Fred R. Coulter—May 23, 2010

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Greetings, brethren! Welcome to the Feast of Pentecost, 2010. Many of us thought we’d be in the Kingdom of God, oh how many years by this time. Just imagine what the apostles thought, because they at first believed that Jesus was going to return in their lifetimes, but He didn’t. Then think about what happened—and I can look at this say maybe this was a real turning point in the Church, which may have given an advantage to those in bringing in false doctrine.. Remember when Peter said of John, ‘Now what’s going to happen to this one?’ And Jesus said, ‘What is it to you if I desire that he remain alive until I come? You follow Me.’ The rumor went out, everyone thought and said, ‘Jesus is going to return before John dies.’ So when John died, can you imagine what happened to the Church? Because once a rumor gets out there, it stays alive. And then he died and Jesus hadn’t returned.

So, likewise with us. A lot of us are a whole lot older than we figured we would be and many of us thought we would live to see the return of Christ literally, but so far it hasn’t happened. One thing we can be sure of, it’s going to happen according to God’s way and God’s time. So we need to do as Jesus told Peter, ‘Follow Me.’ So the timing and all of those things are in the hands of God the Father and Jesus Christ.

Now let’s come, because it’s the Feast of Pentecost, to Leviticus 23 and we’ll just review a little bit on how to count Pentecost. Now we hope that the things that we understand, and with the translation of the Bible in the Faithful Version that more people will understand that Pentecost falls on the fiftieth day, which much be the first day of the week. Can’t be any other day. That means the Jews are wrong with the sixth of Sivan, except in the rare cases where that happens to be the sequence that does actually occur. And we know that those who believe in a Monday Pentecost are also wrong, because you’re dealing with partial weeks. You can’t deal in partial weeks. You must deal in whole weeks. We will see that they did not really keep the Feast of Pentecost, or actually the wave sheaf offering here first of all, until they came into the promised land. We’ll see they kept the day of Pentecost to commemorate the giving of the Ten Commandments, undoubtedly.

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... [I want to emphasize firstfruits, because the Feast of Pentecost is the Feast of the Firstfruits.] (And He says what they should do with the sheaf): ...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’” (vs 10-11).

Now ‘the Sabbath,’ I’ve explained ‘ha Shabbat’ means the weekly Sabbath. The next day after the Sabbath is the first day of the week. That’s the day that Jesus ascended into heaven to be accepted of God the Father and this is the—how shall we say—the physical ritual representation of Christ, the first being raised from the dead and ascending before the Father to be accepted by Him.

Now, let’s come down here to v 15. “ ‘And you shall count to you beginning the next day after the Sabbath... [So that is beginning with, and if you look up the definition in the English encyclopedia you will see that ‘from’ also means beginning with. So this is a correct translation.] ...beginning with the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven Sabbaths shall be complete.... [Because if you wave it on the first day of the week, seven days is the Sabbath, that’s the end of one week. We go down through seven weeks.] ...beginning with the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven Sabbaths shall be complete. Even unto the day after the seventh Sabbath... [Now if you have a Sabbath, what is the next day after the Sabbath? Is it Monday or Tuesday? No, it is the first day of the week.] ...you shall number fifty days. And you shall offer a new grain offering to the LORD’” (vs 15-16).

Now what we’re going to do is see that there is a continuous connection between the acceptance of the wave sheaf offering and the firstfruits celebration on the fiftieth day, or the day of Pentecost. That becomes important. Here’s what they were to do. Here was a special offering and a sacrifice.

“You shall bring out of your homes two wave loaves of two tenth parts. They shall be of fine flour.... [So they were to make loaves.] ...They shall be baked with leaven.... [Because leaven now changes the loaf and when it’s baked it’s permanently changed into the configuration.] ...They are the firstfruits to the LORD’” (v 17). Then they were to bring the offerings that they were to bring, the ritual offerings on the day of Pentecost that we find here verses 18-20. Now notice v 21: “And you shall proclaim on the same day that it may be a Holy convocation to you. You shall do not servile work therein. It shall be a statute forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.”

In Deuteronomy 16:16 it says that we are to bring an offering according to the blessing that the Lord God gives us. “Three times in a year shall all your males appear before the Lord your God in the place which He shall choose: in the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and in the Feast of Weeks [Pentecost] and in the Feast of Tabernacles. And they shall not appear before the LORD empty.” This is in addition to whatever sacrifice was given by the priesthood. And here’s how we are to assess what we give to God. Let’s look at more than just the physical blessings

• let’s look at the spiritual blessings
• let’s look at the understanding that God has given us
• let’s look to the love that God has given to us
• let’s look to the fact that we can have a relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ

“And they shall not appear before the LORD empty. Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God, which He has given you’” (vs 16-17).

Then Paul shows in 2-Cor. 9 that he who shows sparingly shall reap sparingly, because he was talking about a harvest here, and if we sow abundantly, we shall reap abundantly and God is able to make all sufficiency abound toward us in these very things. So we need to understand and realize when we give an offering to God, we need to make it the best offering that we can

• from the heart
• with the right attitude
• with the right thought

This is not soliciting money or anything like that, but just stating the Scriptures that this is what we need to do and this is one of the days that we do it, the day of Pentecost, which is the Feast of the Firstfruits.

(pause)

Now let’s come to Exodus 19 and let’s see what happened when God gave the commandments at Mount Sinai. We’re going to also understand parallels between what we read here and what we find in the New Testament, also concerning what our goal and mission is going to be in serving God in the Kingdom of God.

Now they came to the wilderness of Sinai, actually on a Thursday. However, let’s see what happened when Moses went up to God on Friday, beginning 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” (vs 3-4) Very interesting thing. What happened to the Egyptians? Death and destruction with the plagues of God—right? Yes! What’s going to happen to the world just before we’re resurrected and brought to God? Death and destruction and war—right? The same parallel. Now they came to Mount Sinai. We’re going to see we come to Mount Sion. Where was the temple built, but on Mount Zion—right? We’ll put all of this together and the prophecies concerning it as we go along here.

Now notice v 5. This is a key thing, an absolute parallel for them and for us. He says, “Now therefore, if you will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant... [That’s exactly what we are told in the New Testament, too. Is that not true? Yes! ...then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine” (v 5).

Now what does it tell us in Mal. 3 about those who love God and frequently speak with each other? God is listening and He’s going to remember us in the day that He makes up His special jewels for us. We’re a special people. We are the firstfruits of God. We are going to be in the first resurrection. Let’s understand that. There are responsibilities that come with it.

Verse 6: “And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a Holy nation…” Isn’t that what’s going to happen with us? We’re going to be what? Kings and priests and rule with Christ. How long? A thousand years. So there you have a parallel. We have the physical type in the Old Testament. Then we have the fulfillment and spiritual type in the New Testament. That is the type and the anti-type that we see all the way through the Bible.

So then he went down and told the people what God said, v 8: “And all the people answered together and said, ‘All that the LORD has spoken we will do.’….” Now just exactly like us when we are baptized. We are saying, ‘All that God instructs us to do, we will do.’ Remember Jesus said, ‘If you love Me, keep the commandments, namely My commandments’—right? Yes!

So Moses returned and told God. “And the LORD said, ‘Lo, I come to you in a thick cloud that the people may hear when I speak with you, and believe you forever.’ And Moses told the words of the people to the LORD. And the LORD said to Moses, ‘Go to the people and sanctify them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes... [Wash their clothes on Friday, rest on the Sabbath.] ...and be ready for the third day; for on the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon Mount Sinai’” (vs 9-11). Everyone is going to see it. What a spectacular event that this was. And we know what happened with that. The trumpet blew long and loud, and remember, the trumpet blows on the Feast of Pentecost. That becomes important to understand when we look to the fulfillment of it with the seventh trump as we see in the book of Revelation.

And then God spoke the Ten Commandments and you know the people’s reaction. They were afraid and said, ‘Oh, Moses, speak to us. We’ll hear you. You speak to God.’ So God took them up on the proposition and then Moses went back up to God after that, after hearing the Ten Commandments. Then He gave the judgments and the statutes here in Exodus 21, 22, and 23. Now we have Exodus 24 which takes place sometime right after Pentecost, not right on Pentecost, but with the fulfillment of it in the New Testament, that this follows right along with some of the things that will happen right after Pentecost..

Exodus 24:1: “And He said to Moses, ‘Come up to the LORD, you and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and worship afar off.... [God wanted witnesses now, because this was going to be the covenant ceremony, which was a marriage ceremony between the Lord God and Israel. With the marriage ceremony you want witnesses, because this is a covenant.] ...And Moses alone shall come near the LORD, but they shall not come hear. Neither shall the people go up with him’ And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments. And all the people answered with one voice and said, ‘All the words which the LORD has said, we will do’” (vs 1-3).

In a marriage ceremony the bride is the first one to say, ‘I do’—right? Yes, indeed! So Israel became the bride of Christ. Israel was married to the Lord God who then became the Lord Jesus Christ of the New Testament. Now remember, a covenant is sanctified with sacrificial animals and blood. That’s what happened here. Verse 4 [transcriber’s correction]: “And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD and rose up early in the morning, and built an altar at the base of the mountain and twelve pillars according to the twelve tribes of Israel. And he sent young men of the children of Israel who offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace offerings of bullocks to the LORD. And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basins, and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar” (vs 4-6). That’s a type of the shed blood of Christ, sprinkled on the altar. Because it was an altar of whole stone. He had not yet given them the instructions on how to make an altar for the tabernacle.

Then what happened? “And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basins, and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the ears of the people.... [Now God wants us to make a knowledgeable decision, so that’s what He did here. They would know.] ...And they said, ‘All that the LORD has said we will do, and be obedient’” (vs 6-7). Now always remember this: God is going to take you up on your word. If you say that you’re going to love God and serve Him and Him alone, God’s going to hold you to it.

So then here was the ceremony to seal the marriage covenant between the Lord God and the children of Israel, v 8: “And Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, and said, ‘Behold the blood of the covenant.... [What did Jesus say the Passover night of the wine? He said, ‘This is My blood of the New Covenant which is shed for you and the remission of sins of many.’] ...which the LORD has made with you concerning all these words.’”

Now let’s see what happened, because this happened after Pentecost. Verse 9: “And Moses went up, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel. And they saw the God of Israel.... [Now that’s something to think about. Now notice what this is. Notice what happened. God had to give a shield between Himself and the witnesses—right?] (Now let’s look at it): ...And there was under His feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the heavens in clearness.... [sapphire is a blue color—correct? It was like looking through the heavens.] ...And upon the nobles of the children of Israel He did not lay his hands. Also they saw God, and ate and drank’” (vs 9-11). That is the wedding feast. We’ll see when we get to the New Testament we have the same thing.

So He told Moses, ‘Come up here,’ and it was quite a time. Took a week before Moses was allowed to go up to God and then he was there forty days and forty nights, as we know. And what happened? The children of Israel then got all involved with having Aaron make the golden calf. So immediately, as soon as the covenant is made, what do we have? Satan the devil right there to try and get people to sin—right? The first one he subverts is who? Aaron! Well, you know the rest of the story of what happened there. So these were the events that happened right after Pentecost.

Let’s come to the New Testament and let’s look at Pentecost in the New Testament here in Acts 2 [transcriber’s correction], because this is when God sends the Holy Spirit, which He told the disciples and apostles that it would come. The Holy Spirit would then give them power. So we find with the first Pentecost that the Ten Commandments were given. With the second Pentecost the power to keep the Ten Commandments, have them written in our hearts and in our minds was given on the day of Pentecost, because this was a tremendous event. It also shows us quite a few things, too, because right after Pentecost what happened? The people were baptized, they continued with each other, they had meals together, they came to the temple every day, and so forth. So, there are some similar parallels, although not exactly as we find in the Old Testament directly.

But the first Pentecost where they received the law was on Mount Sinai. The spiritual Pentecost, the first Pentecost in receiving the Holy Spirit, was on Mount Zion, where the temple was built. Let’s see what happened on that day. Acts 2:1—now this is a correct translation of it, as I’ve mentioned previously, so it says here: “And when the day of Pentecost, the fiftieth day, was being fulfilled, they were all with one accord in the same place.... [There was an area in the temple where they had different rooms, and things like that, and so they were in the area called Solomon’s Porch.] ...And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like the rushing of a powerful wind... [Just like was at Mount Sinai when they received the Ten Commandments. At the same time that this was happening, out in the temple area what was going on? The priests were blowing the trumpet. So we have a similar event taking place here at the same time. Now the Holy Spirit comes; this is the power of God.] ...a sound like the rushing of a powerful wind, and filled the whole house... [or the whole room] ...where they were sitting” (vs 1-2).

“And there appeared to them divided tongues as of fire, and sat upon each one of them.... [That was to show that the Holy Spirit was given to each of them. This is not the baptism of fire. The baptism of fire is being cast into the Lake of Fire. This is the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the receiving of the Holy Spirit. This only came upon the disciples this time and one other time in Acts 2. After that the Holy Spirit comes through the laying on of hands.] (Now notice what happened): ...And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit; and they began to speak with other languages, as the Spirit gave them the words to proclaim” (vs 3-4).

Then it said there were many Jews there, many devout men, proselytes. And of course after the events of the last three and a half years preceding this with Jesus’ ministry and then His crucifixion on the Passover day, and then His resurrection and the rumor went out everywhere that they had stolen the body. And Jesus appeared to them for forty days and forty nights—right? That was a parallel of Moses being with God forty days and forty nights after Pentecost—right? Yes, indeed!

So the word went out everywhere and they heard them speaking. They were all amazed because everyone was hearing them speak in their own language where they were born. And they said, ‘What’s this? Look all these guys over here, they’re Galileans. They’re not priests. They’re not Levites. Who are they? And how is it that we all hear them speaking the wonderful words of God?’ Then it lists all the nations where they were from.

Verse 12: “And they were all amazed and greatly perplexed saying to one another, ‘What does this mean?’.... [Nothing like this ever occurred before. This has to mean something!] ...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 of 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. 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, 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. The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved’”’” (vs 12-21).

He told of this prophecy and the only thing that happened was the Holy Spirit came and they were speaking the words of God in their languages. So this is also a prophecy extending out into the future, as to what would happen in the future, because he’s speaking of the prophet Joel. Then he gives what? He gives the sermon about Christ having been crucified, raised from the dead, and that they saw Him, and that the ones who were there at the temple many were involved and were guilty of crucifying Him. He said that ‘you have crucified the Holy One.’ And they said, ‘What shall we do?’ Verse 38: “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 shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’”

Now let’s project forward to another Pentecost that is coming, a Pentecost that is going to be something indeed. Let’s come to the book of Revelation. Remember that on Day 49 we went through the harvest of the seven churches there (Rev. 2 & 3) and we came up to the time of when the heavens are rolled back as a scroll, a great and a mighty sign that would take place. Notice how that fills in also in the same way that the prophet Joel said about the sun and the moon and all of those things being shaken and it was darkness, and so forth. We see that fulfilled here.

Revelation 6:12—we covered part of this yesterday, but let’s see how this unfolds and the timing of it and how that then relates to another harvest of God that will probably take place on a day of Pentecost. Now let’s see this, because we have it following through the Bible and it all has to do with the firstfruits.

Revelation 6:12: “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... [Just like Peter prophesied there in Acts 2 and just like it is back in Joel 3. Now this has to do with a tremendous event that’s going to take place.] ...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, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place” (vs 12-14). Then they run for the holes and the dens thinking that it’s going to get even worse. Maybe some of them better be afraid of going in there, because if there’s another earthquake they might get ground up a little bit in the midst of that earthquake. So it kind of makes you wonder about that. But they said, ‘Hide us from the wrath of Him Who sits on the throne.’

What is the world going to see? When the heavens roll back as a scroll, it’s going to awesome indeed! They’re going to be busy watching all the events and turmoil that takes place. Now there’s going to be a time of calm after that. What are they going to see? Let’s come back to Matthew 24. Let’s see what they are going to see. It is going to be something that they have never seen before and only something that is told of here in the Bible concerning the return of Christ. Because the return of Christ is not going to be zip! bam! boom! in one day on the Feast of Trumpets and everything take place on the Feast of Trumpets. No, because as we saw in Lev. 23 from the waving of the sheaf offering to the two loaves of the firstfruits that every family was to bring was a continuous connection. There was nothing to transpire in-between, from the harvest of Christ to the harvest of the church. So this is before that event.

So let’s see what the world is going to see when that takes place. Matthew 24:24: “For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets... [We sure see them—don’t we?] ...and they shall present great signs and wonders, in order to deceive, if possible, even the elect. Behold, I have foretold it to you.... [there’s going to come a time when this will take place.] ...Therefore, if they say to you, “Come and see! He is in the wilderness”; do not go forth. “Come and see! He is in the secret chambers”; do not believe it’…. [Why? Because the event that we just read of back there in Rev. 6 of the heavens ‘departing as a scroll,’ that’s going to reveal something that they have never ever seen before and this is called ‘the sign of the Son of man.’] …For as the light of day... [Which is what? The sun!] ...which comes forth from the east and shines as far as the west... [Now the King James says ‘as lightning.’ This means the light of day not a bolt of lightning, because lightning does not shine, but the light of day does. And it shines from what? East to west.] ...so also shall the coming of the Son of man be” (vs 24-27).

This is the beginning of the coming of the Son of man. It’s not going to happen instantly. Because as we are going to see, the timing of this is approximately two full years into the three and a half years of the tribulation, because a certain event has to take place right after the rolling back of the heavens and the exposing of this ‘the sign of the Son of man’ that looks like a new sun. So the world is going to think, What is this? Is this an invasion from outer space? What’s going to happen to it? It’ll probably come every day a little closer to the earth, a little closer to the earth, a little closer to the earth.

Let’s read on here. Here tells when that will happen, v 29: “But immediately after the tribulation of those days... [And we will see that’s the tribulation against Israel, not the finality of the rest of the tribulation against the whole world. This is against Israel.] ...the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken…. [That’s what we just read back in Rev.6.] …And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven... [That’s the new sun that they will be looking at.] ...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).

Now then the resurrection follows, but not immediately. Let’s come to the book of Hosea. Let’s see something interesting in relation to Rev. 7 and the sealing of the 144,000 of the children of Israel. Let’s come back to Hosea 5. We’re looking at a time when the rulers of Judah and also Ephraim are going to suffer judgment and tribulation from God.

Hosea 5:9: “Ephraim shall be desolate in the day of rebuke. Among the tribes of Israel I have made known that which shall surely be.... [We’re going to see it in the end time, because Ephraim and all the children of Israel are mentioned there in Rev. 7.] ...The rulers of Judah were like those who move a border; I will pour out My wrath upon them like water. Ephraim is crushed and broken in judgment because he willingly walked after vanity. Therefore, I am as a moth to Ephraim, and to the house of Judah as rottenness. When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah saw his wound... [That’s just ahead of us right now. That has not yet happened, but is about ready to happen.] ...then Ephraim went to the Assyrian and sent to King Contentious. Yet he could not heal you nor cure you of your wound…. [No, because God is not yet judging them.] …For I will be to Ephraim as a lion, and as a strong lion to the house of Judah, I, even I, will tear and go away. I will take away, and none shall rescue him. I will go; I will return to My place until they confess their guilt and seek My face; in their affliction they will seek Me earnestly’” (vs 9-15). That’s what’s going to happen after they’re carried off into captivity and the tribulation comes upon them.

Now let’s see how this fits in to the next event, which then is the 144,000 and the great innumerable multitude. Hosea 6:1, here’s what they will say after they’ve learned their lesson. “Come and let us return to the LORD, for He has torn... [When they see the heavens open up, they know that’s God. They’re in captivity. God then is going to deal with them because they will repent.] ...and He will heal us; He has smitten, and He will bind us up. After two days He will revive us... [Now a day in prophecy is how long? A year. So after two days is after two years.] ...in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight” (vs 1-2).

The tribulation is three and a half years—correct? After two years, then God intervenes to begin to save Israel, who are in captivity, and it starts with the 144,000. Now after two years and in the third year He will raise them up. How much time is left out of three and a half years? A year and a half. Now let’s see how that fits in beginning in Revelation 7.

Track 2 or Download

Let’s come back here to Revelation 7 and let’s see about the 144,000 and it starts with the children of Israel. That’s what we just read back in the book of Hosea. In Revelation 7 we find that right after the heavens depart as a scroll and the sign of the Son of man appears in heaven, and of course, that is like a new sun that is coming closer and closer and closer to the earth. That’s the sign of the Son of man. All eyes are going to see Him. No one is going to say, ‘Well, I didn’t know this was going to happen.’ There is no such thing as a ‘rapture.’ There’s going to be the resurrection.

Now let’s see what happens here beginning the third year into the three and a half years of tribulation, approximately a year and a half left, maybe a little less than that. Revelation 7:1: “And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, so that the wind might not blow on the earth, or on the sea, or on any tree. Then I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God; and he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to damage the earth and the sea, saying, ‘Do not damage the earth, or the sea, or the trees until we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads’” (vs 1-3).

Now they received the Holy Spirit, sent directly by God through the hand of an angel, because there are no ministers there at that particular time. This is God’s special harvest and it would be more than parallel in fulfillment to have this happen on the next to the last Pentecost during the three and a half years of tribulation. Meaning, that they would be converted for one year from Pentecost until Pentecost. This, then, would be God’s fiftieth day harvest. That completes the forty-nine plus one. Just like there are seven churches, seven times seven is forty-nine. That pictures the harvest of the Church. Now this is the special harvest of God on a next to the last Pentecost before the Kingdom of God begins.

Now let’s see where they come from. Since all of us are sealed with the Holy Spirit of God now, (Eph. 1:13-14), it cannot be any of us. So any minister or any church any place who says, ‘Well, if you join us, you’ll be one of the 144,000,’ not true. It says over here in Rev. 7:14, when the elders said and asked, ‘Well, who are these?’ “Then I said to him, ‘Sir, you know.’ And he said to me, ‘They are the ones who have come out of the Great Tribulation; and they have washed their robes, and have made their robes white in the blood of the Lamb.’” So they come out of tribulation.

They are supernaturally converted. Will they be baptized after the fact? Probably so! They’ll probably receive the instructions and we can hearken back to the time when Peter was speaking to Cornelius and his household that they were supernaturally given the Holy Spirit. Then Peter said, ‘Well, who can forbid water?’ So, yes, they’ll probably have baptismal ceremonies after the fact of receiving the Holy Spirit, just like Cornelius and his household.

Revelation 7:4: “And I heard the number of those who were sealed: one hundred forty-four thousand, sealed out of every tribe of the children of Israel.... [There you have it. Then it lists them starting with the tribe of Judah. That fulfills the prophecy of Zech. 12 where God said that He would save the tents of Judah first. Then it lists the twelve tribes.] (Then we see v 9 after that): ...a great multitude, which no one was able to number, out of every nation and tribe and people and language, was standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes and holding palms in their hands” (vs 4, 9).

This is projecting forward to the resurrection, because as we’re going to see in a minute, the resurrection takes place at a specific time. That time is at the last trumpet. We’ll see how these events all fall together with other Scriptures. First of all, let’s come back to Matthew 24 and we will see that it talks about the resurrection and the angels carrying those who are resurrected into the air. Then we will answer the question: Where do they go? But, the event that we just talked about here in Rev. 7 has to occur on the next to the last Pentecost, in other words, the last Pentecost before the Pentecost of resurrection, because we are the firstfruits to God. That’s what it says in James 1:18, that we are the firstfruit of God.

We’re also called, as we’ll see in a little bit, the church of the firstborn. Just as Jesus was the firstborn from among the dead and He was the premier sheaf of the firstfruits, the first of the firstfruits, so we, being the firstfruits, are also then the firstborn church.

Let’s come back to Matthew 24 and let’s fill in the Scriptures which bring us all up to date on that. Matthew 24:30: “‘And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven... [Which is the new sun that is going out and it’s going to startle the whole earth. This is why there is going to be so much chaos and fighting amongst each other a little later.] ...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. And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet... [Now on the Feast of Trumpets many trumpets were to be blown, not ‘a’ trumpet.] ...and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other’” (vs 30-31). They’re going to gather them. Where are they going to go? How is that going to happen? Let’s come back here first to 1-Corinthians 15 and we will talk about the resurrection, see that it’s going to happen in the time that God says, in the way that God says. And we know here that Christ was the firstfruits.

1-Corinthians 15:20: “But now Christ has been raised from the dead; He has become the first-fruit of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruit; then, those who are Christ’s at His coming” (vs 20-23). That’s why His coming begins with the sign of the Son of man in heaven, then the sealing of the 144,000 and great innumerable multitude, because His coming is going to stretch over a period of one year. That’s why everyone’s going to see it.

Then it talks about us, let’s pick it up here, v 49: “And as we have borne the image of the one made of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly one.... [That is Christ. ‘We shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is.’] ...Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God... [That’s why we have to be resurrected first.] ...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 49-52). That’s what’s going to happen at the last trump. And what is the last trump? We will see—the seventh trump. Now when we come to the Feast of Trumpets, we’ll fill in the space from Trumpets to Trumpets. Right now we’re filling in the time from Pentecost to Pentecost to show the harvest.

Now, let’s come to 1-Thessalonians 4, where it talks about the resurrection from the dead and those who will be in that resurrection. Paul talks about what’s going to happen. Now we will see the parallel and the similarity in this. 1-Thessalonians 4:13: “But I do not wish you to be ignorant, brethren... [Now we don’t want to be ignorant either. We want to understand the things that are going on. We want to understand the sequence of events and it’s only in God’s plan and timing that the firstfruits are raised on the Feast of Pentecost. That’s the Feast of the Firstfruits—right? Yes!] ...concerning those who have fallen asleep, that you be not grieved, even as others, who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, in exactly the same way also, those who have fallen asleep in Jesus will God bring with Him” (vs 13-14).

Now how do we get to where He is? That’s a question we need to answer. “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 Because the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first… [Now that ties right in with Matt. 24 that we read—correct? Yes! With 1-Cor. 15 that we read—yes? Yes! with the trumpet of God.] …Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds for the meeting with the Lord in the air...” (vs 15-17).

We’re going to meet the Lord in the air. Now what’s going to happen when we meet Him in the air? The resurrection will take place on the last Pentecost before we come back to the earth on the Feast of Trumpets. So let’s see what happens here. This is going to be a witness for the whole world. They will see the resurrection of the saints. They will see us being carried up into heaven by the angels. Now we’re not going to the third heaven, because the third heaven is going to come down close to the earth and we’ll see what that will be. But as it comes down to the time of the Day of Pentecost and the resurrection takes place, then something’s going to happen to that ‘sun’ which comes closer and closer and closer to the earth.

“...shall be caught up together with them in the clouds... [in the clouds, that’s in the atmosphere—isn’t it? Yes!] ...for the meeting with the Lord in the air... [air is on the earth] ...and so shall we always be with the Lord. Therefore, encourage one another with these words” (vs 17-18).

Now let’s come to Hebrew 12 and let’s see something else. Let’s see where it talks about Mount Sion and the Church of the Firstborn, just like they came to Mount Sinai, received the Ten Commandments from God, saw the great events that took place when God descended upon the mountain. Now then here we have Mount Sion and this tells us about it.

Hebrews 12:18: “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 what was being commanded: ‘And if even an animal touches the mountain, it shall be stoned, or shot through with an arrow’; And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, ‘I am greatly afraid and trembling’.)” (vs 18-21). No, we’re coming to something greater than that, brethren. We are coming to the greatest event that has happened in the history of the world since the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We are coming to meet God, Christ, in the air, just like it says, 1-Thess. 4.

“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; 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; 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 22-24). So how is that going to happen?

Let’s come back here to the book of Revelation again and let’s see where it talks about the resurrection. Let’s see what happens and then let’s see if we can understand the events. Revelation 14 and we see the harvest of the righteous. Isn’t that interesting? The firstfruits are what? Harvested, yes indeed!

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). The harvest of the firstfruits; that is the time, And this has to be on Pentecost, because that’s what this Feast pictures.

Now let’s see what happens to the new sun that is out there that the world has been seeing now for about a year. All of a sudden it comes closer to the earth, close to the clouds, and something happens to it. It changes! Then the people of the earth are seeing that the saints are being resurrected and the angels are carrying them up to meet Christ in the air. Now how many people are going to be in the first resurrection? We don’t know, but they’re going to be plenty. The harvest is going to be the harvest of enough—isn’t it? There’s going to be the 144,000 plus the innumerable multitude, so it looks like there’re going to be millions in the first resurrection and it’s going to take millions to rule this world.

So what do we find? We find something that is very realistic and reminiscent of that that we covered going back to where the elders and Moses and Joshua saw the Lord walking on a pavement of sapphire as clear as heaven, in other words a sea of glass. We also see in Rev. 4 that the throne of God is on a sea of glass. Now is that sea of glass real? Yes, because John saw it! Was the throne of God real, as he saw in vision there in Rev. 4? Yes, indeed!

But some ministers who don’t want to admit that the resurrection would be on Pentecost and that there would be a sea of glass say, ‘Well, that’s just a figure of speech.’ All right, let me ask a question: is it a figure of speech when it says that we ‘will be kings and priests and reign with Him a thousand years’? Of course not! Is it a figure of speech when it says that he saw those who had ‘gotten victory over the beast and didn’t receive the mark in their foreheads or in their right hands’ (Rev. 20), and judgment was given to them and they rule and reign with Christ a thousand years—is that a figure of speech? or Is that real? It’s real!

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.... [Is that a figure of speech? or Are the seven last plagues going to happen? Of course they’re going to happen!] ...And I saw a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who had gotten the victory over the beast... [And that goes all the way back to when Satan first appeared in the Garden of Eden.] ...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” (vs 1-2). The King James says ‘harps.’ Lyres is another stringed instrument. Is that just a figure of speech or is this telling us where we’re going to go when the angels take us in the air? We’re going to rise and meet Christ in the air. Let’s come back here to Revelation 11. Let’s see something else. Let’s see what happens just before the last trump is blown. The two witnesses lie dead in the street of Jerusalem for three and a half days—right? Then they are told:

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!’.... [If we’re going to meet Christ in the air, where we going to meet Him? The air is where the clouds are—right? We’re going to meet Him in the clouds. Is that where Christ is coming to when the sign of the Son of man first appears ? And then it comes closer and closer and closer to the earth. Have to be—right?] ...And they ascended into heaven in a cloud; 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).

So the two witnesses are raised, then the angel sounds his trumpet, the seventh trump. Now notice what it says happens here. And so the two witnesses have to be transformed instantly from flesh to spirit. Can that happen in the air? Yes, it can! Now where is everyone going to go but to the Sea of Glass, because God has some things to do on the Sea of Glass before we come back to the earth. This is going to be the greatest and most profound event since the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The world is going to know it. The world will see it. We will be part of it.

“...the seventh angel sounded his trumpet... [Is that the last of seven trumps? Yes, it is!] ...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” (vs 15-17).

That’s the beginning of the reign of Jesus Christ and it begins with the pouring out of the seven last plagues. “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” (v 18). That takes place after the resurrection. This is not just a one-day event, resurrection and back to the earth. That’s why the Sea of Glass. It’s not a figure of speech, it is a literal thing that has to take place for all the saints to meet together. Now there we are on the Sea of Glass.

Now notice that Christ is going to be there. God the Father will be close at hand. It doesn’t say He will be right there, but let’s see what it tells us. Let’s see what’s going to take place on the Sea of Glass. Won’t that be something? The whole world is going to see that. That’s why they have the armies all get together to fight Christ, because they know the invasion is coming! That’s why out of the mouth of the beast and the false prophet and Satan go demonic spirits to deceive the nations to come to battle at Armageddon. That’s why you need the time from Pentecost unto Trumpets, because it takes time for the armies to gather—right? You don’t all of sudden gather armies in just a few days. Look at the logistics of getting troops to Iraq when the Iraq War was there and to Afghanistan with the refurbishing and sending another thirty thousand troops. Did they just all of a sudden come instantly in one day? No! They have to respond to the crisis at hand. There has to be the time that is there.

Back to Revelation 15:2 2: “And I saw a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, standing on the Sea of Glass, having the lyres of God. And they were singing the song of Moses... [So that means all of those from the time of Abel, because Moses wrote of him, and it also includes the prophets.] ...Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, ‘Great and awesome are Your works, Lord God Almighty; righteous and true are Your ways, King of the saints” (vs 2-3).

That’s going to be a wonderful time. So there we are singing these great hymns. The first thing we’re going to do is worship God. We’re going to see everyone there on the Sea of Glass. We’ll find out what else has to happen there.

“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.... [Now they’re not going to come and worship until after we come back to the earth. That’s where the Feast of Trumpets comes in after this last Pentecost, then we have the last Feast of Trumpets. Getting a little bit ahead of ourselves, but all the Holy Days are connected together.] ...And after these things I looked, and behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened.... [Probably just right above the Sea of Glass. There you have it.] ...And the seven angels who had the seven last plagues came out of the temple; they were clothed in linen, pure and bright, and girded about the chest with golden breastplates. And one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden vials, full of the wrath of God, Who lives into the ages of eternity. And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from His power; and no one was able to enter inside the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled” (vs 4-8).

Now that’s quite an awesome scene. That is not speaking in symbolic language. That is real language about the events that are going to take place. Just like the seven last plagues in Rev,16 are real. They are going to happen. Just like all the events we’re talked about here. Now let’s see what has to take place while we’re on the Sea of Glass.

• we have to meet Christ in the air
• we come to the Sea of Glass
• we receive our reward
• we have a new name

Just think of all the preparation that was done for the exodus coming out of Egypt. Think of the preparations that were done when they got to Mount Sinai to hear the voice of God give the Ten Commandments. Now we have the greatest event to take place in the history of the world since the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Do you think this is going to be a helter-skelter operation? or Do you think that God is going to have it organized? We’ve got to find out how we’re going to be organized, what to do. We’ve never ruled the nations—have we? What are we going to do? How are we going to do it? We’ve never had a spirit body. We have to find out how does this thing operate?

1. we get our reward
2. we get a new name.
3. we have our assignments
Where are we going to go? How are we going to know where to go?
4. we sing the song of Moses and the Lamb
5. I think we meet God the Father as spirit beings. Can we see Him? Yes, indeed!

And what is one of the things that Jesus is going to do as shown there in Heb. 1 where He comes before the Father and He says, ‘Behold, the brethren that You have given Me.’ And He proclaims the name of the Father and the great congregation. What is the great congregation but those who are in the first resurrection on the Sea of Glass.

6. Marriage of the Lamb to the Bride
7. Wedding feast
8. Seven last plagues poured out
9. White horses given to us
10. We’re going to come back to the earth and start to rule
So that’s quite a list of things that have to happen on the Sea of Glass. Then as these things are taking place, we’re going to watch the seven last plagues poured out. We are going to see the vengeance of God as God has promised. Did not God say, ‘Vengeance is Mine, says the Lord.’ And did not God say, ‘Don’t take vengeance in your hand, wait on the Lord.’ Yes, indeed! We’re going to see the seven last plagues poured out in great fury and great tremendous things to take place. And what are they? They are repeat of the things that happened to Egypt when God was softening up the Egyptians to let the children of Israel go, only now on a mammoth scale.

Let’s read it. Revelation 16:1 “Then I heard a loud voice from the temple say to the seven angels, ‘Go and pour out the vials of the wrath of God onto the earth.’ And the first angel went and poured out his vial onto the earth; and an evil and grievous sore fell upon the men who had the mark of the beast, and upon those who were worshiping his image…. [First thing go after the false god, false religion.] …And the second angel went and poured out his vial into the sea; and it became blood, like that of a dead man; and every living soul in the sea died” (vs 1-3). The vengeance of God! Men want to follow Satan the devil and worship him and the demons. They want to unite their powers with the demons and fight against God. The judgment is coming and here it is, the seven last plagues, one after the other, the first five in very quick order.

“And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers, and into the fountains of waters; and they became blood. Then I heard the angel of the waters say, ‘You are righteous, O Lord, Who are, and Who was, even the Holy One, in that You have executed this judgment. For they have poured out the blood of saints and of prophets, and You have given them blood to drink; for they are worthy’” (vs 4-6). God’s judgment’s far different than what men figure, far different from what men view things and it’s going to come in power and in great fury.

“And I heard another voice from the altar say, ‘Yes, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments’.... [Now if men want to worship the sun, all right, have at it, here it is.] ...And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given to it to scorch men with fire.... [So all of a sudden it’s going to intensify in heat for a very short period of time. That blast of heat coming from the sun is just going to scorch men.] ...and the men were scorched with great heat; and they blasphemed the name of God, Who has authority over these plagues, and did not repent to give Him glory” (vs 7-9). God wants repentance at any time through this whole process, down through the three and a half years of tribulation they could have repented. Did the 144,000 repent and God honor that? Yes! Did the great innumerable multitude repent and God honor that? Yes! But they won’t, they didn’t, because their god is Satan the devil. Now their time is short and God is going to take care of it.

Now v 10, just like in Egypt. The last plague that happened before the killing of the firstborn was the plague of darkness. “And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the throne of the beast; and his kingdom became full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues because of the pain. And blasphemed the God heaven because of their pains and their sores; yet they did not repent of their works” (vs 10-11). During the time that these—time goes on, the rivers begin to clear up and the oceans begin to purge themselves of the blood and men think, ‘Maybe we can recover from this.’ Then another miracle happens and they think, ‘Now we can come and we can conquer this invasion from outer-space.’

“And the sixth angel poured out his vial into the great river Euphrates; and its waters were dried up, so that the way of the kings from the rising of the sun might be prepared.... [So they could now move their armies, but they have to be convinced. Because of after all these plagues have taken place, after all the war, they have got to be deceived into thinking that they can defeat those on the Sea of Glass and the invasion coming from outer space. And if they can just do that, then they can put the world back in order.] (So here’s what happened: ...Then I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet; For they are spirits of demons working miracles, going forth to the kings of the earth, even of the whole world, to gather them together to the battle of that great day of the Almighty God” (vs 12-14).

So that’s going to be the battle of Armageddon. That’s going to take place right at the time that we start coming down off the Sea of Glass with Jesus Christ and all the saints to the earth, to take over rulership of this earth. And we’re going to have one terrible mess to straighten out, because this world is going to be almost completely destroyed. Yes, there will be those who survive through it, but there’s going to dead strewn—as it says in the book of Jeremiah—from one end of heaven to the other end of heaven, that is as you look on the earth and look from horizon to horizon, dead everywhere.

Then he gives a warning. He always gives a warning, v 15: “Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is the one who is watching and is keeping his garments, so that he may not walk naked and they may not see his shame.... [So that’s a warning to us! Right while we’re reading these things we need to understand: don’t become complacent and don’t think that we have it made. See, because we have to endure to the end.] ...And he gathered them together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon. Then the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, ‘IT IS FINISHED.’ And there were voices and thunders and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were on the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great” (vs 15-18).

“And the great city was divided into three parts; and the cities of the nations fell... [Notice the condition of the whole world. If you think that the earthquake in Haiti and in Chili were bad, you don’t want to be a fleshly human being when this takes place. You want to be resurrected with a spirit body and a spirit mind.] ...and Babylon the Great was remembered before God to give her the cup of the wine of the fury of His wrath. And every island disappeared, and no mountains were found; And great hail, each stone the weight of a talent, fell down from heaven upon men; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, for the plague was exceedingly great” (vs 19-21).

Now when we come to Trumpets we’ll hear the next chapter in the rest of the story.

Scriptural References :

  • Leviticus 23:10-11, 15-17, 21
  • Deuteronomy 16:16-17
  • Exodus 19:3-6, 8-11
  • Exodus 24:1-11
  • Acts 2:1-4, 12-21, 38
  • Revelation 6:12-14
  • Matthew 24:24-30
  • Hosea 5:9-15
  • Hosea 6:1-2
  • Revelation 7:1-3, 14, 4, 9
  • Matthew 24:30-31
  • 1-Corinthians 15:20-23, 49-52
  • 1-Thessalonians 4:13-18
  • Hebrews 12:18-24
  • Revelation 14:14-15
  • Revelation 15:1-2
  • Revelation 11:11-18
  • Revelation 15:2-8
  • Revelation 16:1-21

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • 2-Corinthians 9
  • Malachi 3
  • Exodus 21, 22, 23
  • Joel 3
  • Revelation 2, 3,
  • Ephesians 1:13-14
  • Zechariah 12
  • James 1:18
  • Revelation 4, 20

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