Phase Two: The Resurrection of the Saints

Fred R. Coulter—May 24, 2015

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Greetings, brethren! Welcome to the Feast of Pentecost. Time marches right on, and we're going toward the Kingdom of God and Christ is getting ready to come. How far away it is or how close it is, we don't know. But we do know that God tells us to keep the Feast of Pentecost, which is also called the Feast of Weeks.

Exodus 34:22: "And you shall observe the Feast of Weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the Feast of Ingathering at the year's end." That ties right in with Deut. 16:16. Since we've already covered how to count to Pentecost, and you can see there have been a great number of difficulties in trying to understand it. I hope that between the message that I gave on how to count and the letter for April/May it will help you understand more about Pentecost and what it means, how to count it and why it's important. It is really a test:

Do we really believe God?

Do we really trust Him?

Do we obey His Word?

Do we thank Him for it?

Do we ask God to be with us in everything that we do?

Deuteronomy 16:16: "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…" It's called the Feast of Weeks because you're to count seven complete weeks.

"…and in the Feast of Tabernacles. And they shall not appear before the LORD empty, every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God, which He has given you" (vs 16-17).

Whenever we give our offerings and blessings, we look at the blessings that God has given us. Just think of what a fantastic blessing it is to have the whole Word of God and for the understanding that God has given in the end-times. To realize and understand:

the prophecies

the Holy Days

the Sabbath

all the things that God wants us to learn

how we should never take anything for granted

Every day, as it comes, is a new day. We pray, study and think with the Word of God. We live by the Word of God and are constantly coming to the Light, Who is Jesus Christ.

It says in John 3 that those who 'obey the Truth will be coming to the Light.' The Word of God is the Truth, and Jesus Christ is the Truth. We need to keep all of those things in mind. We also need to understand that:

God's blessing comes with love and obedience through His grace and mercy

curses come because we do not follow what God wants us to, just like the Christianity of the world

God is taking everything from them, just like Jesus said. It's given to us to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of God, not to the world. Whatever understanding they have had, they have had so many warnings down through the centuries that God is now taking it away, as we have seen in very powerful ways. We need to understand that we give according to the blessings that God gives us!

We'll talk about the offerings and so forth, and realize that God has made all of this possible for us.

He's given us His Word!

He's given us His Truth!

Here in America we still have enough peace that we can assemble, we can study; we can live according to the Word of God.

Here is a summary of all of the Feast days, Leviticus 23:37: "These are the Feasts of the LORD which you shall proclaim to be Holy convocations to offer an offering made by fire to the LORD, a burnt offering and a grain offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, everything on its day; besides the Sabbaths of the LORD, and besides your gifts, and besides all your vows, and besides all your freewill offerings, which you give to the LORD" (vs 37-38).

Those things all combined together to show that we have action in our lives and proof of our giving to God that we are proving God because He says He will bless us.

not everything is going to be a physical blessing

not everything is going to be money pouring out of the bank toward you How about the blessing of understanding the Word of God?

How about the blessing of your prayers being answered?

How about the blessing of having all of the Word of God?

How about the blessing of freedom of assembly that we have today?

We know it's coming that all of those things are going to go, because of the prophecy. But what are we doing now? It's like the old saying: make hay while the sun shines! Don't wait until it rains, because you can't cut the grass for hay.

Let's look at it that way and claim God's blessing!

(pause for the offering)

Leviticus 23:15—just a review of the count: "And you shall count to you beginning with the next day after the Sabbath…" This year it was the weekly Sabbath and the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. This is why Pentecost comes so early this year.

"…beginning with the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering…" (v 15)—picturing the acceptance of Christ by God the Father in heaven above for us.

"…seven Sabbaths shall be complete… [complete weeks with the Sabbath being the 7th day] …Even unto the day after the seventh Sabbath you shall number fifty days. And you shall offer a new grain offering to the LORD" (vs 15-16).

Here is what they were to do; this is a special offering. This is an offering that is different because every other offering, with the exception of the peace offering, was to have unleavened bread. So, let's see what it says concerning this special offering that was to be prepared in homes, brought to the temple for the Feast of Pentecost.

Verse 17: "You shall bring out of your homes two wave loaves of two tenth parts. They shall be of fine flour. They shall be baked with leaven… [we're going to see there's a good use for leaven] …they are the firstfruits to the LORD."

Let's look at the symbolism: During the Feast of Unleavened Bread leaven equals sin. We are to get sin out of our lives, but we die, are put into the grave, and then resurrected. When you are resurrected and brought out of the grave—or changed if you're still alive when Christ returns—you are completely different. That's what these two loaves picture with the leaven.

Also, once it is baked it is permanently changed. This pictures being permanently changed from flesh to spirit. These are the firstfruits!

Then there are all the sacrificial offerings, and the seven lambs are probably symbolic of the seven churches that were covered on Day 49 (Rev. 2 & 3). I think it's very important that we went through the first three chapters of Revelation word-by-word, so that we can:

evaluate our personal lives

evaluate our corporate lives

evaluate how we are doing in loving one another

evaluate how we are doing in loving God and serving Him

Let's see something very unusual, because in Matt. 13 it explains something about the good use of leaven. Leaven of itself does not always equal sin. But the reason that God uses leaven as a type of sin during the Feast of Unleavened Bread is because sin is so easy. Paul wrote that we get overwhelmed with the sin that 'so easily besets us.' This is why we are to keep our mind focused on Christ.

Matthew 13:33: "Another parable He spoke to them: 'The Kingdom of Heaven is compared to leaven…'" Think about it for just a minute. The Kingdom of Heaven is righteousness! So, therefore, this leaven cannot mean that it is compared to sin. This is a good use of leaven.

"…which a woman took and hid in three measures of flour until all was leavened" (v 33). And it says that the Kingdom of Heaven is compared to leaven. Why? When leaven is raising the dough, it is changing the nature of the dough. That is compared to the good work of the Holy Spirit that is working in us to develop the spiritual character. That's quite a thing! The two different uses: no leaven and leaven.

Once it is baked—that's what they were to do in their homes for these two wave loaf offerings—it is permanently set and the nature of it has been completely changed. Now it is bread to eat.

So, likewise when we are raised from the dead—which this day pictures—we will be completely changed. It will be fixed. That's why we are to grow and overcome today. Let's see something else that Jesus said concerning His coming. On Day 49 we brought it up through the first phase of Jesus' return. The first phase is:

the heavens roll back as a scroll

the shining sun—which shines from east to west—is the shinning of the Son of man and is shown

that is there in the heavens for a year and a half

It's interesting when it says, 'every eye shall see Him.' Listen, brethren, the greatest thing that God is going to do is sending Jesus Christ back to this world. Please understand and realize that there is going to be the greatest witness that has ever been given. That witness will be the sign of the Son of man in heaven. It will be there for the better part of a year.

Matt. 24—Jesus is talking about the end-time generation. The generation that saw the destruction of the temple in 70A.D. was a type, but here is the antitype or fulfillment, the final generation:

Matthew 24:34: "Truly I say to you, this generation shall in no wise pass away until all these things have taken place"—relating to the return of Christ and the resurrection of the saints. Then that leads to the setting up of the Kingdom of God.

Notice how sure that this is, v 35: "The heaven and the earth shall pass away, but My words shall never pass away." All of those who believe in going to heaven, all of those who don't believe in the resurrection, that even happened during Paul's day and he had to correct them for it. He said, What? What is it that some of you don't believe in the resurrection? That's why Paul had to write 1-Cor. 15 in great detail to show what will happen.

Verse 36: "But concerning that day, and the hour, no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only." Why would He say that? Let's see what Paul said to the Church after talking about the first resurrection (1-Thess. 4).

Remember that Jesus said that we don't know the day or the hour, true. But how much are we to know? How are we to know it, even though when we get down to the fulfillment of it, as we find in the book of Revelation, we'll understand why no one knows the day or the hour.

1-Thessalonians 5:1: "Now then, concerning the times and the seasons… [the resurrection that Paul just talked about] …brethren, there is no need that I write to you; for you yourselves understand perfectly that the Day of the Lord will come exactly as a thief comes by night" (vs 1-2). BAM! They won't expect the first phase. The heavens roll back as a scroll and here is this new sun out in the heavens. They won't know what to do!

Verse 3: "For when they say, 'Peace and security,' then sudden destruction will come upon them, as travail comes upon a woman who is with child; and they shall by no means escape." Both are true! Why?

When the sun goes dark and the moon goes dark, and all the earthquakes take place, what happens to the earth? It says in one of the prophecies in Isaiah that it's going to wobble to and fro like a drunken man. Who's going to know which day is really the Day of Pentecost, because everything is out of sync? Only the Father!

Let's see a couple of things in the book of Revelation, we'll just review chapter six and then we'll see how this fits in. Always remember, as I have pointed out: Even in the middle of trouble and times of distress and correction, God gives us space for repentance! This is what Rev. 7 is all about, because of the terrible things that are going on: the captivity of Israel. Here's what happens: After the sign of the Son of man appears:

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).

There are seven churches and there are seven weeks to the harvest. With the martyrdom of the saints, the fifth seal, ends the Church harvest, with the exception of the few that are in a place of safety (Rev. 12).

The few that are there are there to fulfill the words of Jesus Christ when He said that He would build His church and the 'gates of the grave would never prevail against it.' When you have a universal martyrdom of the saints—as we find with the fifth seal (Rev. 6) then, unless He had those few—whoever they are and whoever goes there; wherever the place of safety will be—it will not die out. That's why! Those who go will not know that they're going until the angels take them there.

Rev. 7—we find the 12 tribes of Israel and the great innumerable multitude, and then the rest of the chapter shows that they have come out of Great Tribulation and they will be before the throne of God. Remember, because it shows them standing before the throne of God, does not mean that they precede the first resurrection. That will never happen! No one is going to receive eternal life until the seventh trump and the resurrection takes place.

However, this is God's 50th-day harvest. Just like the first Pentecost and God poured out His Spirit upon the first of the firstfruits there, Rev. 7 is the last of the firstfruits. The beginning and the ending! Isn't that where we started in Rev. 1? Yes, indeed! We surely did!

Hosea 5 is important for us to understand, because the Tribulation against Israel does not last a full three and a half years. That's the Tribulation against the whole world. When it talks about Ephraim, that's not just the Brits. Ephraim is a type of all the ten tribes. Also, this includes Judah because Judah is mentioned in Rev. 7.

Hosea 5:14: "For I will be to Ephraim as a lion, and as a strong lion to the house of Judah…. [both of them] …I, even I, will tear and go away…. [sending them off into captivity and tribulation] …I will take away, and none shall rescue him." No human being is going to rescue them. But God will not make a full end.

Here's what He's going to do, v 15: "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." That's why we have Rev. 7 and here's what they do:

Hosea 6:1: "Come and let us return to the LORD, for He has torn, and He will heal us; He has smitten, and He will bind us up. After two days He will revive us…" (vs 1-2).

What is Rev 7 but a revival of the children of Israel and the great innumerable multitude; to Israel first and then to the Gentiles? We have all of the things fit together in Rev. 7.

How long is a day in prophecy? One year! It says, "…After two days…" Which means after two years He will revive us. That's exactly what Rev. 7[transcriber's correction] is with the sealing of the 144,000.

"…in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight" (v 2). Now, go back to how God works. Remember all the plagues against the Egyptians and how the first plagues also affected the Israelites in the land of Goshen.

Then when God began to do the things more intently and more powerfully, He separated the children of Israel from the plagues that came upon the Egyptians. This is precisely how the 144,000 and the great innumerable multitude in Rev. 7 are revived. Then a year later the resurrection takes place.

All of this takes place on the next to the last Pentecost, so they will have God's Spirit one year. They will be, compared to the parable of the workers in the vineyard, those who were hired at the eleventh hour, but were still paid the same as those hired the first hour: a silver coin! In this case a type of eternal life.

Rev. 8 changes everything! Everything that there is! We will come back on the Feast of Trumpets and go through Rev. 8 a little bit more carefully, but now we're just going to review it. If you compare the intensity of the plagues and the wars coming, beginning in Rev.8 compared to Rev. 6, everything is changed. Now it is the angels of God against Satan and his demons and the men that follow him. God's direct intervention! More intense than what happens in Rev. 6.

Revelation 8:1: "Now, when He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about a half hour. Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. And another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar; and much incense was given to him, so that he might offer it with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar that was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense went up before God from the hand of the angel, ascending with the prayers of the saints" (vs 1-4). Stop right there!

What does this tell us? The resurrection has not occurred! The saints who are still in the flesh—144,000 and the great innumerable multitude and those in the place of safety—are praying, crying out to God every day, day-by-day beseeching Him. Our prayers go up before God this way, right to the altar of God!

That's why it's so important, brethren, to understand about the true grace of God and grace upon grace that God has given to us today.

Verse 4: "And the smoke of the incense went up before God from the hand of the angel, ascending with the prayers of the saints. And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire from the altar, and cast it into the earth; and there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings, and an earthquake. Then the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound their trumpets" (vs 4-6). We will see what happens here, that's something! Quite a thing!

Verse 7: "And the first angel sounded his trumpet; and there was hail and fire mingled with blood, and it was cast upon the earth; and a third of the trees were burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up." Whoa! Much more powerful!

Verse 8: "Then the second angel sounded his trumpet…" Remember, as I have pointed out, the only place in the Bible where you have a sequence of trumpets so you can have a last trumpet sound for the resurrection is in the book of Revelation. We will see the seventh trumpet represents the resurrection. That is the last trumpet! There are not eight or nine, there are seven!

"…and there was cast into the sea as it were a great mountain burning with fire, and a third of the sea became blood; and a third of the living creatures that were in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed. And the third angel sounded his trumpet; and there fell out of heaven a great star, burning like a lamp; and it fell on a third of the rivers, and on the fountains of waters. Now, the name of the star is Wormwood; and a third of the waters became wormwood; and many men died from drinking the waters because they were made bitter" (vs 8-11).

Verse 12: "Then the fourth angel sounded his trumpet; and a third of the sun was smitten, and a third of the moon, and a third of the stars; so that a third of them were darkened; and a third part of the day did not shine, and likewise a third part of the night." Doesn't that change everything in relationship to the Calculated Hebrew Calendar? Yes! That's why we can know the times and the season, but we don't know the day or the hour! Everything is out of balance here.

Let's see some of the things that it says about the resurrection, but first come to Rev. 11. Four trumpets sound for Rev. 8, two for Rev. 9[transcriber's corrections]. There's one more to be sounded and we find that in Rev. 11. That takes place after the two witnesses have been killed. How long is their ministry? 1260 days! Roughly three and a half years.

Now then, what happens when their ministry is finished? God allows the two witnesses to be killed! He deliberately causes them to be killed. That's going to fulfill a tremendous prophecy. The world will rejoice. They'll all be able to see it. I think God is going to keep all of the high-technology things in place in spite of everything that's going on, so the world will know, and see, and understand, and have absolutely no excuse!

They're going to think that this is an invasion from outer space. In that they will be correct! It will be by aliens! Not because there are aliens out there that we don't know of, but the world doesn't know them. God the Father, Jesus Christ, the angels of God are the aliens whom they will be fighting.

Look at what the angels do when they blow the trumpet. How is man going to be able to stand against God? He is not! There's going to be so many people killed and so much destruction!

Some people ask, 'Why would God do that if God is a God of love?' Because He has so much love that He wants to remake this world with His kingdom! Everything concerning the kingdoms of men and their religions, businesses and the things that they do—when you read about the fall of Babylon (Rev. 18)—it must be destroyed!

Every idol is going to be smashed!

Every cathedral is going to be brought to crumbs and ruins!

Every temple!

Every church!

They are all against God! The two witnesses are going to add to that. When the two witnesses die, here's what's going to happen: They're going to lay in the street of Jerusalem, called Sodom and Egypt.

Revelation 11:9: "Then those of the peoples and tribes and languages and nations shall see their bodies three and a half days, for they will not allow their bodies to be put into tombs. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, and will make merry, and will send gifts to one another, because these two prophets had tormented those who dwell on the earth" (vs 9-10).

God always lets the enemy think that they're going to win, even at the last minute. They're going to say:

Hoorah! Finally, after all of this we finally got them; look how wonderful this is going to be. Let's get everything all back together the way it needs to be. We'll reconstruct the earth; we'll rebuild everything the way we want to! We are so happy that they are gone because they caused so much damage, flood and drought and all kinds of terrible things. How could these be from God? Well, God's going to have a surprise for them!

Verse 11: "Then after the three and a half days, the spirit of life from God entered into them and they stood on their feet…" This is why we are not to fear anything, because God is going to raise us from the dead! He wants us to

keep our mind on the Kingdom of God

keep focused on growing and overcoming

so that we will be in the resurrection. That is going to be a fantastic time. It will occur on Pentecost, because we are the firstfruits of God!

"…and great fear fell upon those who were watching them. And they heard a great voice from heaven, say, 'Come up here!' And they ascended into heaven in a cloud; and their enemies saw them rise" (vs 11-12).

What do we have here? The last two martyrs! Remember what Christ has said, 'the last shall be first and the first shall be last.' These two martyrs, the two witnesses—the servants that God personally chose to do it from the tribe of Judah and the tribe of Levi, and of Levi from the house of Aaron—will be the first raised from the dead. The last shall be first!

Does God keep His Word? Yes!

Does He keep it accurately? Yes!

Does it need any secondary explanation because it wasn't quite like it said? NO!

Jesus said that 'heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall never pass away.' These are the words of Christ that He inspired John to write!

Then notice what happens here, v 13: "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 13-15). The last trumpet of the seven!

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

Is that not the resurrection?

Does it not include every category of resurrection?

The prophets of old?

David and some of the kings?

Yes, it does! And all the saints!

Remember what we have learned concerning the Calculated Hebrew Calendar. The first day of the year is the feast of Trumpets. The only other way to count it is from Nisan, the first month. When you count from Nisan, then you have the fourth Feast, Pentecost and the third Holy Day. However, when you count from Trumpets, Pentecost is the last day, just as Jesus said (John 6) that He would 'raise them up the last day!'

(go to the next track)

Let's see a tremendous prophecy concerning the resurrection. This is very important because God talks about a temple on earth, and then He talks about the resurrection (Isa. 66). Let's see the lessons learned here. Actually, when you read the witness that Stephen gave to the Sanhedrin (Acts 7), Isa. 66 is where he was quoting from. Remember that when he was stoned, he looked up into the heavens and he saw the Son of man standing by the throne of God. So, there are many different parallels that fit in with this.

Isaiah 66:1: "Thus says the LORD, 'The heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool. Where, then, is the house that you build for Me? And where is the place of My rest?'" What are you going to do here on the earth? Let's see what He says here:

Verse 2: "'For all these things My hand has made, and these things came to be,' says the LORD. 'But to this one I will look…" This needs to be our attitude, because God is looking upon us. As a matter of fact, God is in us; yes, with the earnest of our inheritance—the Holy Spirit from God the Father and Jesus Christ dwelling in us—we, each one of us, are a mini temple.

"'…to him who is of a poor and contrite spirit… [not lifted up in vanity: humble, yielded, loving God] …and who trembles at My Word'" (v 2). That means that:

you love the Word of God

you keep the Word of God

you treasure the Word of God

you live by the Word of God

That's how you tremble before the Word of God. Not just a shaking of the body, but how fantastic it is. Yes, there are the curses, yes, there are the blessings, and the blessings of eternal life far outweigh the things of the curses.

Then He says that even if you have a temple and make an offering, v 3: "He who kills an ox is as if he killed a man; he who sacrifices a lamb is as if he broke a dog's neck; he who offers a grain offering is as if he offered swine's blood; he who burns incense is as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delights in their abominations."

Yes, indeed, that's the way the world is treating God! So, God responds to them in kind. Here's what God does:

Verse 4: "I also will choose their delusions, and I will bring their fears upon them because when I called, no one answered; when I spoke, they did not hear. But they did evil before My eyes and chose that in which I did not delight." That's the way it is with the Christianity of this world. But He's talking about the children of Israel there.

Speaking to those who love God, v 5: "Hear the Word of the LORD, you who tremble at His Word, 'Your brethren who hated you…'"—whoever it is:

people in your family

people in the church you used to go to

your loved ones, maybe even husband or wife

"'…'Your brethren who hated you who cast you out for My name's sake, said, "Let the LORD be glorified."….'" (v 5). 'Yes, we'll glorify God our way.' Well, God just explained that even if you come to His temple and offer the offerings, if your heart is not right, and if you don't love God, those things are of no account.

Has He chosen their delusions? Now He's going to do something that is going to be absolutely astounding, and it is the resurrection of the dead for those who love God.

"…But He will appear to your joy and they will be ashamed.' A sound of noise from the city, a sound from the temple, the sound of the LORD repaying His enemies" (vs 5-6). Didn't we just read that in the book of Revelation? Yes, indeed!

Verse 7: "Before she… [the Church] …travailed, she gave birth; before her pain came, she delivered a man-Child. Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things like these? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? Or will a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion travailed, she also gave birth to her children" (vs 7-8)—the resurrection. Remember what we covered on Day 49? We come to Mt. Sion in heaven above!

Verse 9: "'Will I bring to the birth, and not cause to be born?' says the LORD…." In other words, do you think all of those Scriptures concerning the resurrection are in vain? and God is not going to do it?

"…'Shall I cause them to be born, and shut the womb?' says your God. 'Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all who love her. Rejoice for joy with her, all who mourn for her; that you may suck and be satisfied with her breasts of consolations; that you may milk out and be delighted with the fullness of her glory'" (vs 9-11). In other words eternal life! Isn't that a fantastic thing? Yes, indeed!

It's also very interesting the way the Bible is put together. You have:

first division—the Law

second division—the Prophets

third division—the Writings

fourth division

Number four is very important because Christ was crucified on the fourth day of the week, and He was raised after three days and nights in the grave. On the fourth day He ascended to heaven. He began His ministry on a Wednesday and ended His ministry on a Wednesday, the fourth day of the week. All of these numbers fit together.

2-Peter 1—here is what God is going to give us. I want you to think about the things that we're going to read, because this is so fantastic. This is absolutely marvelous!

2-Peter 1:1: "Simon Peter a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained the same precious faith as ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, according as His Divine power has given to us all things… [not yet received, in fact, most of them not yet received] …that pertain to life and Godliness, through the knowledge of Him Who called us by His own glory and virtue" (vs 1-3).

think about the calling

think about the resurrection

think about how great this is

The Church began on Pentecost with the earnest of the payment, the receiving of the Holy Spirit. The Church is going to be raised on the Day of Pentecost for the fullness of the Holy Spirit.

Verse 4: "Through which He has given to us the greatest and most precious promises, that through these you may become partakers of the Divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." They're going to leave all that behind at the resurrection.

Let's see the promise in 1-John 3. Remember that the apostles wrote this for us. We have perhaps today understanding that they didn't have because of what they wrote, and how God said that in the end-times 'the wise shall understand.' And let's realize this: everything we have—physical and spiritual, the Word of God and everything about eternal life—has come from God! We have nothing we didn't receive!

1-John 3:1: "Behold! What glorious love the Father has given to us, that we should be called the children of God! For this very reason, the world does not know us because it did not know Him." They don't understand it. When you tell them you're a true Christian, they say, 'I'm a Christian, too. I go to a wonderful church on Sunday.' NO! They're counterfeits! 'Why do you go to church on the Sabbath?'

Verse 2: "Beloved, now we are the children of God…"—His very own children. Our children are our very own flesh and blood. With God we are the spirit begotten and to be spirit born children of God!

"…and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be…" (v 2). They didn't know at that time, because John had not written the book of Revelation at that point.

"…but we know that when He is manifested… [at His return] …we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him exactly as He is."

What does it say in Rev. 22 about those who are the children of God? We will see the Father face-to-face! Think on that! Think how great this day is! Think how marvelous this day is!

That's why when Moses went up on the mountain to meet God, and at the resurrection we're going to meet God the Father, Jesus Christ, all the saints, all the prophets, all of the apostles, all of the brethren down through time. It is going to be an absolutely marvelous thing to take place. We will see Jesus Christ as He is and God the Father as He is. Yes, indeed!

1-Cor. 15—Paul had to write this because there were those who didn't believe in the resurrection. Can you imagine that? Even in the Church of God and the Apostle Paul teaching them, there were those who didn't believe in the resurrection. Later in 1-Tim. 1 there were those saying that 'the resurrection has past'—meaning that the only resurrection was Jesus Christ. Not so!

1-Corinthians 15:12: "But if Christ is being preached, that He rose from the dead… [what they were teaching] …how is it that some among you are saying that there is no resurrection of the dead?" Look at how many people believe in going to heaven; what does that say about them?

Paul said, v 13: "For if there is no resurrection from the dead, neither has Christ been raised." Why do you celebrate the false holiday of Easter? If that is supposed to be the commemoration of Jesus Christ, yet, you think you go to heaven when you die? 'Absurd,' Paul said!

Let's see what that means if that were true, v 13: "For if there is no resurrection from the dead, neither has Christ been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain, and your faith is also in vain" (vs 13-14). That is precisely what the religion of Christianity and this world is. It is in vain to expect that you're going to go to heaven when you die, when the Bible only teaches the resurrection.

Verse 15: "And we are also found to be false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that He raised Christ, Whom He did not raise, if indeed the dead are not raised." Why the New Testament? Why the prophecy of it (Isa. 66)?

Verse 16: "For if the dead are not raised, neither has Christ been raised. But if Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain; you are still in your sins, and those who have fallen asleep in Christ have then perished" (vs 16-18)—those who died in the faith believing in the resurrection. But if there's no resurrection, they're dead!

Verse 19: "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most miserable…. [Paul understood about God's plan] … But now Christ has been raised from the dead; He has become the Firstfruit 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 19-23).

Now, let's go through a good number of verses concerning the resurrection, so that we understand. It's not going to be the same body that we are buried with, obviously that disintegrates.

Verse 38: "And God gives it a body according to His will, and to each of the seeds… [grains and so forth] …its own body. Likewise, not all flesh is the same flesh. Rather, there is one flesh of men, and another flesh of beasts, and another of fish, and another of birds. And there are heavenly bodies…" (vs 38-40). Paul understood that Christ said that 'the righteous shall shine as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.

Verse 40: "And there are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies; but the glory of the heavenly is different, and the glory of the earthly is different. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption…" (vs 40-42). When we reach the end of our life it's gone.

that's why we need Christ

that's why we need the Holy Spirit of God

that's why we need the faith of God

that's why we need to trust in God

that's why we need to believe in God

Verse 42: "It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power" (vs 42-43). Isn't it true that when you come to your end and you breathe out your last, that is the epitome of the weakness and helplessness of human beings without the hope of the resurrection. "…sown in weakness; it is raised in power."

Verse 44: "It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body." There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. If you have your body, that's a guarantee from God that you will receive a spiritual body—proof! Just like God and Christ says, concerning His Word, that 'heaven and earth shall perish, but His words won't!' We can believe Him because heaven and earth are here.

Sidebar: What does that do to people who don't believe in the Word of God? That's the same as if there were no heaven and earth. Think on that for a minute!

Verse 45: "Accordingly, it is written, 'The first man, Adam, became a living soul; the last Adam became an ever-living Spirit.'…. [that's what we're going to become] …However, the spiritual was not first, but the natural—then the spiritual" (vs 45-46).

How many people believe, just like the Mormons, we were all spirits in heaven above and Adam and Eve had to sin so that spirit could come down and possess a human body. NO! The physical came first and the spiritual does not come until the resurrection!

Verse 47: "The first man is of the earth—made of dust. The second Man is the Lord from heaven. As is the one made of dust, so also are all those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly One, so also are all those who are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the one made of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly One" (vs 47-49). A great promise! Wonderful promise!

we will have the Divine nature

we will see Him as He is

Fantastic!

Verse 50: "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God, nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I show you a mystery: we shall not all fall asleep, but we shall all be changed, in an instant, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet shall sound…" (vs 50-52). We saw the prophecy of it.

The seventh trumpet will sound, "…and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed" (v 52). Isn't that something?

get rid of all the corruption

get rid of all the mortality

put on immortality

Verse 53: "For this corruptible must put on incorruptibility, and this mortal must put on immortality. Now, when this corruptible shall have put on incorruptibility, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: 'Death is swallowed up in victory.' O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?" (vs 53-55).

Let's see how we are to approach all of these things, brethren; then we will see what it's going to be like. Quite a thing! What great promises!

We are the firstfruits!

Christ is the First of the firstfruits!

He is the Firstborn from the dead!

We are going to be the Church of the Firstborn from the dead!

A nation raised all at once!

What an astounding thing that is going to be!

1-Thessalonains 4:13: "But I do not wish you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep… [that's how God looks at the death of the saints] …that you be not grieved, even as others, who have no hope." They don't know what to do. They're gone, and no one has the power to bring them back but God!

Verse 14 is a summary of what's going to happen. Many times in the Bible you have a summary to tell you what is going to happen, and then immediately following that you have the details telling you how it's going to happen. This is a summary for the rest of the verses down through vs 17-18.

Verse 14: "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" It sounds like they're in heaven, but that's not true. They have got to get there first in order to come with Him. So, there has to be the resurrection first and then meeting Christ in the air as He says. Then when we come back to the earth we will be with Christ.

Verse 15: "For this we say to you by the Word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall in no wise precede those who have fallen asleep." Those who are in the grave are going to be resurrected first.

Verse 16: "Because the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds for the meeting with the Lord in the air; and so shall we always be with the Lord" (vs 16-17)—and return to the earth with Him.

This is quite a thing—isn't it? Yes, indeed! Let's see what God is going to do with us at the resurrection. Here's what we are to do in having our mind fixed on Christ, fixed on the resurrection and fixed on the Word of God, which is always, always, always true even though there are parts of it we do not understand.

Philippians 3:20: "But for us, the commonwealth of God exists in the heavens… [the Kingdom of God] …from where also we are waiting for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, Who will transform our vile bodies, that they may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the inner working of His own power, whereby He is able to subdue all things to Himself" (vs 20-21).

Yes, we'll be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye at the last trumpet.'

Rev. 14 talks about the resurrection. Again, we have a summary. Then we have a first event take place, and after the first event takes place then comes the seven last plagues and the harvest of the wicked.

Revelation 14:14: "And I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and one like the Son of man sitting on the cloud, having a golden crown on His head; and in His hand was a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him Who was sitting on the cloud, 'Thrust in your sickle and reap, because the time has come for You to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe'" (vs 14-15).

That's when the whole nation will be born at once. What an astounding thing that is going to be for the people on earth! I think they're going to see it. They're going to be astounded! They're going to be so upset at that time that they will be ready to fight to do anything. Satan now has them in total deception. He has them believing that now 'we can turn back these aliens who are snatching bodies out of the earth and taking people away. We've got to fight against them.'

Beginning with Rev. 14:17 is a prelude explaining what is going to happen to the wicked when we read it in Rev. 16. The first part is explaining what is going to happen to those who are resurrected from the dead, who are in the first resurrection. I hope you understand that.

Verse 17: "Then another angel, who also had a sharp sickle, came out of the temple that is in heaven. And out from the altar came another angel, who had authority over fire; and he called with a loud cry to the one who had the sharp sickle, saying, 'Thrust in your sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the earth, because her grapes are fully ripe'" (vs 17-18). These are all of those who are going to die as Christ and the saints return to the earth.

Verse 19: "And the angel thrust his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast its fruit into the great winepress of the wrath of God." When does the wrath come? Rev. 16! The seven angels with the vials full of the wrath of God! You have to put them together.

Verse 20: "And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and blood spewed out from the winepress as high as the horses' bridles, to the distance of a thousand six hundred furlongs."

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…" (vs 1-2). Remember that the first phase is Jesus coming as the sign of the Son of man. What is the second phase of His coming? The resurrection of the saints from the dead! We're going to meet Christ in the air and there's going to be a great sea of glass right over Jerusalem.

What's probably going to happen is that when it comes time for the resurrection, the sun that was out there in heaven, that was the sign of the Son of man, comes swooshing toward the earth. And, boy, that's going to be a big surprise for everyone! They're going to think total destruction of the whole earth is coming. Then when it gets in the clouds, right above Jerusalem, VHOOM! It's going to be a great sea of glass!

Then all of those who are resurrected are going to come on the Sea of Glass. We have to be there. This is Pentecost, then after Pentecost then everything that we do on the Sea of Glass will be fulfilled. {Note letter of April/May}

Verse 2: "And I saw a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who had gotten the victory over the beast…"

How far back does that go? When you read Rev. 12, there was a great dragon that is a beast! That's Satan the devil and he appeared in the Garden of Eden! So, the beast is Satan's system all down through history. The mark of the beast is for the very last generation. But it's still the beast existing from that time.

Verse 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."

Did they not have idolatry all down through history and Satan's system? Yes, indeed!

Were there those who were true to God who didn't get involved in that like the Prophets and Isaac and Jacob?

They didn't get involved in that—did they? No, indeed!

"…and over his mark…" (v 2). That's what we're going to have today, the mark of the beast in the right hand or the forehead.

"…and over the number of his name, standing on the Sea of Glass, having the lyres of God" (v 2). Lyres are like harps. A little different kind of stringed musical instrument, but we will have that. I hope that God puts in our mind how to play them. There are going to be a lot of things that we're going to have to learn on the Sea of Glass.

get our new name

receive our clothing

receive our crown

understand what we're going to do

be presented to God the Father

the marriage of the Lamb is going to take place

the supper of the marriage of the Lamb is going to take place

Then we're all going to be organized into armies and come back to the earth and take over the earth. That is going to be a fantastic thing!

Verse 3: "And they were singing the song of Moses… [those who were saved up until the time of Christ] …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. 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 3-4). That's a prophecy of the coming Millennium of which, as spirit beings, we're going to rule and reign with Jesus Christ.

We'll be on the Sea of Glass from the time of the resurrection on Pentecost until Trumpets, a period of about four months. When we come to the Feast of Trumpets we're going to pick up the rest of the story right here and see what is going to take place. Brethren:

rejoice in this day

rejoice in God

rejoice in His goodness

rejoice because of His great promises and what this day means.

Remember, you are the firstfruits, and you are the Church of the Firstborn!

Scriptural References:

Exodus 34:22

Deuteronomy 16:16-17

Leviticus 23:37-38

Leviticus 23:15-17

Matthew 13:33

Matthew 24:34-36

1 Thessalonians 5:1-3

Revelation 7:1-3

Hosea 5:14-15

Hosea 6:1-2

Revelation 8:1-12

Revelation 11:9-18

Isaiah 66:1-11

2 Peter 1:1-4

1 John 3:1-2

1 Corinthians 15:12-23, 38-55

1 Thessalonians 4:13-17

Philippians 3:20-21

Revelation 14:14-15, 17-20

Revelation 15:1-4

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

John 3

Revelation 2; 3; 12; 6; 1; 9-10; 18

John 6

Acts 7

Revelation 22

1 Timothy 1

Revelation 12

FRC:bo

Transcribed: 5-22-15

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