Fred R. Coulter—May 31, 2009

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Greetings, brethren, welcome to the Feast of Pentecost, 2009—and of course, this is a tremendous day, a day of great celebration, as we find in the Bible; a day of tremendous significance to us. As we will see, it pictures the first resurrection. And this is the day which really connects us with Christ. Remember, He was resurrected late on the Sabbath. Then on the Wave-Sheaf Offering Day He ascended to the Father. And this is pictured here in Leviticus 23:10, concerning the instructions for the Feast of Pentecost and how to count it.

Now, it is a direct connection between Jesus’ resurrection on the Sabbath, ascension to God the Father on the Wave-Sheaf Offering Day, seven complete weeks, plus one day. Let’s begin here in Leviticus 23:10: "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." As we read yesterday leading up to this sermon, Jesus was called the Firstfruits. And we ourselves are also called firstfruits. Jesus was the firstborn of Mary; He was the firstborn from the dead—so that shows that Jesus was born again; and ‘born again’ does not have to do with a conversion experience. ‘Born again’ means being transformed from flesh to spirit. So, we are also called (as we will see) the ‘church of the firstborn.’ So all of these things all tie together with the Feast of Pentecost.

Verse 11: "And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD to be accepted for you. On the next day after the Sabbath… [and this is the correct translation] …the priest shall wave it." Then is shows all the offerings that they were to bring.

Verse 15: "And you shall count to you beginning with the next day after the Sabbath, beginning with the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven Sabbaths shall be complete…. [That means each week ends in a Sabbath. It is called the Feast of Weeks, as we saw yesterday, in Deut. 16. Each week must be completed—day one through day seven, and] …seven Sabbaths shall be complete…. [So the next day after the Sabbath has to be the first day of the week—and that has to be Pentecost. That’s the correct way to count it.] …Even unto the day after the seventh Sabbath… [So that makes it very clear. It can’t be the next day after the seventh Sunday.] …you shall number fifty days. And you shall offer a new grain offering to the LORD" (vs 15-17)—and this ‘new grain offering’ (we’ll come back to a little later) was different from any other offering that was given at the temple. And it has to signify something very important connected with the resurrection from the dead.

Let’s see something else he said that they were to do—v 21: "And you shall proclaim on the same day that it may be a holy convocation to you. You shall do no servile work therein. It shall be a statute forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations."

Now, as we read yesterday, on the Feast of Weeks—which then is the day of Pentecost—we are to bring and offering; and we are to appear before God not empty. We are to bring something to God in the way of offering. And today, since we are in a monetary system, that’s what we bring. And by the way, some people said that on Passover Fred Coulter sacrificed a lamb. Well, that’s not quite true, we didn’t do that. But we did find out how long it took to sacrifice one for writing the Passover book. So let’s get that straight. We don’t have a temple in Hollister; we don’t have an altar; and I don’t wear priest garb; and I don’t slaughter lambs—although, I like lamb meat. Like one man was saying about Fred Coulter, he said, ‘Well, I have issues with Fred Coulter.’ Someone asked, What are they? ‘Well, I’ve got issues with him.’

All of those things aside, we need to understand that we need to honor God; and we need to do so understanding that God will provide for us. God will watch over us. And let’s also understand: everything we have comes from God! There isn’t a single, solitary thing that we have of ourselves. So, when we bring an offering to God—which we’ll take up here in just a minute—we are expressing to God from our substance:

  • that we love Him;

  • that we thank Him;

  • that we appreciate Him.

Remember, everything that God has made and created so that we can be here—and yes, even we exist—comes from the power of His creation to create the substance of what we are; of what the whole earth is, with all the plants and animals are; what the vastness of the universe is. So, let’s reflect the kind of love that we have toward God in the offering that we will take up.

(pause)

Now, let’s begin with Mt. Sinai; then we will go to Mt. Zion; and then we will go to Mt. Sion, as it’s called in the book of Hebrews. So let’s begin in Exodus 19, a very, very important chapter because they came into the wilderness of Sinai on the same day that they left Egypt—that was the same day of the week—and it was in the third month. There’s every reason to believe, with the chronology that we find here in Exo. 19 & 20 that the giving of the Ten Commandments took place on the Feast of Pentecost. So, let’s look at how God was dealing with the children of Israel and the tremendous importance of God coming down on Mt. Sinai and speaking the Ten Commandments directly to them; and how absolutely important that that was. So let’s begin right here and let’s see how God deals with covenants; and then we will also look at the situation with the New Testament.

Exodus 19:3: "And Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him out of the mountain, saying, ‘Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob and tell the children of Israel, "You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you unto Myself. Now therefore, if you will obey My voice indeed… [Now, I want to stop here and emphasize—whenever you see this: ‘obey the voice of God’ this is the (how shall we say) the foundation of all that’s in the Bible, because

  • these are the words of God;

  • these are the words that God has spoken;

  • these are the words that God gave to Moses to speak;

  • gave to the prophets to speak;

  • gave to David to speak;

  • gave to all the other prophets to speak;

  • gave to Jesus Christ to speak;

  • Who gave it to the apostles to speak;

  • who wrote it down and gave it to us!

Obey My voice!

"…indeed… [that means truly and with sincerity and with honesty] …and keep My covenant… [Now notice what he said—part of what we read yesterday, too] …and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a Holy nation." These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel’" (vs 3-6).

Now what this is, this is a proposal or an overview; and you might say it’s very much like a proposal for marriage. When a prospective husband proposes to his prospective wife, he says, ‘will you marry me?’ Well, there aren’t any details to it—are there?—and you agree. And what happens later, the details come later, don’t they? So likewise with God; that’s what He did with Abraham. He told him, ‘Leave your father’s house and go where I’m going to show you to go, and I will bless you—bless those who bless you, curse those who curse you—and your name shall be great and in you shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’ So he went!

Then in Gen. 15 He began to reveal more. He revealed to him about his physical seed and about the spiritual seed and then the sacrifice that was given. Later on then He had the covenant of circumcision with that. And later on then He expanded that out to Isaac; and Isaac was told, by God, ‘the reason, Isaac, that you are getting these things and that you are going to be heir of this land, and you are going to be the father of the children, which later became the children of Israel—through Jacob—you’re going to be the father of Jacob. That you are receiving this because Abraham obeyed My voice, kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.

Now likewise here with the children of Israel, there at Mt. Sinai, they received this first proposal. So He tells him, ‘you get ready on the third day because I’m going to come down and speak to the people directly.’ Never has happened before in the whole history of the world, that God would come down and speak to a man. And yet, He did this in His glorified form so He was up on top of Mt. Sinai, and there were dark clouds and wind and trumpet sounding long and loud, and none of the animals could get up there because God wanted to impress upon the children of Israel that He personally was dealing with them. So let’s read it here now, and what happened.

Verse 16: "And it came to pass on the third day in the morning that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mountain. And the sound of the trumpet was exceedingly loud so that all the people in the camp trembled. And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet with God. And they stood at the base of the mountain…. [Quite a thing! Then God told them not to go up on the mountain at all. So here’s the sight that they saw] (v 18): …And Mount Sinai was smoking, all of it because the LORD came down upon it in fire. And the smoke of it went up like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly. And when the sound of the trumpet sounded long, and became very strong, Moses spoke, and God answered him by voice. And the LORD came down upon Mount Sinai on the top of the mountain. And the LORD called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up" (vs 16-20).

"And the LORD said to Moses, ‘Go down. Command the people, lest they break through unto the LORD to gaze, and many of them perish…. [Because no man can look upon the face of God and live.] …And let the priests also, who come near to the LORD, sanctify themselves, lest the LORD break forth upon them.’ And Moses said to the LORD, ‘The people cannot come up to Mount Sinai, for You commanded us, saying, ‘Set bounds around the mountain, and sanctify it.’ And the LORD said to him, ‘Away! Get you down, and only you shall come up, you and Aaron with you. But do not let the priests and the people break through to come up to the LORD, lest He break forth upon them.’ And Moses went down to the people, and spoke to them" (vs 21-25).

Now, everything was ready for God giving the Ten Commandments, and these are the same commandments that were in effect from the beginning of Adam and Eve. Anyone who tells you that they weren’t doesn’t have a clue as to what they’re talking about; because remember this: ‘Where there is no law there is no sin.’ So if there’s no sin there can be no judgment for sin because there was no law broken. And they sinned! God judged them and that’s why there was the Flood. And after that sin is mentioned and enumerated before we come to the event here of the Ten Commandments. So that is just an insane, theological argument that those who hate the laws of God and commandments of God use to try and impugn God. Just exactly as carnal as the children of Israel were here in their dealings with God a little later, as the books of Moses tell us.

Now, we know all the Ten Commandments. Have you memorized them by heart? Can you say them full-length by heart?—not the abbreviated form. But remember, if you break the first commandment, you have broken all the commandments. If you break the second, the third, the fourth, the fifth, the sixth, the seventh, the eighth, ninth and tenth commandment—because they are all tied together and you can’t separate them out. If you break one, you break all. Now, if any Protestants are listening, you’d better read the fourth one very clearly, about the Sabbath. If any Catholics are listening, you’d better get out, even the Douay version of the Catholic Bible, and read Exodus 20, because they did not take out the commandment to make idols. So it proves the hypocrisy.

God came down here to make sure that people knew and understood these were His spiritual laws, His eternal laws, and this is how He intended people to live—by keeping His commandments. What happened when they heard it?

Exodus 20:18: "And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking. And when the people saw, they trembled and stood afar off. And they said to Moses, ‘you speak with us, and we will hear…. [Well, they never did!] …But let not God speak with us, lest we die.’ And Moses said to the people, ‘Do not fear, for God has come to prove you, and so that His fear may be before your faces, so that you may not sin’" (vs 18-20).

So the rest of the story is like this: With the Ten Commandments then there are other commandments and judgments and ordinances and statutes that accompany it, to define, for example, murder; to define sexual sins—you shall not commit adultery.’ Well, what does that include? So all of those are included in what are called the ordinances. How about stealing? What do you do with stealing? How about bodily injury? How do you handle that? So Exodus 21, 22 & 23 all have the statutes and judgments and ordinances of God on how to take care of it and how to handle it.

This then becomes part of the overall proposal that God gave. "I want you to be a peculiar people to Me. I will treasure you above all people on the earth, and I want you to be a kingdom of priests and a Holy nation to Me." So Israel’s job—after they were settled in the Holy Land—is to spread the truth about God’s Word and His commandments to the whole world. And that was the responsibility that He gave to Israel. God never came down and talked to another people. God never dealt through any other people than the children of Israel. That was until we come to another Pentecost a little later (as we will see).

The rest of the story is—because there are lots of rest of the stories when you start getting into the Bible—that the children of Israel failed. They rebelled in the wilderness, didn’t want to go in when God wanted them to go in, and so they wandered for 40-years, they came into the wilderness, they had the judges, and they soon forgot God after the elders outlived Joshua—they all died and a new generation came along and what did they do? Just like all the next generation: ‘Oh we know everything. We’re better than these old-fogies that have died off over here. So we like Balaam, and we like Ashtoreth, and we like these religions; and so we we’re going to embrace them and forsake the Lord.’ So they did, and God sent them into repeated captivities as punishment; repeated oppressions by the enemy as punishment. And they really hardly ever learned. They had some periods of peace; some periods when they were in captivity in serving their enemies. So then the children of Israel finally came to Samuel and said, ‘Look, Samuel, we want a king.’ So Samuel was all upset over that, and Samuel was told by God, ‘Don’t be upset over that, they’re not rejecting you, they’re rejecting Me. But if they want a king, you tell them what kind of king they will have.’ So he told them what kind of king they would have.

They selected Saul for the first king, and he turned out to be a failure. So then God chose David to be king, and he was the youngest son of Jesse. And when Samuel came to anoint David as king, all the sons of Jesse were right there, except David. And after he went through the rounds of all the sons twice, Samuel said to Jesse, ‘Do you have another son?’ Oh, yeah, I’ve got a son out there tending the sheep. ‘Bring him, that’s the one that God has chosen.’ So they brought him in; anointed him as king. David was perhaps, except for the affair of Bathsheba, a man who was really after God’s heart. A man who loved God, who served God, who fought for God, who took care of the enemies. God was with him in battle, in prayer and in everything.

David was saying one night—Nathan came in and he said: ‘I want to build a house for God.’ And Nathan said, ‘God will let you build a house for Him, but not you—your son—because you’re a bloody man.’ You have Mt. Sinai, where the law was given. Then we come to the temple, and the temple is where Mt. Zion was. And the temple was built upon Mt. Zion. That started a whole new era.

Let’s come here to 1-Chronicles 28 (pg 919) and let’s see the events that took place and what happened after the temple was built. We won’t go through in great detail, but we will cover part of it. So we find in the first part that David gathered all Israel—the princes of the tribes, and the commanders of divisions, and all of the priests, and all the singers, and all the officers, and all valiant men—he got them together and here’s what he said:

1-Chronicles 28:2: "And David the king stood up on his feet and said, ‘Hear me, my brethren and my people. I had in my heart to build a house of rest for the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD, and for the footstool of our God, and had made preparations for the building. But God said to me, "You shall not build a house for My name, because you have been a man of war and have shed blood." However, the LORD God of Israel chose me before all the house of my father to be king over Israel forever. For He has chosen Judah to be the ruler, and of the house of Judah the house of my father. And among the sons of my father’s house He was pleased to make me king over all Israel. And of all my sons (for the LORD has given me many sons), He has chosen Solomon my son to sit upon the throne of the kingdom of the LORD over Israel. And He said to me, "Solomon your son shall build My house and My courts, for I have chosen him to be My son, and I will be his Father. And I will establish his kingdom forever if… [notice all the time when we come to what our part is to be, there’s always the if] …he continues resolute in keeping My commandments and My judgments, as he is today"’" (vs 2-7).

"‘And now in the sight of all Israel, the congregation of the LORD, and in the hearing of our God… [he’s bringing this out to the people] …keep and seek for all the commandments of the LORD your God… [he’s telling everybody—he’s getting read to do die, so he’s preparing the way for Solomon, so he’s encouraging all of the leaders and the people, of course, to keep the commandments of God and seek Him.] …so that you may possess this good land and leave it for an inheritance for your children after you forever’" (v 8).

Now then, he turned to his son. I want you to listen to what David told him, and then we will see what happened after Solomon dedicated the temple. And this, where the temple was, is Mt. Zion. And we will see that God put His presence there in a very special way.

Verse 9: "‘And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve Him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind… [that has to be the attitude of anyone approaching God. How do you have a perfect heart? Perfect means you’re not hypocritical or duplicitous in what you are doing. You’re open and honest and straightforward before God. And of course, that requires a humble heart and repentance and all of that.] …and with a willing mind… [not be constrained because God says so, but willingly because God gave it to us for our good.] …for the LORD searches all hearts and understands all the imaginations of the thoughts…. [Now, we also find that in Acts 15, where we are told that in reiterating about the salvation coming to Gentiles, that God is heart-knowing God. So we have here the same principles that apply, because He searches all the hearts and understandings for all the imaginations of the heart.] …If you seek Him, He will be found by you…. [that’s a key thing! Jesus said, in the New Testament: ‘Seek and you shall find. Ask and you shall receive. Knock and it shall be opened." So we have the same principle here.] … seek Him… [and seeking God is a continuous thing, on a daily basis; you’re continually seeking Him.] …He will be found by you…. [You can find and know God.] …But if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever. Take heed now, for the LORD has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary. Be strong and do it’" (vs 9-10).

So then, God gave David all the plans and all the implements that were to be for the temple, and how to build the temple, and all the courses of the priests, and the courses of the army, and all of the officials and bureaucracies and everything that was to be for the new kingdom of Israel.

Verse 19: "‘All this,’ said David, ‘was in writing from the hand of the LORD. He made me understand all the details of these plans’…. [So he wrote it out; it came from God.] …And David said to Solomon his son… [and this has to also be continuously be our attitude, too, brethren. This is what He also told Joshua when they were entering into the promised land.] …‘Be strong and of good courage, and do it…. [That’s what God wants to do with us, with our lives. There’s no question that God is going to do what He is going to do. The question becomes: What are we going to do? And if we seek God with a willing heart and mind and so forth…] …Be strong and of good courage… [And what did Jesus say on the Passover night? Jesus said, ‘In the world you’ll have tribulation, but in Me you’ll have peace. Be of good courage, or be courageous.’ Well, that’s what we have here.] …‘Be strong and of good courage, and do it. Do not fear, nor be dismayed [discouraged], for the LORD God, even my God, will be with you. He will not fail you nor forsake you… [that sounds quite a bit like Heb. 13—doesn’t it? Yes! Jesus promised: ‘I will not ever leave you or forsake you.’ So you see, those religionists who say, ‘Well, the Old Testament, we don’t need to use the Old Testament.’ They just have it completely wrong. And in most cases they haven’t read it. And if they have read it, they don’t understand it, and they don’t see the parallels with the New Testament.] (He says): …He will not fail you nor forsake you until you have finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD’" (vs 19-20).

So then he said, "‘And, behold, the courses of the priests and the Levites are for all the service of the house of God. And there shall be with you every willing, skillful man for every kind of workmanship, for any kind of service. Also the rulers and all the people will be completely at your command’" (v 21).

So there you have it—quite a thing. Now, it was dedicated. We find here in 2-Chronicles, the fifth chapter; and of course, this laps over into the Feast of Tabernacles, but there’s a point we need to make here, because at Mt. Sinai God established Himself with Israel. At Mt. Zion God established the kingdom under Solomon. Then when we come to the New Testament, at Mt. Zion again, as we will see, God established something more profound than either of these two things.

Let’s come here to 2-Chronicles 5:11—after the Ark was put into the finished temple: "And it came to pass, when the priests came out of the Holy place (for all the priests present were sanctified, and did not wait by course), and the Levitical singers… [and it lists all of them] …with their sons and their brethren, being clothed in white linen, and having cymbals and with harps and lyres—stood at the east end of the altar, and with them a hundred and twenty priests sounding with silver trumpets… [so this was really a fantastic dedication for the temple of God] …It came to pass, as the trumpeters and the singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD; and when they lifted up their voice with the silver trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the LORD, saying, ‘For He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever,’ that the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the LORD, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud…" (vs 11-14). Very similar to what happened when the tabernacle was completed—the cloud came and filled the tabernacle. So God showed He put His presence in the temple.

Then Solomon gave a tremendous prayer—all of 2-Chron. 6—and it might be very, very good for you to read all of Solomon’s prayer. You’ll get a lot of spiritual understanding out of it. But I want you to understand is this: How God made His presence known. At Mt. Sinai, He made His presence known personally right on top of the mountain. They didn’t see Him, but they saw the smoke; they saw everything that was going on; and they received the law of God, the statutes of God, the judgments of God, and so forth.

Now here, in 2-Chronicles 7:1: "And when Solomon had made an end of praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices. And the glory of the LORD filled the house." God put His presence there. Let’s see the pattern as we come along here.

Acts 2—let’s see something that’s very important for us to understand and realize. What God did and why He did it, and how He did it, and the reasons for it. Now, we know the temple was where God put His presence. After they were sent off into captivity—because of sins—to Babylon; they came back; rebuilt the temple. And the temple had various times of prosperity and peace, and paganism and cursings, even to the point of the desecration of the temple called ‘the abomination that makes desolate’ by Antiochus Epiphanes when he offered swine on the altar of God. Then they rebuilt it. We come down to the time of Christ, they were building the temple and it took 46 years to complete. It wasn’t even completely finished by the days of Christ—it went on for another 20 years and some of the smaller details that went along with it.

Here in Acts 2, we see something new that’s going to begin. We see what God is going to do. Remember this—let’s back up and review just a little bit here—after Jesus was resurrected from the dead, he told His apostles to do what? Go into all the world and preach the Gospel, making disciples of all nationsand teaching them ‘all things I have commanded you’—and then baptized them and so forth. And He said, ‘I’m with you even to the end of the age.’

Now, hold your place here in the book of Acts and let’s come to Luke 24 [transcriber’s correction] and let’s read what Jesus told them that they were to do. Then we will pick it up in Acts, the first chapter, for a little background to help us get a greater understanding of what’s happening there with the giving of the Holy Spirit at the temple on the day of Pentecost in 30 A.D.

Luke 24:44 (pg. 1,051)—after He ate in their presence: "And He said to them, ‘These are the words that I spoke to you when I was yet with you, that all the things which were written concerning Me in the Law of Moses and in the Prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled.’" And we get a great principle out of it this way: Jesus interpreted the Old Testament with His teachings, which tells us the New Testament interprets the Old Testament—very important to understand.

Another very important point, v 45: "Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, ‘According as it is written, it was necessary for the Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day. And in His name, repentance and remission of sins should be preached to all nations… [not just the God of Israel to Israel, and Israel failed to take the things of God to all the nations of the world—didn’t they? Yes! Now the Church was going to do this spiritually.] …all nations, beginning at Jerusalem’" (vs 45-47).

Now come back to the book of Acts, chapter one, and let’s see what else Jesus told them about doing this, and why then the day of Pentecost becomes so very important—not only just receiving the Holy Spirit, but in keeping the Feast day there in Jerusalem. Notice what He said to them—Acts 1:1: "The first account I indeed have written, O Theophilus, concerning all things that Jesus began both to do and to teach, until the day in which He was taken up, after giving command by the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom He had chosen; to whom also, by many infallible proofs, He presented Himself alive after He had suffered, being seen by them for forty days, and speaking the things concerning the Kingdom of God. And while they were assembled with Him, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem but to ‘await the promise of the Father, which,’ He said, ‘You have heard of Me. For John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit after not many days’…. [exactly ten days] …So then, when they were assembled together, they asked Him, saying, ‘Lord, will You restore the kingdom to Israel at this time?’ And He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father has placed in His own authority; But you yourselves shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses, both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and unto the ends of the earth’" (vs 1-8).

That becomes a key important thing that we need to understand about the Feast of Pentecost here, and realizing and understanding why God did it the way that He did. Now, did they ever go to all nations? No!Not personally. Did they ever go to the ends of the earth? Not personally.But the Word of God did! And the Word of God has been translated, the whole Bible, into 450-plus languages; the New Testament in 2200 languages; and the book of Mark in about 2700 languages. So the Gospel has been sent out that way, which is what Jesus told the apostles and disciples and inspired them to write.

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Now let’s continue on, Acts 2, and let’s read about this day of Pentecost, which happened at Mt. Zion, where the temple was built. And here is something that is tremendous. Now remember, look at the parallels that we have. Mt. Sinai we had the children of Israel all there that received the law of God. We had all Israel gathered at the dedication of the temple. Now we have a tremendous crowd at the temple here in Acts 2, and God is going to do something that is far more powerful than He did on the day of Pentecost in giving the Ten Commandments. And He is also going to show us what He’s going to do—which is (you will remember) ‘go to all the nations of the world to the end of the earth and preach the Gospel.’ Now, here’s the starting of it, and we’re going to see how powerful this was, and how absolutely prophetic that this was. Then we are going to see the latter fulfillment a little later on of Mt. Sion and the first resurrection.

Acts 2:1: "And when the day of Pentecost, the fiftieth day, was being fulfilled… [that is the correct translation] …they were all with one accord in the same place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like the rushing of a powerful wind… [what did we hear about back there in Exo. 20 when God came—rushing powerful wind, right? Yes!] …and filled the whole house where they were sitting…. [and that was a chamber adjacent to the temple] …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…" (vs 1-4). Very important to understand. Remember, Who gave the languages? God did! He confused them in Babylon—didn’t He? Yes! Scattered them into all the world, because they were rebelling against God. So now, here they are speaking in other languages.

Let’s stop and think about this for a minute. Let’s take it today and work back. As I mentioned all the number of Bibles, New Testaments and the book of Mark that have been translated—those were all in other languages, correct? Yes! We find here something very important in using these languages, which is: He is not speaking to Hebrews in Hebrew; he is speaking to those—most of them Jews, some of them proselytes, whom all these other countries that are listed—here in their own language. In other words, God is translating supernaturally, through the speaking of the apostles and the hearing of those who are listening, the wonderful works of God in their own language.

So I say to all of those who think that salvation is by sacred names: get a life! Understand God! Salvation is by faith of the heart, not by sacred names and pronunciation.

Notice, this came from God. "…they began to speak with other languages, as the Spirit gave them the words to proclaim" (v 4). Now, as I mentioned before, there’s a very profound and definite reason that God chose to preserve the New Testament in Greek, because of the rejection of Jesus Christ by the Jews. Now granted, all these are Jews to begin with. Most of them from the tribe of Benjamin, though. They were not Jews in the sense that people think of orthodox Jews today. So let’s clear up all of that and let’s understand it.

Verse 5. Now there were many Jews who were sojourning in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven." God intended this to be. God supernaturally did this, because the preaching of the Word of God, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, His shed blood for the forgiveness of sin, baptism and the receiving of the Holy Spirit, a change of heart and conversion is what God is all about. He’s not about all kinds of little picky arguments about people who want to have this little doctrine or that little doctrine or whatever it may be. Unless you agree with God; unless you follow His Word; unless you have His Spirit in you, don’t think for a minute you’re going to make it to the Kingdom of God; not going to happen!

Verse 6: "And when word of this went out, the multitude came together and were confounded… [because they never heard of anything like this] …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?…. [How could this be? A tremendous miracle! A miracle in the speaking; a miracle in the hearing; because God wanted them to know about God the Father and Jesus Christ. And by the way, those are the sacred names for the New Testament.] (So they said): …Then how is it that we hear each one in our own language in which we were born? Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and those who inhabit Mesopotamia, and Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, both Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya which are near Cyrene, and the Romans who are sojourning here, both Jews and proselytes [Gentiles], Cretes and Arabians; we hear them speaking in our own languages the great things of God’" (vs 6-11).

So God was doing the motivating. God was doing the speaking. Just like God was speaking at Mt. Sinai, here on Mt. Zion, God is speaking through the apostles—through His Spirit—to convey the Word of God to all those in all these nations because Christ commanded them to go to all nations unto the end of the earth—and that carries right down with us today. And I just submit, brethren, we better be about doing our Father’s business. Because if we don’t do it, you think of the judgment that’s going to be upon us.

Verse 12: "And they were all amazed and greatly perplexed, saying to one another, ‘What does this mean?’ But others were mocking and saying, ‘They are full of new wine.’ 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…. [We’ll look at some things concerning that a little later. That’s the time that the offering of the wave-loaves we waved.] …But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel: "And it shall come to pass in the last days," says God, "that I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh… [We’ll see another fulfillment of this in Rev. 7, in just a little bit] …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"’" (vs 12-19).

These are the events at the end-time. So what God is doing, He is coupling the Pentecost, right here in Acts 2, of going to all nations—coupling that with the preaching of the Gospel to the whole world before the end comes. Then He brings together some of the events that take place right there in the book of Rev.; and ties it all together—and sure enough there is a tie together.

Notice v 21: "‘"And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved"’" And then he [Peter] talks about Jesus; how He was delivered up, how He [Christ] was crucified by the pre-determined foreknowledge of God—that was God’s plan to have that done to save those whom He’s going to save. So he talks about how David prophesied that Jesus would not be left in the grave to see corruption.

Verse 31: "‘He foresaw thisand spoke concerning the resurrection of Christ, that His soul was not left in the grave, nor did His flesh see corruption. This Jesus has God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses…. [They saw Him 40 days and 40 nights.] …Therefore, having been exalted by the right hand of God… For David has not ascended into the heavens…’" (vs 31-33)—his grave is still here with us.

Verse 36—Here’s the beginning of the message on this day of Pentecost; and the day of Pentecost begins it, and the day of Pentecost ends it. "‘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.’" And I just imagine that there were some there who were out there in the crowd cheering on asking for the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. And I’m sure that some of them had their hearts pricked and they repented and were baptized on that day (as we’ll see here in just a minute). So likewise with us. "Jesus is both Lord and Christ."

Verse 37: "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’" (vs 37-38). And that’s the whole point of it, brethren. As we covered yesterday, the seven weeks of the harvest has to do with those who receive the Holy Spirit:

  • to change

  • to grow

  • to bring forth fruit

  • then are ready for the harvest or the resurrection.

Verse 39: "‘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 that ties in with the teachings of Jesus—you have to be called.] …And with many other words he earnestly testified and exhorted, saying, ‘Be saved from this perverse generation’" (vs 39-40). And I tell you brethren, that’s what we’re going to have to be preaching to the world today; because it is more perverse and perverted, and greater numbers of people involved in it—and we’d better be about doing the Lord’s business the way that He wants us to do it. And we’d better quit arguing about picky little things that have nothing to do with salvation; and we had better all have a good and solid and right and ongoing and daily relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ. That’s what it’s all about! This is where it started. We’re at the end where it’s going to be finished!

Now, let’s come back here to Matthew, the thirteenth chapter, and let’s see something that I just mentioned yesterday having to do with the good use of leaven. During the Feast of Unleavened Bread, leaven is a type of sin—and we are to put leaven out just as we are to put sin out of our lives. However, here in Matthew 13:33 we see a very interesting parable that Jesus gave concerning the Kingdom of God; or Kingdom of Heaven as Matthew writes about it.

Matthew 13:33 (pg. 973): "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.’" Now, why is the Kingdom of God likened to leaven? Well, leaven forms a gas and that gas is basically a form of air. And when you leaven something and it rises, you change it, and then when you put it in the oven, that change is permanently set. You bake a loaf of bread, you can’t knead it down and start over again. It’s already baked. It’s already done. Now, this also shows a comparison: that the work of the Holy Spirit in us is not seen or understood by people who don’t have the Holy Spirit. So this is something that is not seen. However, it is working the work of God.

  • The Holy Spirit is what brings us to truth.

  • The Holy Spirit is what brings us to love.

  • The Holy Spirit is what brings us to the faith of God, and the fruits of the Holy Spirit and the Godly character that we need.

Now how does this fit in with the day of Pentecost? Let’s come back here to Leviticus 23. As I told you we would come back here again and we would analyze part of the offering that was given back here in Lev. 23 that had to do with leavened loaves, the wave-loaves. What does that picture? And why was this commanded to be? Here’s what they were to do:

Leviticus 23:16: "Even unto the day after the seventh Sabbath you shall number fifty days…. [That’s why it’s called Pentecost, because Pentecost means the 50thor count to 50.] …And you shall offer a new grain offering to the LORD. You shall bring out of your homes… [So everyone who was to come to the temple would make these loaves and take them with them to the temple, and they would give them to the priest. The priest would wave them and the priest would keep part of them and they would eat part of them themselves, because it was to be with the other sacrifices, as well.] (notice): …two wave loaves of two tenth parts…. [so they were to be a specific size] …They shall be of fine flour. They shall be baked with leaven… [Isn’t that something! Notice what it says]: …They are the firstfruits to the LORD" (vs 16-17).

What are we called? Firstfruits to the Lord. Jesus Christ, as we read yesterday, the Firstfruit; afterward those who are His at His coming. And James says we are firstfruits. So he says, they are ‘firstfruits to the Lord’ which means this is symbolic of us with the changed character, tried by fire; just as bread is baked in an oven—in those days by fire. Permanently set! Then it says the other ones that they would bring with it, too; all the animal sacrifices.

Verse 20: "And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits, a wave offering before the LORD, with the two lambs. They shall be Holy to the LORD for the priest." So all the sacrifices were there; they would go to the priest.

How much of it the people ate, it doesn’t tell us here, but this is similar to a peace offering and with a peace offering they were able to eat of it. But nevertheless, let’s look at the symbolism here. The priest represents Christ. We belong to Christ, all of us—right? So if these two wave-loaves are brought, and these represent those in the first resurrection, then we belong to Christ and God the Father—don’t we? So the symbolism is true.

One final question to answer: Why two loaves? This symbolizes all of those who were brought to qualification by God to enter into the Kingdom of God at the first resurrection—such as all of the patriarchs of old. And the second loaf pictures all of those who come through Christ. Either way they come through Christ.

Let’s come back here to 1-Peter, the first chapter, and we will see that. That they have the Spirit of Christ in them, but God had not yet revealed these things because it was not time to reveal them. Yes, they were prophesied about them. But the prophecies and everything had to be fulfilled until we come to the time that it actually takes place. We’ll read about that here.

1-Peter 1:10 (pg. 1,130): "Concerning which salvation the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you have diligently searched out and intently inquired… [Daniel wanted to know. Isaiah wanted to know. All the prophets wanted to know. Even Moses wanted to know.] …Searching into what way and what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them…" (vs 10-11). So they received the Spirit of Christ to understand these things as much as God let them understand. They didn’t have the full revelation.

I want to stop here and just say this, brethren: I want you to understand that we understand things that the prophets did not. They did not! They prophesied that. Now I want you to also think about the responsibility we have before God, because that is true. I want you think about how much God is going to hold us accountable for, because we have the whole Word of God, we understand the plan of God, it has been revealed; Christ has revealed it with His Spirit, with His Word, through the New Testament to interpret the Old Testament so we’ll know it and understand it. Yes, the Spirit of Christ in them!

"…was indicating, testifying beforehand of the sufferings of Christ, and these glories that would follow; to whom it was revealed that, not for themselves, but to us they were ministering these things, which now have been announced to you by those who have preached the Gospel to you by the Holy Spirit, sent from heaven… [goes right back to what we just covered there in Acts 2 on the day of Pentecost] …—into which things the angels desire to look" (vs 11-12). Now think about that!

  • I want you to just think about what I just said to you; and then

  • I want you to think about all this stupidity of the religions that people have.

  • Then I want you to think about all of the troubles and arguments and doctrines and things that we’ve had to sort through to keep the Truth and stand for what is right.

  • I want you then to think about how important it is for us to really respond to God; to really be zealous for God.

We look around and see the world deteriorating very rapidly around us, and we need to ask ourselves a question:

  • How much time to do we have left for freedom of speech,

  • for freedom of preaching,

  • for understanding the things that we do?

And are we going to end up like the man who received the one talent, and said, ‘Oh Lord, I was good boy, I wrapped it up in a napkin and I hid it away, and here you have Yours.’ And Jesus said, ‘You wicked and lazy servant.’ How is God going to greet us? What is it going to be? I think we need to really grasp the magnitude of what God has called us to. He hasn’t called us to do just little, tiny, little jobs. We’re not going to be janitors in the Kingdom of God! We are not going to be doorkeepers in the Kingdom of God! We are going to rule and reign with Christ! We are going to be resurrected and that day of resurrection is the day of Pentecost. And the resurrection is what we are looking forward to.

Now, let’s put this all together and let’s see some things and then we will come and look at some of the prophecies in the book of Revelation.

Let’s come to Hebrews, the twelfth chapter’ let’s see how the Apostle Paul brought this out—very similar to what I just brought out to you, and for the understanding that we need to have. Hebrews 12:1 (pg 1,215): "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great throng of witnesses… [Now, think about what he was writing here, because he was talking here in Hebrews 11 about all the patriarchs of the Old Testament. Think about what we are confronted with now with all the witnesses of the apostles and the whole Bible and everything.] …let us lay aside every weight, and the sin that so easily entraps us; and let us run the race set before us with endurance, having ourminds fixed on Jesus, the Beginner and Finisher of our faith; Who for the joy that lay ahead of Him endured the cross… [That’s what we have got to come to, brethren. For the joy of understanding and knowing that we are going to be in the Kingdom of God. We have been called to the greatest thing that’s going to happen in the whole history of mankind. Can we grasp that?! And we will be changed from flesh to spirit!] …although He despised the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Now meditate deeply on Him Who endured such great hostility of sinners against Himself so that you do not become weary and faint in your minds. You have not yet resisted to the point of losing blood in your struggle against sin" (vs 1-4).

Then he talks about the correction. Then he talks about what we need to do. Then he talks about how that we are not to be like the children of Israel on that Pentecost back at Mt. Sinai, when they refused to hear the Word of God. Let’s come down here to v 18.

Now we come to Mt. Sion. We started out with Mt. Sinai, Mt. Zion, and now Mt. Sion—which then is picturing the Church in its resurrected form. Verse 18: "For you have not come to the mount that could be touched and that burned with fire, nor to gloominess, and fearful darkness, and the whirlwind; and to the sound of the trumpet, and to the voice of the words, which those who heard, begged that the word not be spoken directly to them. (For they could not endure [it]…. And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, ‘I am greatly afraid and trembling.’) But you… [let’s understand our relationship with God; let’s understand what God is going to do with us] …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; and to thechurch of the firstborn… [that’s us! That’s all those in the first resurrection.] …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; and to Jesus, the Mediator of the New Covenant; and to sprinkling of the blood of ratification, proclaiming superior things than that of Abel" (vs 18-24).

What a fantastic blessing and glory and honor that that is—that we have that privilege, brethren. I want you to keep this in mind when you’re praying. I want you to have these things just literally, if you can, have them engraved in your heart and your mind and your soul; because we are at a time where it’s very important that that is.

Now, let’s look at some of the prophecies that are going to happen. Let’s look at some of the things that are going to take place. Let’s understand this: God is going to let this world reach a climax, a pinnacle of accomplishment—in spite of all the troubles and difficulties that are coming about. And

  • there will be a one-world government;

  • there will be a one-world system;

  • there will be the ‘mark of the Beast’

—and it is going to be some kind of chip in the hand or in the forehead, you can be guaranteed on that—and that is for control. And all those who take the ‘mark of the Beast’ will have given up their own free choice. That’s why God says we are not to take it. That’s why there’s going to be a martyrdom. And when all the events take place, as we come down through Rev. 6—I’m not going to go through all of those at this time—but I want to come at a point down to the time of tribulation into the three-and-a half- years at the end, before Christ sets His feet on the earth with the saints. And there’s going to come a time when man is going to reach a point that men are going to reach out and start martyring and killing Christians—and the hatred is building up and building up and building up. You can see it! They are going to hate us. They are going to despise us. But remember this: Jesus stood up for us! Can we stand up for Jesus?

There will come a time when God has to intervene. When He intervenes this is going to be the beginning of the greatest thing that has ever taken place on the face of the earth. Let’s read it here in Revelation 6:12: "And when He opened the sixth seal… [And this begins the introduction to a very important day of Pentecost. Up to this point we’ve had the seven weeks of the harvest of the Church. But God is not done yet. He’s going to directly intervene; and just like we read in Acts 2, there’s going to be fire and smoke and all of these things, and there’s going to be a great time of difficulty.] …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 when it is shaken by a mighty wind. Then the heaven departed like a scroll that is being rolled up… [The heavens are going to open up, and all the world is going to see the sign of the Son of man, and they are going to know that this is a great and tremendous event! Those of us who have the Holy Spirit, we know that it’s going to be the return of Jesus Christ. Those who don’t are going to think it’s an invasion from outer-space. That’s why they’re going to fight Christ.] …and every mountain and island was moved out of its place" (vs 12-14).

"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… [Because the truth is, if you read the book of Rev. the third heaven is not that far off from the earth. We can’t see it, but it’s not way off there some place, way past Pluto and on into the universe.] (notice v 17): …Because the great day of His wrath has come, and who has the power to stand?’" (vs 15-17). No one!

Now then, God is a God of love and mercy, and here He fulfills the promise of saving Israel. So in Revelation 7, we have the 144,000—12,000 out of every tribe—beginning with the tribe of Judah, to fulfill the prophecy that He said in Zec. 12 that ‘the tents of Judah shall be saved first.’ Then the great innumerable multitude. And then that projects forward to the resurrection. And all of these are going to be supernaturally spared from the rest of the tribulation that is going to come.

These picture then the great harvest of God for the 50th day—Pentecost. And if we put this all in perspective, and if we chart it out in the three-and-a-half years, then what happens here in Rev. 7 has got to be the next to the last Pentecost before the resurrection. Then after that we find Rev. 8, the fighting between the angels of God against men and demons, all the trumpet plagues begin. So we come to the next to the last Trumpets, and the trumpets begin. And just like it was an intercalated year, in the year of the Flood, so this is, the last year, going to be an intercalated year of 13 months. So the trumpets build, one after the other, one after the other, one after the other—the first four very quickly. Then the fifth one and the tremendous things that take place there, where then out of the abyss. At that point, God opens up the abyss and out of the abyss come millions and millions of demons who have been bound in prison. And they bring with them the supernatural weapon of the torment of a scorpion.

Then after five months there’s a retaliation from the kings of the east and the armies of the east totaling 200-million—a great army strung out from the end of Asia clear right up to the Euphrates River. And then they begin to cross the Euphrates River. Not all of these 200-million in one place are going to be there all at once, but this again is men and demons and machines that are called horsemen. And it’s going to be a great battle. God is going to bring all the nations and fight against them, as He said in the Valley of Jehoshaphat. So they’re going to be coming.

Now, as those things are taking place, then Rev. 11 we find the two witness finish their testimony for 1,260 days. They are killed and they are the last martyrs of God, and the first ones resurrected and the seventh trumpet sounds. When the seventh trumpet sounds, that is the resurrection. And at that time the angels come and gather all of those in the first resurrection and they take us up in the clouds to meet Christ in the air. And let’s see that here. I know there are many other Scriptures that I don’t have time to bring into it, but nevertheless, let’s understand something very important—I’ve covered it in past sermons.

Revelation 14:14—here is the harvest of the righteous: "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). Resurrection takes place. Where do we go? We meet Christ in the air! Well, Rev. 15 answers that question.

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… [What is the Sea of Glass there for. If you go back and read in Exo. 24, several days after the giving of the Ten Commandments, the first covenant was sealed with blood; Moses and Aaron and some of the elders went up to see God. They didn’t see Him directly, but they saw through a ‘sea of glass.’ Moses was allowed to go up and talk to God. Here we are all resurrected and brought to a sea of glass.] (Notice): …and those who had gotten the victory over the beast… [are those not the saints? Yes! And how far back does the Beast go? All the way back to Abel—Satan the devil.] …and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having the lyres of God. And they were singing the song of Moses… [these are the ones who are represented by the wave-loaf, which represented the Old Testament.] …the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb… [that is, all of these who are in the New Testament] …saying, ‘Great and awesome are Your works, Lord God Almighty; righteous and true are Your ways, King of the saints. Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You only are holy; and all the nations shall come and worship before You, for Your judgments have been revealed’" (vs 1-4).

Then a tremendous thing happens. He sees temple of the tabernacle in heaven open and seven angels with the seven last plagues. So the seven last plagues are poured out in full view of all of the saints. All of those: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, all the prophets, all of the apostles, all of the saints—great and small—all of those who have loved God, who have died in the faith, are resurrected—all standing on the Sea of Glass.

  • There we’re going to sing the Song of Moses, the Song of the Lamb.

  • There we’re going to receive our new name.

  • There we’re going to receive our new garments.

  • There we’re going to receive our assignments.

  • There we’re going to receive our white horse, which we’re going to ride on to come back down to the earth—when we all come down to the earth.

  • There will be the wedding of the Lamb—the marriage of the Lamb and His wife ‘have made herself ready.’

And then, after the seven last plagues are poured out, which will take place over the period of time from Pentecost until Trumpets, then at the next Trumpets, the last Trumpets, we’ll all come back down to the earth with Jesus Christ and take over the world. And then Satan is bound and we begin to rule as kings and priest. And thus we will completely fulfill what God wanted to start with Israel back there in Exodus 19.

So this is the meaning of the Feast of Pentecost—a great and fantastic day for all of us to look forward to; and may we all be there at that blessed and glorious day and rise as immortal spirit beings to meet God the Father and Jesus Christ, and all of those in the first resurrection.

 

Scriptural References:

  1. Leviticus 23:10-11, 15-17, 21

  2. Exodus 19:3-6, 16-25

  3. Exodus 20:18-20

  4. 1 Chronicles 28:2-10, 19-21

  5. 2 Chronicles 5:11-14

  6. 2-Chronicles 7:1

  7. Luke 24:44-47

  8. Acts 1:1-8

  9. Acts 2:1-19, 21, 31-33, 36-40

  10. Matthew 13:33

  11. Leviticus 23:16-17, 20

  12. 1-Peter 1:10-12

  13. Hebrews 12:1-4, 18-24

  14. Revelation 6:12-17

  15. Revelation 14:14-15

  16. Revelation 15:1-4

 

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Deuteronomy 16

  • Genesis 15

  • Exodus 21, 22 & 23

  • Acts 15

  • Hebrews 13

  • 2-Chronicles 6

  • Zechariah 12

  • Revelation 7, 8, 11

Also referenced: Book

The Christian Passover by Fred R. Coulter

 

BOOKS