testament fulfillment for the rest of it? Have to be!

Verse 11: "And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD to be accepted for you. On the next day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it."

Then it gives all the things they were to bring in the temple offerings that the priest was to offer with it.

Verse 14: "And you shall eat neither bread, nor parched grain, nor green ears until the same day, until you have brought an offering to your God. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings."

After the Wave Sheaf Offering was waved, then they could start their harvest (Deut. 16). They could also take the green ears and they could that those and parch them, and then make a special flour out of that for their meal offering.

Verse 16: "Even unto the day after the seventh Sabbath you shall number fifty days…. [always the first day of the week] …And you shall offer a new grain offering to the LORD."

Let's focus in on this, because some of those who have objected to what we've been teaching for a number of years now—actually, well over 20 years—say that it doesn't say that they wave the grain offerings on Pentecost. We need to read carefully these following verses, because the grain offering was waved, but not a sheaf.

Verse 17: "You shall bring out of your homes two wave loaves of two tenth parts…." The loaf that they baked was to be brought to the priest and the priest would wave it. The priest would take his portion, the people would take their portion and then they would have the Feast.

"…They shall be of fine flour. They shall be baked with leaven…" (v 17). Leaven, when it is not the days of Unleavened Bread, is perfectly all right!

There is a good use of leaven. When you put leaven in the flour and let the dough rise, and then you put into the oven, you have permanently changed the nature of the dough, and it cannot go back.

Matthew 13:33 has to do with the harvest: "Another parable He spoke to them: 'The Kingdom of Heaven is compared to leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of flour until all was leavened.'"

He said the Kingdom of God is likened unto leaven, so, this is a good use of leaven. What is this likened to? It's actually likened to the Holy Spirit, which then—in our minds, the lump of dough—is changed and conformed to the will of God! So, there's a good use of it. That's what these loaves in Lev. 23 picture; the loaves are baked. The finished product, brought to God on the Day of Pentecost! They are waved to God to be accepted by Him. So yes, there is a waving of the final product to God!

Leviticus 23:17: "…two wave loaves of two tenth parts. They shall be of fine flour…."—finely ground! That's a type of bringing out quality; and that's a type of getting rid of human nature.

"…They shall be baked with leaven. They are the firstfruits to the LORD" (v 17). So the first of the firstfruits starts back here on the Wave Sheaf Offering Day, and the final product of the grain symbolized by the two loaves is accepted by God on Pentecost.

  • Why two loaves?
  • Why not one loaf?
  • Why not three loaves?
  • Why not five loaves?

Two loaves!Each loaf probably pictures this, symbolically:

  • those who have been perfected and ready for the acceptance of God in its finished form at the resurrection
  • those who are counted worthy of the first resurrection in the Old Testament and those who are counted worthy of the first resurrection in the New Testament

So, you have a completion—two!

Now, let's see some other things concerning firstfruits and how God applies that to Israel in several different ways. Let's see what God says of Israel; and let's also understand something concerning us. We are the Church, the spiritual Israel of God!

Jeremiah 2:1: "And the Word of the LORD came to me, saying, 'Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, "Thus says the LORD, 'I remember you, the kindness of your youth, the love of your betrothals, when you went after Me in the wilderness, in a land not sown. Israel was Holiness to the LORD, and the firstfruits of His increase….'" (vs 1-3). Firstfruits of all the nations that God dealt with!

From the time of Adam and Eve all the way down to the calling of Israel out of Egypt, God never dealt with any nation accept Israel.

We know the history of the ten tribes being split off, and then the house of Judah. So, God never dealt with any other people. He did not include the Gentiles completely until after the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the beginning of the preaching of the Gospel. We find that that began in Acts 10. After sending the Jews off into captivity in 70A.D., God never dealt with any nation—only His Church! He only dealt with the nations of Israel in order to fulfill the prophecies that He had given and the promises that He gave to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. But He was not dealing with them for salvation!

Verse 3: "Israel was Holiness to the LORD, and the firstfruits of His increase…."

Paul also refers to it in just a little bit different way, having to do with Israel. In this particular case, meaning focusing more on the Jews rather than all 12 tribes, but not to exclude them.

Romans 11:16: "Now, if the firstfruit is Holy, the lump is also Holy; and if the root is Holy, the branches are also Holy."

Paul is using the firstfruit of God, the nation of Israel. He's talking about everything altogether, starting with Israel because:

Verse 15: "For if their casting away be the reconciliation of the world…"

  • the firstfruit is Holy
  • the lump, which refers to the Church, is Holy
  • the root is Holy, going back to the fathers: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the laws and commandments of God
  • the branches are also Holy

Paul points out, v 17: "But if some of the branches were broken off, and you… [referring to the Gentiles] …being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and you became a fellow partaker of the root and of the fatness of the olive tree."

In other words, the whole plan of God is one continuous thing like a tree, from the roots all the way up to the branches, all the way to the fruit. That's one way of showing it, showing the continuity of Old and New Covenant!

Now, let's see how the harvest of the wheat is picturing the whole process of conversion and to the end, which is the harvest of the firstfruits.

Matthew 13:10: "And His disciples came to Him and asked, 'Why do You speak to them in parables?' And He answered and said to them, 'Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but to them it has not been given" (vs 10-11).

It's no surprise that the people in the world don't understand. It is a surprise that some people even in the Church of God don't understand. A lot of that can be traced to the difficulties and problems that they have in not relying on God the way that they should. They rely on God up to a certain point, but then they don't go beyond, and they put it in the hands of men and a hierarchy to define it for them!

Verse 35: "So that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, 'I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter things hidden from the foundation of the world.'" I want you to understand how fantastic it is for us:

  • to be able to have the whole Word of God today
  • and to be able to have the time to study
  • to be able to have the time to learn
  • to be able to have the time so God can mold us and shape us and build His character within us
  • that we can be ready to be harvested at the resurrection—because that's what the resurrection pictures: the harvest of the firstfruits

Since Pentecost is the harvest of the firstfruits, why would it seem a strange thing that Pentecost would picture the first resurrection? It is the celebration of the completed harvest! That's why the two loaves. There is no Scripture that says Trumpets is a harvest feast. The parallel and the analogy of the Old Testament and New Testament flow together, just like we read in Rom. 11 about the root, the trunk, the branches, the tree.

Matthew 13:12: "For whoever has understanding, to him more shall be given, and he shall have an abundance…"

If we really strive and seek after the Truth of God, He's going to give us understanding, according to His will. We need to understand that at the end-time the wise will understand. God has held off some of the understanding until the time of the end! But nevertheless, we can learn from these parables here. We see this happening in the world's Christianity, whatever understanding they have is being taken away. We see it also happening in the some of the Churches of God. Whatever understanding they have is being taken away.

Let me just say here: Unfortunately, in the Church of God we are suffering from a number of really terrible false prophets. One of them is in Jerusalem claiming to be one of the two witnesses. Well, if he is, let's see him bring down a curse or plague, stop the rain, cause it to flood anywhere in the world, by his word. If he is, let's see if he can find the Temple of God in Jerusalem, so he can be there and show himself to be one of the two witnesses.

  • he's not
  • he's a fraud
  • he's a liar
  • he's a cheat

And God is going to expose him as such!

Yet, unfortunately, some brethren believe him and follow him. I have to say it so that we know and understand that if you leave the Truth, whatever understanding you have is going to be ripped right away from you and you're going to follow myths and you're going to follow the lusts of men, and you're going to collapse in your own wretchedness!

"…but whoever does not have understanding, even what he has shall be taken away from him. 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 has grown fat…'" (vs 12-15).

In other words, just like a heart that is all clogged up with fat. It can't work, it can't think, it can't reason. Just like a physical heart can't pump!

"…and their ears are dull of hearing…" (v 15). I got a letter the other day from a man who said, 'When I go to this church I am bored out of my gourd.' Well, he's no longer attending that church.

"…and their eyes they have closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and should hear with their ears, and should understand with their hearts, and should be converted, and I should heal them" (v 15).

That has to do with the overall plan of God, that if there's not repentance, He's not going to deal with him. If they don't believe God and believe Christ, if they're not called, then He's saving them for another time, and we know that is the Last Great Day.

Verse 16—and this is a blessing we don't want to lose: "But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear…. [if you hear then you will have understanding] …For truly I say to you, many prophets and righteous men have desired to see what you see, and have not seen; and to hear what you hear, and have not heard" (vs 16-17).

Let's take that from the time of the apostles and bring that forward to our day. We are seeing and hearing things that they never heard of. We are watching the end-time prophecies being fulfilled in such a way that they could not even have a glimmer of understanding concerning it. What we know and understand is great and precious, let's realize that.

Verse 18: "Therefore, hear the parable of the sower… [the grain] …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 the one who was sown by the way. Now, the one who was sown upon the rocky places is the one who hears the Word and immediately receives it with joy" (vs 18-20).

I want you to think about your whole church experience. New people coming into the Church; those who have been excited; those who have maybe been there for quite a while; and think about how the whole operation of the Church has been exactly like this parable. We can illustrate it this way: Think back to a time when there were many, many people in the Churches of God, and ask yourself: Where are they today? That will explain the parable to you!

Verse 21: "But because he has no root in himself, he does not endure… [we are to endure to the end] … for when tribulation or persecution arises because of the Word, he is quickly offended…. [goes back to his old ways] …And the one who was sown among the thorns is the one who hears the Word, but the cares of this life and the deceitfulness of riches choke the Word, and it becomes unfruitful" (vs 21-22).

 'Who is the Church to demand 10% of my money?' Well, it's God Who demands it, not the Church! But granted, there has been abuse of it.

Verse 23: "But the one who was sown on good ground, this is the one who hears the Word and understand, who indeed brings forth fruit and produces—one a hundredfold…"

Go back and read the account about Isaac. God blessed him with such crops that it was 100-fold. Think about what Paul said about Isaac; that we are like Isaac, the children of promise. So, let's see if we can bring forth 100-fold.

"…another sixtyfold and another thirtyfold" (v 23). Of course, we know where it says later that 'those of you who are blessed of the Lord, enter into the Kingdom of your Lord.'

Verse 24: "And He put another parable before them, saying, 'The Kingdom of Heaven is compared to a man who was sowing good seed in his field; but while men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away'" (vs 24-25).

This is firstfruits! Wheat! Didn't we read in the Old Testament 'the end of your wheat harvest,' Feast of Weeks.

Verse 26: "Now, when the blades sprouted and produced fruit, then the tares also appeared. And the servants came to the master of the house and said to him 'Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? Then where did these tares come from?' And he said to them, 'A man who is an enemy has done this.' Then the servants said to him, 'Do you want us to go out and gather them?' But he said, 'No, lest while you are gathering the tares, you also uproot the wheat with them. Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and at the time of the harvest, I will say to the reapers, "Gather the tares first, and bind them into bundles to burn them; but gather the wheat into my granary"'" (vs 26-30).

Verse 31: "Another parable He presented to them, saying, 'The Kingdom of Heaven is compared to a tiny mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field; which indeed is very small among all the seeds; but after it is grown, it is greater than all the herbs, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of heaven come and roost in its branches'" (vs 31-32).

Verse 34: "Jesus spoke all these things to the multitudes in parables, and without a parable He did not speak to them; so that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, 'I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter things hidden from the foundation of the world.' And after dismissing the multitude, Jesus went into the house. Then His disciples came to Him, saying, 'Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field'" (vs 34-36).

This gives us a good deal of understanding. And it also gives us a time-setting.

Verse 37: "And He answered and said to them, 'The One Who sows the good seed is the Son of man'"—the seed of the Word of God! That's different from the seed of God's Holy Spirit. Because to hear the Word of God and get excited about it, and then fall away, does not mean they are necessarily converted.

Only those who receive the Word and then they are converted and receive the seed of God's Holy Spirit, they are the ones who produce the fruit. So, the Word is going out. This is the same thing as saying, 'Many are called, but few are chosen.' The reason few are chosen is because few repent!

Verse 38: "And the field is the world…" What did Jesus tell the apostles? 'Go into all the world and teach nations all things that I have taught you; making disciples of them and baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit; teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.'

When I read that verse I can't understand how some evangelicals today can come up with the conclusion that Paul had a greater dispensation and understanding of the Word of God than Jesus did, so we don't need to follow the teachings of Jesus, that was for the Jews only. Jesus' own words refutes that!

"…and the good seed, these are the children of the Kingdom… [Are we the children of the Kingdom? Yes!] …but the tares are the children of the wicked one…. [Are there children of the devil? Yes!] …Now the enemy who sowed them is the devil; and the harvest is the end of the age… [and the harvest is what? The resurrection, as we will see.] …and the reapers are the angels" (vs 38–39).

Verse 41: "The Son of man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His Kingdom… [because He's going to take over all the kingdoms of the world] …all the offenders and those who are practicing lawlessness; and they shall cast them into the furnace of fire; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (vs 41-42).

That's what's going to happen at the end of the age. They are either going to submit to the authority of Jesus Christ and the saints, or they are going to be obliterated!

At the beginning of this, the angels are going to do it—has to do also with the seven last plagues. God is going to get rid of all the armies of this world, and He is going to destroy them with the seven last plagues. Later, as we find out, they try and rebuild their armies—Gog and Magog—and come against Israel. But that's another whole topic.

"…shall cast them into the furnace of fire; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (v 42).

  • Where are the beast and false prophet cast? Into the Lake of Fire!
  • Who casts them in there? The angels do, just like Jesus said!

(go to the next track)

Notice the final verse we want to read—v 43: "Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. The one who has ears to hear, let him hear."

Whenever you read that, that means that there's much more to this than what has been given here, so you listen to this, and you also put together the rest of the Scriptures so you can come to a complete, whole understanding of it.

  • We have seen that it's a harvest
  • we have seen that it's firstfruits
  • we have seen the connection between the harvest and the resurrection

because it talks about it right here! Now let's see the parallel for the harvest beginning with Christ and then us.

1-Corinthians 15:17: "But if Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain; you are still in your sins."

But He has been raised! What was He? His resurrection and ascension pictured the sheaf of the firstfruits offering! The very first harvest of those from the dead! We're going to see about the firstfruits and then we're going to see about the firstborn, and how that applies to Christ and then to us.

Verse 18: "Those who have fallen asleep in Christ have then perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most miserable. But now Christ has been raised from the dead; He has become the Firstfruit of those who have fallen asleep" (vs 18-20). This is the fulfillment of the premier sheaf that the priest was to wave as the instructions were given (Lev. 23).

Verse 21: "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: Christ the Firstfruit… [harvest] …then those who are Christ's at His coming" (vs 21-22).

We'll talk about His coming. That's the rest of the harvest. Just like we have the parallel in Lev. 23, the first Wave Sheaf Offering. Then we come to the completed harvest, the final product, the two wave loaves brought to the priest. They are waved before the Lord to be accepted of the Lord. That's a type of the first resurrection.

Now, let's see something else here that's important concerning us, where we are called a type of firstfruits. Remember that James was the brother of Jesus.

James 1:18: "According to His own will, He begat us by the Word of Truth… [that's the seed that was sown] …that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all His created beings."

As we've already covered, we are being created in the image of Christ right now. That's important to realize. We are a kind of firstfruits. We are the rest of the harvest: Christ the firstfruit, then those who are His at His coming. That ties in and agrees exactly with Matt. 13.  Now let's look at something else concerning Christ and applied in another way. We are going to see that this talks about Christ as the firstborn:

Matthew 1:25: "But he [Joseph] did not have sexual relations with her until after she had given birth to her Son, the firstborn…" Jesus was Mary's firstborn, and then we see later he had three other brothers and he had some sisters, doesn't say how many.

So much for the lying doctrine of the Catholic Church of the perpetual virginity of Mary. You just have to understand, the religions of this world do not understand the Bible. Because they quote a Scripture here or there and sound very sanctimonious, it gives the appearance that they understand the Bible; but they don't. What they try and do is say that the word 'brother' in Greek really means cousins. Well now, His brothers were not cousins; they were His brothers. So much for the Truth! Jesus was firstborn in another way, as well.

Colossians 1:18—it talks about that right here. "And He is the Head of the Body, the Church; Who is the Beginning, the Firstborn from among the dead…"

We have the parallel. Firstfruit/firstborn. One being the symbolism of the crop; one being the literal firstborn from the dead. Christ was firstborn of Mary and firstborn from among the dead.

"…so that in all things He Himself might hold the preeminence" (v 18)—before God!

Revelation 1:3: "Blessed is the one who reads, and those who hear the words of this prophecy and who keep the things that are written therein; for the time is at hand. John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace and peace be to you from Him Who is, and Who was, and Who is to come; and from the seven spirits that are before His throne; and from Jesus Christ, the faithful Witness, the Firstborn from the dead…" (vs 3-5).

We read in 1-Cor. 15: 'Christ the Firstfruit.' Here we have the 'Firstborn,' and that's talking about the resurrection, 'and afterward, those that are Christ's at His coming.'

As we've covered earlier, we are called 'the Church of the Firstborn.' Isn't that interesting. The firstfruits/the firstborn go hand-in-hand.

Hebrews 12:22: "But you have come to Mount Sion, and to the city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem; and to an innumerable company of angels; to the joyous festival gathering…" (vs 22-23).

That's very important for us to understand, because when we are resurrected and meet Christ in the air, we have to ask where and what will that be?

"…and to the Church of the Firstborn, registered in the Book of Life in heaven; and to God, the Judge of all; and to the spirits of the just who have been perfected" (v 23).

Let's see what 1-Cor. 15 says about the resurrection. This gives us a good understanding of the resurrection.

1-Corinthians 15:34: "Awake to righteousness… [there are a lot in the Church of God that that is applicable today] …and do not sin, for some of you do not have the knowledge of God. I say this to your shame."

Some of them said, the resurrection's already over because Christ was resurrected. So what was coming into the Church? Everybody's going to heaven.

Verse 35: "Nevertheless, someone will say, 'How are the dead raised? And with what body do they come?'"

Are you going to have the same body? He's talking here about the first resurrection! He's not talking about the second resurrection. We save that for the Last Great Day.

Verse 36: "Fool! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies." That's what Jesus said of Himself!

A grain, if it is not planted and if it does not die, it does not bear fruit—and He was referring to His life. But after His resurrection, He's bearing all the fruit that's in the Church. So, it does not come to life unless it dies and disintegrates and brings new life.

Verse 37[transcriber's correction]): "And what you sow is not the body that shall be; rather, it is bare grain—it may be of wheat, or one of the other grains… [because we talked about the wheat harvest and the barley harvest] …and God gives it a body according to His will, and to each of the seeds its own body" (vs 37-38).

I never cease to be amazed when you look out and see all the kinds of plants and all the kinds of trees, fruit trees and nut trees, and you see everything that is grown out of the ground. The difference is contained in the seed. Out of the same soil will come something sweet; will come something bitter; will come a fruit, will come a nut, will come a grape, will come an apple or an orange. All of that is because God put it in the seed! So likewise, if we have the seed of God in our mind, and we die in the faith, when we are resurrected it's not going to be the same physical body; it's going to be a spiritual body. That's what he's explaining here in 1-Cor. 15.

Verse 39: "Likewise, not all flesh is the same flesh. Rather, there is one flesh of men, and another flesh of beasts, and another of fish, and another of birds. And there are heavenly bodies, and earthly bodies; but the glory of the heavenly is different, and the glory of the earthly is different. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory" (vs 39-41).

Paul is drawing the comparison here and likening that to the resurrection. What did Jesus say that the saints? Would be resurrected, the good seed, and they would shine in glory like the sun in the Father's Kingdom. Here Paul is following right along with further explanation of what Jesus meant.

Verse 42: "So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption… [we all grow old and die] …it is raised in incorruption."

Everything that you are is contained in the spirit in man and the Spirit of God; and when you die, the body dies, but the spirit, not having consciousness goes back to God. The Spirit of God, the spirit of man, cannot have consciousness until it is in a mind and body. That's why it says in Heb. 12, 'to the spirits of just men made perfect.' Being dead is likened to sleeping.

There's no memory, there's no activity there; it's just like the recording that we are doing here. This recording, by itself—the CD by itself—is not worth very much. You've got to have a CD player to put it into to play. Then you have to have the energy and power to make it work. So likewise the resurrection. The perfected spirit of man with God's Spirit, with us, is stored by God for the resurrection. Now, where He's storing it, that's up to Him. He doesn't tell us every one of His secrets. But we can believe Him that it's in safekeeping.

Verse 43: "It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body" (vs 43-44).

That's what we're going to have when we're resurrected, a spiritual body. No more limitations of the flesh. Won't that be nice? No more problems that we have of over-weight, or under-weight, or too tall, or too short, or whatever it may be. God is going to bless us with a spiritual body, with no flaws.

Verse 45: "Accordingly, it is written, 'The first man, Adam, became a living soul; the last Adam became an ever-living Spirit.' However, the spiritual was not first, but the natural—then the spiritual" (vs 45-46).

I might just interject here: One of the doctrines of Gnosticism, which is also a main belief of the Mormon Church, is that we all existed in the stars as spirits first. That's why they have to have lots of children, so that the spirits can come down and possess the children. No! The physical, natural body was first, then the spiritual.

Verse 47: "The first man is of the earth—made of dust…. [not from the stars in heaven] … 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…. [here is a tremendous promise, and never forget this]: …And as we have borne the image of the one made of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly One. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God, nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I show you a mystery: we shall not all fall asleep, but we shall all be changed, in an instant, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed" (vs 47-52). Notice, he does not say trumpets. It's singular: the trumpet shall sound.

Go back and carefully read Num. 10, Every Holy Day the trumpet was to be sounded. On the Feast of Trumpets, the trumpets—all trumpets and ram's horns—were blown all day long. Remember what we covered concerning Pentecost and the giving of the Law. What happened? There was the clouds, the thunder, the lightning, the whirlwind and the trumpet blasting long and loud! Who was standing down at the foot of Mt. Sinai? Israel, the firstfruit of God. And standing is symbolic of being resurrected. So we have the parallel between that—and as we covered in the sermon From Mt. Sinai to Mt. Sion.

"…for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed" (v 52).

Now, we're going to read another one where it is not talking about trumpets, but trumpet. We're going to see three other references to the trumpet. Paul calls it 'the last trumpet.' Where do we find 'the last trumpet' specifically numbered and then something happens at that last trumpet?

We want to get the timing again, so we have the timing of the return of Christ, and then we will bring in the trumpet again at the appropriate time. Let's just review the last part of Rev. 6, when the sixth seal opens and the heavens are rolled back as a scroll and they see the Son of man. As we said, everything will be changed. The whole world is going to see this: heavens rolled back as a scroll. And they are going to see all the things that take place.

Revelation 6:14: "Then the heaven departed like a scroll that is being rolled up, 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; 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'" (vs 14-16).

Is this the sign of the Son of man that Jesus talked about? This is a sudden occurrence that takes place in heaven. Where else is this described? Matt. 24!

Let's review Matt. 24 again. We're going to see the return of Christ takes place suddenly! It is known, but not suddenly that He comes directly to the earth; because there are a great many things that need to happen before He comes to the earth—and God is going to give plenty of warning. That the whole world will know that this the return of Jesus Christ.

Matthew 24:29: "But immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light… [tie in with Rev. 6] …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" (vs 29-30)—tie in with Rev. 1, that every eye is going to see Him! All the tribes of the earth will mourn and wail because of Him. But what is this going appear like, when it's in heaven?

Verse 27—here's how the sign of the Son of man appears: "For as the light of day, which comes forth from the east and shines as far as the west, so also shall the coming of the Son of man be."

That has to be the sixth seal in Rev. 6, beginning in v 12 to the end of it. It's going to be there!

The Greek means as the sun or moon and stars; and it also means a flash of light. So this is going to take place instantly and that's when the heavens roll back as a scroll. The light shines in a great flash, and then continues shining as if it's another sun that was never seen before—and continues there. I have said that perhaps this takes place on the next to the last Pentecost, because then right after that is when the 144,000 and the great innumerable multitude are sealed. They come out of great tribulation. When that takes place, there's going to be mass repentance and mass conversion.

Verse 31: "And He shall send His angels…" It doesn't mean immediately, because we'll see the timing between v 30 & v 31, there are many things yet to take place before the harvest.

"…with a great sound of a trumpet…" (v 31)—not a day-long blasting of trumpets. It is a particular trumpet. Paul says, it is the last trumpet. If it was the last trumpet of trumpets being sounded all day long, on the Feast of Trumpets, then as I mentioned, then you're already to the end of the Feast of Trumpets. Those who believe in a resurrection of the Feast of Trumpets, cannot happen until the last trump, and that trumpet would not be sounded until the end of the day. The resurrection couldn't take place until after Trumpets. That's why the parallel of the harvest of the firstfruits must be on Pentecost. We have the next to the last Pentecost, when the 144,000 (Rev. 7) and the great innumerable multitude are sealed. Comes around one year later and then we have the harvest at the last trump.

When you read the account of the workers in the field and where it was that the master of the field went out to the men gathered around the marketplace and said, 'Do you need the work.' Yes. 'Well, go out into my field and I will pay you thus-an-such for working.' He came back at different times during the day and at the eleventh hour of the day he came back and there were still some there waiting to be hired. He said, 'Go work in my field—even though it's the eleventh hour—and I'll pay you what's right.' When it came time to pay all the workers, he started with the last and paid them the same as those who worked in the heat of the day. Those who worked in the heat of the day began complaining: 'Why are you giving them the same amount that you're giving us. Didn't we bear the heat of the day.' He said, 'Well, I can do with I own what I desire.'

The point of it is: there are going to be last minute converts. They will be converted for one year. Prior to that we had the martyrdom. There are those who are still in the place of safety, still alive. God adds to it the 144,000 and great innumerable multitude. Since the Church started on Pentecost, and now here we have the first of the giving of the Holy Spirit to those with the appearance of the sign of the Son of man in heaven, the 144,000 and great innumerable multitude. So he's going to send them out with the sound of the trumpet and

"…and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other" (v 31).

1-Thess. 4—I know we already covered it, but sometimes we need to cover it from several different perspectives so we make sure that we get everything in, because there are a lot of events that are going to take place when the resurrection occurs and all the time leading up to the resurrection.

The point I want to make is that nowhere does it show that Trumpets is a harvest feast. Nowhere does it show that it's the last trumpet blown on the Feast of Trumpets, because trumpets are blown all day long. When you really analyze the Feast of Trumpets, it is a war feast. Yes, it does involved the last part of the return of Christ and the saints.

But the first part of the return of Christ starts out with the heavens ripping open and rolling back as a scroll, and then the sign of the Son of man appearing in heaven as a great, shining light. Because the earth is turning on its axis, then it looks like it's shining from the east to the west. Although it starts out with a brilliant blasting light.

1-Thessalonians[transcriber's correction] 4:15: "For this we say to you by the Word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall in no wise precede those who have fallen asleep."

Now the ones who are alive at the coming of the Lord, are the 144,000, the great innumerable multitude and those who are in the place of safety.

Verse 16: "Because the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout of command…"—which it will!

The heavens will roll back as a scroll, they'll see the sign of the Son of man in heaven. It will be there from the time of Rev. 6:12, which is just about another year and four months until the Trumpets when Christ and His saints return to the earth. So it's going to be up there for an extended period of time. The resurrection does not take place when the sign of the Son of man appears in heaven. That comes one year later.

"…with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first" (v 16)

You need other Scriptures to put in the timing sequence when those events will take place.

Verse 17: "Then we who are alive and remain… [we're not going to precede those who have died] …shall be caught up together with them… [by the angels] …in the clouds… [the first heaven] …for the meeting with the Lord in the air…"

As we saw in Heb. 12, the meeting is the festival gathering, and that has got to be the last Pentecost

"…and so shall we always be with the Lord" (v 17).

Again, we find a trumpet, the last trumpet! Nowhere do we find the Feast of Trumpets associated with the resurrection. But we do find the resurrection associated:

  • with the harvest
  • with the reaping
  • with the parallel between Christ as the firstfruits and those of us who are the Church of the Firstborn

We are the firstfruits of Christ right now and the harvest will be, as He said, at the end of the age.

Now, let's come to the book of Revelation again and let's see when that trumpet is blown, because there's only one 'last trumpet.' There is only one trumpet that is blown for the resurrection, and that does not take place in Rev. 19 as Christ is coming back to the earth. He's going to show Himself in the heavens. The sign of the Son of man is going to be there. Then when it comes down in time from that point, this is where we pick it up in the book of Revelation again, after the 144,000 and great, innumerable multitude.

Revelation 8:1: "Now, when He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about a half hour. Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them" (vs 1-2).

Now we have a definitive number: seven. These angels did not blow all seven trumpets at the same time. They're blown in sequence, beginning with the first down to the last.

Verse 3: "And another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar; and much incense was given to him, so that he might offer it with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar that was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense went up before God from the hand of the angel, ascending with the prayers of the saints. And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire from the altar, and cast it into the earth; and there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings, and an earthquake. Then the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound their trumpets. And the first angel… [not all seven at once] …sounded his trumpet…" (vs 1-7)—and it explains what happened with that!

Verse 8: "Then the second angel sounded his trumpet…"—and it explains what happened with that!

Verse 10: "And the third angel sounded his trumpet…"—so it's in sequence! And we're coming down to the last trumpet.

Verse 12: "Then the fourth angel sounded his trumpet…"

Revelation 9:1: "And the fifth angel sounded his trumpet…"

Verse  13: "And the sixth angel sounded his trumpet…"

When do we see another trumpet blown? We'll explain all about this because this has to do with introducing the events that take place leading up to the actual return of Christ and the saints on the earth.

We don't find it in Rev. 10, do we? In Rev. 10 we have the seven thunders. We don't know what they are because John was not allowed to write it.

Revelation 10:7: "But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound the trumpet, the mystery of God shall also be completed, according to the Gospel that He declared to His servants the prophets."

When is that seventh trumpet sounded?

Rev. 11—the first part of it is an inset talking about the temple and the two witnesses and what they do. After they are killed and they have been lying in the streets in Jerusalem, after their ministry of 1260 days, they lie in the streets of Jerusalem 3-1/2 days.

Revelation 11:11: "Then after the three and a half days, 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… [the first heaven] …and their enemies saw them rise. 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 past. Behold, the third woe is coming immediately. Then the seventh angel sounded his trumpet…" (vs 11-15)—that's the last trumpet!

Notice what happens. Ties right in with what Jesus said in Matt. 13 & 24:

"…and there were great voices in heaven, saying, 'The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and His Christ, and He shall reign into the ages of eternity.' And the twenty-four elders, who sit before God on their thrones, fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying, 'We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, Who is, and Who was, and Who is to come; for You have taken to Yourself Your great power, and have reigned. For the nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, and the time for the dead to be judged, and to give reward to Your servants the prophets, and to the saints, and to all those who fear Your name, the small and the great; and to destroy those who destroy the earth'" (vs 15-18).

There it's talking about the resurrection; because you can't give reward to them unless they're resurrected.

Let's review the harvest in Rev. 14, and it shows two harvests: the harvest of the righteous.

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'" (vs 14-15).

That's the resurrection! That agrees with what Jesus said: the angels are the reapers, and who is it doing it here but the angels. Then He talks about the ones that clusters of grape and that harvest for wrath.

Now they're resurrected. As Jesus said, the angels are going to lift them up. 1-Thess, said we're going to meet Him in the air, in the clouds. Jesus said He's returning with the clouds, so there we have them meeting together. When the resurrection takes place at the last Pentecost, because as we will see there are things to take place after the resurrection, with the saints in the air on the Sea of Glass. It talks about those who have been resurrected standing on the Sea of Glass.

I'll expand a little bit more on that in events leading up to Trumpets[transcriber's correction], but let's just mention this. There are three places that talk about the false prophet.

  • Do you believe that there is a false prophet? Yes!
  • How many times does something have to be mentioned in the Bible to be true? Once!

If it talks about the Sea of Glass here, it means a literal sea of glass—just like it was in Exo, 24 & in Rev. 4.

Those who had gotten victory over the beast, which is Satan through all time, and over his mark, which is at the end-time; and over his number and his name, standing on the Sea of Glass. They have their lyres and they're going to sing the Song of Moses and the Song of the Lamb. That refers back to those two loaves that were waved on the Day of Pentecost, which had to do with those of the Old Testament and those of the New Testament. So, there's an awful lot that takes place on the Sea of Glass.

So, I'm going to bring a sermon, which is going to cover all the things that have to take place on the Sea of Glass, and why we are there on the Sea of Glass from a Pentecost resurrection and then we return with Christ on the following Feast of Trumpets.

Scripture References:

  • Exodus 23:14-19
  • Exodus 34:17-23
  • Leviticus 23:9-11, 14, 16-17
  • Matthew 13:33
  • Leviticus 23:16-17
  • Jeremiah 2:1-3
  • Romans 11:16, 15,17
  • Matthew 13:10-11, 35, 12-32, 34-39, 41-43
  • 1 Corinthians 15:17-23
  • James 1:18
  • Matthew 1:25
  • Colossians 1:18
  • Revelation 1:3-5
  • Hebrews 12:22-23
  • 1 Corinthians 15:34-52
  • Revelation 6:14-16
  • Matthew 24:29-30, 27, 31
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17
  • Revelation 8:1-8, 10, 12
  • Revelation 9:1, 13
  • Revelation 10:7
  • Revelation 11:11-18
  • Revelation 14:14-15

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Exodus 32
  • Deuteronomy 16
  • Acts 10
  • Hebrews 12
  • Numbers 10
  • Revelation 7; 6:12; 19; 4
  • Exodus 24

Also referenced: Sermon:
            From Mt. Sinai to Mt. Sion

Transcribed: 5-23-08
Reformatted/Corrected: 12/2019