Fred R. Coulter—April 23, 2011

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Greetings, everyone! Welcome to the Sabbath during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. There’s a great deal of meaning to this day, because this is the day that Jesus Christ was resurrected from the dead. We’ve got in the Bible we’ve got The Three Days and Three Nights in an Appendix J, pg 1,277 of The Holy Bible in Its Original Order. We also have it in A Harmony of the Gospels, a little longer commentary and all of those things are necessary to understand it. But the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the whole key for salvation. It is the whole key for understanding how to count to Pentecost.

Let’s come back here to Leviticus 23 and let’s see what was to happen in the next day after the Sabbath during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. On all occasions, with the exception of when the Holy Day falls on a Sunday, it follows the Sabbath during Unleavened Bread. That means it always has to be the first day of the week within the days of Unleavened Bread. When it falls on Sunday, then the Sabbath is the seventh day and the day after the seventh Sabbath is outside the Days of Unleavened Bread and should never be calculated that way.

Let’s come to Leviticus 23 and we will see the count, because it involves this Sabbath, the resurrection of Christ and then on tomorrow, the day after the Sabbath, the ascension and acceptance of the first of the Firstfruits, which then is Jesus Christ the Firstborn from the dead.

Leviticus 23:9: “And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to the children of Israel and say to them, “When you have come into the land which I give to you, and shall reap the harvest of it, then you shall bring the premier sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest”’” (vs 9-10). The very first of the firstfruits, we will see, pictures Jesus Christ. This is why this is called the Premiere Sheaf. It was a special sheaf of barley that was grown right close to the temple area, right up on the Mt. of Olives. You will read in The Christian Passover and in A Harmony of the Gospels books that this sheaf was cut right as the Sabbath was coming to a close. This is symbolic of Christ being raised from the dead. Then it was brought to the altar and laid there by the altar all night until the morning and then the Wave Sheaf Offering was given by the priest. We will see how that follows along in fulfillment in the New Testament with the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Of course, like everything else to do with the Holy Days, like everything else to do with the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Satan is right there to cause confusion; he is right there with His leaders with their false interpretations; so we need to understand this thoroughly. God does not want us to be ignorant. God does not want us to be unknowledgeable so that if someone comes along and teaches something different, we’re not able to understand the false doctrine that they are bringing. God wants us to know! We are being educated for eternal life. We have to be able to discern

  • right teaching from false teaching
  • right doctrine from false doctrine
  • truth from error
  • love from authority
  • All of those things we need to understand, brethren.

Verse 11: “‘And he [the priest] shall wave the sheaf before the LORD to be accepted for you…. [the children of Israel; today, the Church is the Israel of God] …On the next day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it.’”

Now, let me tell you what Michael Heiss told me in looking at the translation of this. In his experience when he was going to Judaic University, and in going through this section of the Bible in Hebrew with his instructor. The reason is this: The word the Sabbath is translated from the Hebrews ‘ha Shabbat’—the Sabbath. That is the weekly Sabbath, the seventh day of the week. Let’s also understand something else. Every Holy Day is called aSabbath—‘Shabbat’—not ‘ha Shabbat’; you will see that concerning every one of the Holy Days. Here in Lev. 23 they are Sabbaths.

Verse 24: “Speak to the children of Israel saying, ‘In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, you shall have a Sabbath…’” What was it called in John 19 when Christ was on the cross and they wanted to get all of the bodies off the crosses and into the grave. It was the preparation day and the Sabbath was coming on, ‘for that Sabbath was a high day’—same thing in the Greek, exactly.

  • In the Greek it is ‘to Sabbaton’
  • In the Hebrew it is ‘ha Shabbat’

Almost identical!

So the Jews have it this way: They say that this Sabbath is the first Holy Day during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which means that they begin counting with the 16th and then they end up with Pentecost or the Feast of Weeks on the 6th of Sivan, on a fixed day. The counting is meaningless. Only when the first Holy Day falls on a Sabbath do they have it right. All the rest of the time they have it wrong.

I want to tell you something very interesting concerning the problems of the Jews and their false teachings. The Passover, Feast of Unleavened Bread, and Pentecost all relate to the Church and Jesus Christ, His first coming and the harvest of the firstfruits, and for us to be called and changed and converted—unleavened—that’s what the Feast of Unleavened Bread is all about. Since they reject Jesus Christ, it is no strange thing that even though they have the Scriptures—much like the Protestants, have the Scriptures, but they don’t understand them—likewise, because they reject Jesus Christ, they don’t understand concerning the true meaning of Passover. They have it on the 15th instead of the 14th. They don’t understand the true day to begin to count toward Pentecost. It is on the next day after the Sabbath, and that’s during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

You can’t have Christ ascending to heaven as the Firstfruit, the Firstborn from the dead, outside the Feast of Unleavened Bread. That will never work. Even some Churches of God do that. That’s not the way it is in Scripture.

Let’s see something concerning Jesus Christ and being resurrected from the dead. This Premiere Sheaf, on the next day after the Sabbath when the priest waves it to be accepted for the people, is the ritual foretelling the acceptance of Jesus Christ by God the Father, after He was resurrected from the dead on the weekly Sabbath, and then, on that day—the first day counting toward Pentecost, the first day of the weeks—He ascended to heaven and was accepted of God the Father.

This also helps us to answer the question concerning Firstborn/Firstfruits, they are synonymous referring to Christ.

Come to Matthew, the first chapter, and let’s see something interesting concerning Jesus Christ. As we will see as we’re going along, this will help us to understand what does it mean to be born again. Everything in the Protestant world—and too much of it within some of the Churches of God—have the opinions of human beings attached to it, the false interpretations given to it and the wrong translation of the King James Version of the Bible. That’s why we did The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, a Faithful Version.

Talking about Mary and Jesus, and let’s notice what it says about the birth of Jesus, Matthew 1:23: “‘Behold, the virgin… [not a virgin; that’s what it also is in the Hebrew] …shall be with child and shall give birth to a son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel’; which is, being interpreted, ‘God with us.’” So, the first thing this tells us was that even before John wrote the Gospel of John, which says, ‘In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God’ that Jesus was God manifested in the flesh—God with us, Emmanuel!

And when Joseph was awakened from his sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded, and took his wife to wed; but he did not have sexual relations with her until after she had given birth to her son, the firstborn; and he called His name Jesus” (vs 24-25). That’s what the angel said to name Him. But I want you to notice the firstborn. The firstborn is reckoned not from the father, but the mother; the firstborn of the mother. Of course, the father was the one causing the impregnation so there would be the birth of a child.

Now let’s see something very interesting here concerning what we find in Hebrews the first chapter. What happened when Jesus was born? We’ve covered part of this. He is called the Firstborn! The King James Version says, ‘first begotten.’ That’s incorrect! Jesus was the ONLY begotten, not the first begotten. They ONLY begotten of God the Father in the manner that Jesus was born.

Let’s bring it here to Hebrews 1:5: “For to which of the angels did He ever say, ‘You are My Son; this day I have begotten You’? And again, ‘I will be a Father to Him, and He will be a Son to Me’?…. [Talking about what? His physical birth!] …And again, when He brought the Firstborn into the world, He said, ‘Let all the angels of God worship Him’” (vs 5-6). Isn’t that what He did when He was an infant? When He was a child? Yes, indeed! Remember the shepherds out in the field? All of a sudden the heavens opened up, the angels were singing ‘glory to God in the highest!’ then they were instructed to go into Bethlehem, and that’s where they found Jesus exactly as the angel had said.

Now, if Jesus was not God before He became human, then God the Father—in commanding the angels to worship Him—would be commanding them to worship someone who was just human and was not God. You need to think of that! So, all of those who say, ‘Well, Jesus did not exist except in the mind of God until He was begotten in the womb of the virgin Mary’ are totally wrong!

Let’s look at something else. Let’s talk a little bit more about Jesus Christ as the Firstborn. Come to Colossians, the first chapter, and let’s see what it says about Jesus, the Firstborn from among the dead. This also answers the question and tells us what? What does this tell us? This also helps us answer the question: What do you mean born again? Was Jesus born of the flesh? Yes! Was He born again from the dead? Yes!

Colossians 1:18: “And He is the Head of the body, the Church… [no man is the head of the Church; you need to understand that] …Who is the Beginning, the Firstborn from among the dead…” What did we find in Rom. 8, that ‘He is the Firstborn among many brethren.’ So, when you’re resurrected from the dead, you’re born again. Jesus was born again—was He not? Yes, indeed!

Let’s come to Revelation, the first chapter, and let’s see what it says about Jesus concerning the same thing. So, we find that Jesus was called the Firstborn in the flesh. We find that He is called the Firstborn from among the dead. He was born in the flesh, resurrected in the spirit, so being firstborn means that He was born in the flesh once, He was resurrected from the dead, so He was born again.

Revelation 1:5: “And from Jesus Christ, the faithful Witness, the Firstborn from the dead…” How about that! He also says in v 18: “Even the one Who is living; for I was dead, and behold, I am alive into the ages of eternity. Amen. And I have the keys of the grave and of death.” So, there we go!

Jesus was firstborn in the flesh of the virgin Mary

Jesus was firstborn from the dead by the power of the Father

And that took place on the weekly Sabbath during the Feast of Unleavened Bread when the Passover was on the middle of the week and the first day of Unleavened Bread was on Thursday. Then we had the preparationday for the weekly Sabbath, which was Friday. Then we had the regular Sabbath and that completes the three days and three nights that Jesus was in the tomb.

Let’s look at some other Scriptures, 1-John 4, and let’s see what it also tells us concerning Jesus Christ and the resurrection and the fact that He was raised from the dead. And also what it says concerning God. What it says concerning our behavior ought to be.

1-John 4:9: “In this way… [that’s talking about God the Father and Jesus Christ] …the love of God was manifested toward us: That God sent His only begotten Son into the world, so that we might live through Him. In this act is the love—not that we loved God; rather, that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (vs 9-10). This is the whole thing, the resurrection of Christ from the dead. We need to realize that. Everything that we do, brethren, has to be based on the love of God.

Let’s understand something else. In realizing what Jesus did in humbling Himself to become a human being, to become that perfect sacrifice that Jesus really gave up all His glory and power and made Himself—through the power of God, the Holy Spirit—into just a pinpoint of life and to be born of the virgin Mary. He took all the weakness of the human flesh. He took the human nature and overcame it. That’s how we’re able to overcome it through the power of the Holy Spirit of God.

2-Corinthians 13:4: “For although He was crucified in weakness, yet He lives by God’s power; and we are indeed weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by God’s power toward you.” So, God has called us also to be resurrected from the dead. All of these things are very important for us to realize; very important for us to grasp. We need to, as the Apostle Paul said, understand these things ‘in season.’ Now is the season for us to understand it.

John 14—this is part of what we read for the Passover services. Remember, all the words of the New Covenant are contained in John 14-17 and it really is a love letter from God the Father and Jesus Christ to us. Remember what Jesus said at the last Passover: ‘A new commandment I give you, that you are to love one another as I have loved you. And by this shall all know that you are My disciples.’ Whenever you have a hierarchy—and too many Churches of God follow the hierarchy, which takes away from the love of God—and authority given, it puts a layer between you and God. It’s very difficult to find the love of God in those organizations.

If you’ve been in those organizations and you’ve come out of them, I recommend you get our series on the Love of God—21 messages—and then you get the series on Why God Hates Hierarchy. Then you get the sermons that I did on Invisible Idol/Visible Man and see what happens whenever human beings get involved in that kind of thing. Brethren, we need to get that out of our system. Christ died for us. It was His love for us that He did it. Let’s understand something. In order for us to love one another

  • we’ve got to know the Spirit of God
  • we’ve got to know how we are to serve
  • we’ve got to know how we are to love each other

That is vital! We’re going to have people coming from other Churches of God that have been beaten up. You’ve got to let the love of God heal your wounds. Do not carry the same faults from where you have been attending before into the Christian Biblical Church of God fellowship. The truth is, you’ve got to learn the love of God through His Spirit as we have been learning for years and years.

John 14:19: “Yet a little while and the world shall see Me no longer; but you shall see Me. Because I live… [after the resurrection] …you shall live also.” We’ve been guaranteed—haven’t we?—concerning the resurrection. Yes, indeed!

Let’s see where Christ is the Firstfruits, 1-Corinthians 15. We need to realize that the resurrection of Jesus Christ, which took place on the weekly Sabbath during the Days of Unleavened Bread, is a profound event that we need to understand and realize. Why don’t we celebrate the ascension of Christ to heaven in a particular way, like the Protestants say, ‘Oh well, we celebrate Easter.’ They don’t even have a clue as to what Easter is. If they really did they would forsake it. Others would still go ahead and accept it because, after all that’s what the church teaches. Even in the Church of Corinth there were some that were saying that the resurrection has passed; that only occurred with Christ. Let’s see what the Apostle Paul was teaching to those at Corinth and how that our whole hope of eternal life is based upon the life, the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

1-Corinthians 15:3: “For in the first place, I delivered to you what I also had received: that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures… [Notice, he’s preaching exactly what we are saying here.] …and that He was buried; and that He was raised the third day, according to the Scriptures… [those have to be a combination of Old Testament and New Testament] …and that He appeared to Cephas, and then to the twelve” (vs 3-5). Where is that found? In the New Testament! So this equates New Testament with Scriptures—doesn’t it?

Verse 6: “Then He appeared to over five hundred brethren at one time, of whom the greater part are alive until now, but some have fallen sleep. Next He appeared to James; then to all the apostles; and last of all He appeared to me also, as one who was born of a miscarriage” (vs 6-8).

Look at Paul! I want you to understand the attitude of the Apostle Paul. This becomes important, because we’re in the Days of Unleavened Bread—isn’t that correct? What are we to do for the Days of Unleavened Bread? We’re to put out sin and we’re to put in righteousness—correct? Yes! Notice how Paul did not teach hierarchy; notice what he says here:

Verse 9: “For I am the least of the apostles, and am not fit even to be called an apostle…” If he wasn’t fit to be called an apostle:

  • Why do we have men running around today claiming they’re apostles?
  • Can’t you be satisfied with just teaching the brethren and being teachers?
  • Can’t you be satisfied with loving the brethren and teaching the love of God?
  • Why do you have to exalt yourself over the brethren?

That’s all part of Unleavened Bread;

  • get rid of the sin
  • get rid the human nature
  • get rid of the carnality
  • get rid of those things that cause
  • division
  • hatred
  • strife

“…because I persecuted the Church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me has not been in vain; rather, I have labored more abundantly than all of them; however, it was not I, but the grace of God with me” (vs 9-10). That’s how Paul viewed his relationship with God the Father, Jesus Christ and the brethren.

Verse 11: “Now then, whetherI or they, so we preach, and so you have believed. But if Christ is being preached that He rose from the dead…” (vs 11-12). Notice this right in a Church of God! Why does God allow those things to happen within a Church of God? To test us!

  • Do we love God?
  • Do we love the Word of God?
  • Are we willing to submit to it?
  • Do we love each other?
  • Are we willing to carry out that love of God?

It’s all right there!

“…how is it that some among you are saying that there is no resurrection of the dead?” (v 12). What an unthinkable thing to say! No resurrection from the dead! What were they teaching then?

  • Immortal soul!
  • Going to heaven!
  • Greek philosophy!
  • Greek religion!

Worming it’s way into the Churches of God!

Verse 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. 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” (vs 13-15). The whole premise of what the Catholics and Protestants do is wrong! That’s why they don’t follow the Scriptures.

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… [He died to pay for our sins, and He was raised to justify us through the mercy, grace and forgiveness of God. If that didn’t happen we’re all still in our sins.] …and those who have fallen asleep in Christ have then perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most miserable” (vs 16-19).

Then he clarifies it and he shows that you can’t bring those beliefs in; you can’t have compatibility with God the Father, Jesus Christ and the plan of God if you don’t believe in the resurrection of the dead. And then you’re saying that Christ was not raised from the dead. Think of that! Right in the middle of the Church of God! I tell you, Paul had a lot of problems there in Corinth. You might say in this age—the church age of the Corinthians: sex sins, doctrinal sins, all kinds of other sins!

Verse 20: “But now Christ has been raised from the dead; He has become the Firstfruit… [the Premiere Wave Sheaf Offering] …of those who have fallen asleep.” Let’s understand that! That’s what that pictures back in Lev. 23 with the wave sheaf offering, and that from that day forward there is a continual harvest of those being called to eternal life and they live their lives, growing and overcoming—die or are martyred—and they are put into storage until the resurrection.

The whole 15th chapter of the First Epistle to the Corinthians is all about the resurrection. I recommend you go and read through it. But notice what he says here, v 20: “He has become the Firstfruit of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by man also camethe resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die… [we have the law of sin and death in us; our only salvation is through Christ] …so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the Firstfruit…” (vs 20-23). There it is again! He is twice called the Firstborn; He is twice called the Firstfruit—right?

We have the Firstborn in the flesh! We have the Firstborn from among the dead, which took place on the weekly Sabbath during the Feast of Unleavened Bread in the year 30A.D.—isn’t that interesting? You go back and read about When was Jesus Christ Born? (Appendix E The Holy Bible in Its Original Order) The closest we can come to when He was born was the Feast of Trumpets and that Feast of Trumpets was also on the weekly Sabbath. So what do we have here? See the parallel? He was born on the weekly Sabbath, the Feast of Trumpets! He was resurrected during the Feast of Unleavened Bread on a weekly Sabbath! Yes! Firstborn twice on the weekly Sabbath! Once in the flesh and the other in the Spirit. There it is right there!

Verse 23: “But each in his own order: Christ the Firstfruit then, those who are Christ’s at His coming.” No one is in heaven. No one has been raised from the dead to eternal life except Jesus Christ.

Now, let’s look at a couple of Psalms here and let’s see where this was a prophesied event. Let’s see what happens. Let’s come to Psalm 16 where it talks about the resurrection; it talks about Christ being in the tomb; it talks about the same thing that Peter preached on the Day of Pentecost when they were preaching Christ. That was quite a day when that happened.

  • You can’t have Pentecost until you have the Wave Sheaf Offering.
  • You can’t have the Wave Sheaf Offering until you have the resurrection on the Sabbath.
  • You can’t have the resurrection on the Sabbath until Christ has been in there three days and three nights.

Never was it on a Friday, absolutely never! Isn’t it interesting? The greatest lies and the most insane doctrines come from those who profess to be Christians.

  • You can’t have Christ in the grave three days and three nights unless He was crucified on the Passover Day.

And that’s what the Passover is all about—right?

  • You can’t have Him dying until He began His ministry and His ministry began on the Day of Atonement, an appointed time of God.
  • You can’t have Him with His ministry unless He was born of the flesh, lived a perfect life as a child, grew up to be a man and at age 30 was baptized.

Everything has to fit together. You can’t take one part here and separate it, another part over here and separate it, and likewise with the Feast of Unleavened Bread. When we have the Feast of Unleavened Bread that is putting righteousness in us because we are to ‘eat the Unleavened Bread of Sincerity and Truth.’ Then we are to examine our lives and we are to repent of our sins and put them under the blood of Christ, and let the love of God help us and heal us through the grace of God. Love each other and understand how great Jesus was in doing what He did for us.

  • Do we grasp that?
  • Do we understand that?
  • Do we realize that?

Remember in the Old Testament it is ‘line upon line; here a little, there a little; precept upon precept.’ We put it together. In the Psalms and in the Prophets you can read of Christ, His ministry, His death, His resurrection, His life and all of these things. It will go along and here will be a verse about His first coming and then BANG! there’s one right after that about His second coming. Then right after that there’s a verse concerning the contemporary things that affected the children of Israel and what Isaiah or Jeremiah or Ezekiel was bringing out as inspired by God at that point.

Psalm 16:5: “The LORD is the portion of my inheritance and of my cup; You shall uphold my lot. The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; yea, I have a beautiful inheritance. I will bless the LORD Who has given me counsel; my heart also instructs me in the nights. I have set the LORD always before Me. Because He is at My right hand, I shall not be moved” (vs 5-8).

  • Prophecy of Christ.
  • Prophecy of His ministry.
  • Prophecy of the relationship between God the Father and Jesus Christ.

Verse 9: “Therefore, My heart is glad and My glory rejoices; My flesh also shall rest in safety, for You will not abandon My soul to the grave; neither will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption…. [and He didn’t; He was raised from the dead] …You will make known to Me the path of life… [the resurrection] …in Your presence is fullness of joy. At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (vs 9-11). We’re going to see that a little bit later when we talk about Jesus’ ascension into heaven. What was that like?

Psalm 17:15: “As for me, I will behold Your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with Your likeness.” That applies to Christ directly, and that also applies to us. Are our bodies going to be transformed from flesh to spirit? Are we going to see God the Father face-to-face? Yes, indeed!

  • He was the Firstfruit, the Premiere Wave Sheaf Offering!
  • He was the Firstborn of Mary in the flesh!
  • The Only Begotten and the Firstborn of God the Father from the dead!

There we have it all.

Track 2 or Download

Let’s continue on with the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the events that took place on the first day of the week. Christ was raised from the dead, and when He came out of the tomb as a spirit being He could walk right through the rocks. He didn’t need the stone rolled away. We know that from the fact in which He appeared later, He walked through the walls to where the disciples were meeting for fear of the Jews, and He appeared to them.

Being raised from being in the tomb for three days and three nights, then where did He go after He was raised? Well, we don’t know, it doesn’t tell us. He probably went to the Garden of Gethsemane, prayed all night, waiting for morning to come to fulfill the ritual of the Premiere Wave Sheaf Offering. We’re going to go through the first parts of Matthew 28, Mark 16 and Luke 24, John 20 and we’ll put the events together and see what happened here.

This is a fantastic thing that occurred and all of our salvations hinges on the fact that Jesus was raised from the dead on the weekly Sabbath and then ascended to the Father on the first day of the week. We know there was the first Holy Day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread—a Sabbath. Then a Friday was the preparation day for the Sabbath.

Matthew 28:1—this is the real meaning of it; there are very few translations that have this correct: “Now late on the Sabbath, as the first day of the weeks… [that is the correct translation; it is plural. The Wave Sheaf Offering Day is what? The first day of counting full weeks, each week ending in a Sabbath as you count toward Pentecost! On the day after the seventh Sabbath you have Pentecost. This is what it means right here.] …as the first day of the week was drawing near… [When does the week begin? At sunset! So, as it was dusking toward the first day of the week or the first day of the weeks.] …Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to observe the sepulcher.” They wanted to see the tomb—why? The Jews came to Pilate; they’ve got guards to seal the tomb and they were standing there guarding the tomb—correct?

The women came down to look at the tomb because they wanted to also put more spices on Him, finish preparing His body; they wanted to see if it were possible to get into the tomb and also find out what had happened, if anything had happened—and nothing had happened.

Verse 2: “And in the morning suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled away the stone from the door, and sat upon it.” That had to be done because

1.        Soldiers were not going to roll it away, they were there to guard it.

2.        It was sealed!

They probably put some sort of plaster around the crack where the rock—it was a big, round rock—was rolled right across the face of the sepulcher for the tomb. The women certainly would not have had enough strength to roll the rock on a slight uphill. They had it sitting on an uphill plane, so when they took out the stopper at the bottom the roll would roll down and cover over the tomb. So, an angel had to do it; also there was an earthquake.

Verse 3: “Now his appearance was as lightning, and his raiment white as snow. And for fear of him, those who were keeping guard trembled, and became as dead men. But the angel answered and said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid; for I know that you are seeking Jesus, Who was crucified. He is not here…’” (vs 3-6). Let’s understand something very important: The resurrection of Jesus happened with no witnesses to see it! It happened within the tomb right as the weekly Sabbath was ending, and when it came time for Him to leave the tomb He simply walked through the stone as a spirit being and walked away. When they came in the morning, on the first day of the weeks—counting toward Pentecost—the angel said:

Verse 6: “‘He is not here; for He has risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord Himself was lying. And go quickly, and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead. And behold, He goes before you into Galilee; there you shall see Him. Listen! I have told you.’” (vs 6-7). So they ran to tell them!

There are some other factors to it and remember what happened then. The Jews persuaded the soldiers. You go tell them that they stole away the body. To this day that the same excuse that the Jews say about the body of Jesus Christ. People do not want to believe the Scriptures because they say, ‘Well, this is not accurate history and there are no eyewitnesses of it. Well, where did the body go, if He wasn’t resurrected from the dead? We will see what the apostles saw when they came into the tomb, which was a witness of itself that Jesus had been raised from the dead.

Mark 16:2: “And very early on the first day of the weeks, at the rising of the sun… [Remember, time is always moving on because the earth is always rotating. Here the sun was just beginning to rise. What happens when they’re walking to the tomb? It continues to rise! What happens as it continues to rise? It gets lighter—isn’t that correct? Yes!] …they were coming to the tomb; and they were asking themselves, ‘Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?’…. [They knew they couldn’t do it. Surely, the Roman guards wouldn’t let anyone do it.] …For it was a massive stone. But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away” (vs 2-4). That’s an amazing thing! that’s another witness of the resurrection of Christ. That’s why the angel said, ‘He’s not here; He’s risen, look at the place.’

Notice what happened, v 5: “And after entering the tomb, they saw a young man… [that’s how the angel appeared—as a young man] …sitting on the right, clothed in a white robe; and they were very frightened. But he said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. You are seeking Jesus the Nazarene, Who was crucified. He has risen… [Past tense! What does this tell us? There is absolutely no evidence that He was raised from the dead on Sunday morning! So the whole doctrine that the Christian world follows is a complete lie!] …He has risen; He is not here. Look, there is the place where they laid Him. But go, tell His disciples and Peter that He goes before you into Galilee; there you shall see Him, as He said to you.’ And they went out quickly and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had seized them; and they did not say anything to anyone because they were afraid” (vs 5-8).

Now we come to a critical verse here. Can you imagine how excited they were? I mean, the angel said, “…He’s not here…” I’ll bet their hearts were beating! I’ll bet the adrenalin was squirting as they were running and their emotions and everything all involved. What did this mean? It’s early in the morning and so forth!

Verse 9—a very key important verse; and this is solved, because the King James Version has it with a misplaced coma and it’s very interesting what you can do with a misplaced coma. This is another reason why when you really go through and examine the King James Version, every critical misunderstanding and misinterpretation and false doctrine comes from a wrong translation in the King James Version of the Bible. Yet, people are told this is the best translation! Really? Why do you get so many things wrong with it then?

Verse 9 (KJV): “Now when Jesus had risen early on the first day of the week,…” That’s the way it reads, but He wasn’t there early in the morning. So you just simply place the coma at the right place, and we’ve done so:

Verse 9 (FV): “Now after Jesus had risen, early the first day of the weeks He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom He had cast out seven demons.” There you have it. After He had risen! When did He rise? Right before the end of the Sabbath—correct? Yes! If you have A Harmony of the Gospels you can do another study of this, going through it with all the parallel columns and see how everything fits together.

Luke 24:1—there have been quite a few things that have been added to it here. We’ll see the other activities as the proof that Jesus had been raised from the dead. “Now on the first day of the weeks, they came to the tomb at early dawn, bringing the spices that they had prepared; and certain others came with them. But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb… [the angel rolled it away] …and when they entered it, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus” (vs 1-3). Startling event—right? How did the stone get removed? Well, certainly the guards didn’t do it. An angel did it!

Verse 4: “And it came to pass thatwhile they were puzzling over this, suddenly two men… [Two angels! One account give one angel, because he didn’t see the other angel. But here are two angels.] …in shining garments stood by them. And as they bowed their faces to the ground, being filled with fear, they said to them, ‘Why are you seeking the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen: remember when He spoke to you whileHe was yet in Galilee, saying, “It is necessary for the Son of man to be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and to be crucified, and to arise the third day”?’” (vs 4-7).

Remember, Jesus told them that. They didn’t believe it! They didn’t understand it! Because no one had risen from the dead. They should have gotten a clue that this was possible, because just before the Passover—when Jesus was crucified and died—what did He do in the account of John 11? He raised Lazarus from the dead! What stronger evidence do you need that the dead can be raised than raising Lazarus from the dead as a precursor of what was going to happen to Christ? But still, they didn’t believe it! Then, after the angel told them that, v 8: “Then they remembered His words.”

Now, let’s come to John, the twentieth chapter, there’s quite a bit of information here for us to understand. It also shows us something very interesting concerning the ascension of Jesus Christ and then His return back to the earth. We’re going to go through parts of John 20 and then we will come back and look at some things in Luke 24 again.

Let’s see how other elements of the account then give us more details, John 20:1: “Now on the first day of the weeks, while it was still dark… [In other words, the sun—the rising of the sun—had really not come up. So, it was still dark. There may have been just enough light to see where you were going.] …while it was still dark… [Also remember that there was still about two-thirds of moon left at this time, so there was some light.] …Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb; and she saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. Then she ran and came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved [John], and said to them, ‘They have taken away the Lord from the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.’ As a result, Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb. Now the two ran together, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and came to the tomb first” (vs 1-4). A little bit of competition as to who can run the 440 etc.

Verse 5: “And he stooped down and saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not enter. Then Simon Peter came following him, and he went into the tomb and saw the linen cloths lying” (vs 5-6). Interesting! When Jesus was buried, it wasn’t a shroud like the Catholics believe—that’s another lie! But the way that the Jews buried people was to have wide suaves of linen. They would start wrapping the body. They would start with the feet and the legs and work upwards. They would put spices in as they were wrapping, until they had wrapped the whole body. Then they put a special covering on the head called a napkin! So, they saw the cloths lying, or that is in the lying position.

In order for Jesus to be raised from the dead, did these linen cloths have to be unwound? No! Because as a spirit being, He could rise through material things—correct? Yes! What were they looking at? They were probably looking at the linen cloths still wrapped, but the body gone! Maybe there was a little dip in the linen cloths from the wrapping, but He was gone!

What else did they see that was a proof that He was alive? That they didn’t take the body away? Let’s also understand something else that’s very important. If someone came and stole the body away, they would have taken every bit of it so there would be nothing in the tomb—isn’t that correct? Yes! If you’re going to go in there and steal the body, you’ve got to get in and get out real fast. So they “…saw the linen cloths lying.” That’s what Peter saw.

Verse 7: “And the napkin that had been on His head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself.” What does this tell us? This tells us that:

  • Jesus was alive!
  • He took it off His face!
  • He folded it up!

Clothes don’t fold themselves—do they? Every woman would love clothes to fold themselves. Just think how much that would save when you get laundry done. Just say, ‘Fold yourself!’ Everything is all folded up for you. NO! Doesn’t work that way! Would the thieves stealing the body of Christ fold the napkin up and put it in another place. NO! they would leave it right on His head and take the whole thing out—all of it gone! So, this is a demonstration that, yes,

  • He was raised from the dead
  • He was alive
  • He took off the linen cloth that was on His head, folded it up and placed it by itself

Notice v 8: “Then the other disciple, who had come to the tomb first, also went in and saw these things; and he believed.” The Apostle John was the first one to really believe that, yes, Jesus had been raised from the dead! And just exactly as He had said, that He would be in the ‘heart of the earth three days and three nights’ and He was!

Now, on the Wave Sheaf Offering Day, they come in on the first day of the weeks and they find that He’s gone! Even they didn’t know when He was resurrected. Remember, there were no eyewitnesses to the resurrection except God the Father and the angels of God.

Verse 9: “For they did not yet understand the Scripture which decreed that He must rise from the dead. Then the disciples went away again to their home. But Mary stood outside the tombweeping; and as she wept, she stooped down and looked into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white who were sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been laid” (vs 9-12). So there you have it! The cloths were there where the feet were; where the head was, the napkin folded over here in another place. There’s one angel sitting here, another angel sitting there.

Verse 13: “And they said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ She said to them, ‘Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.’ And after saying these things, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but did not know that it was Jesus” (vs 13-14). Quite a thing! All tears streaming down, she couldn’t see clearly. Probably couldn’t recognize Him. Also, we will see that Jesus could make Himself in a form that they could not recognize Him, because He was a spirit being, but look like He had flesh and bone.

Verse15: “Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?’ Thinking that He was the gardener, she said to Him, ‘Sir, if you have carried Him off, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.’” Notice this next event that took place, because this is very key and very important and shows that this happened early in the morning before the Wave Sheaf Offering at the temple. All of these rituals that were at the temple were a prophecy of an event to take place in fulfillment concerning Jesus. That’s why the sheaf that was waved by the priest was called the Premiere Sheaf or the first of the Firstfruits!

Verse 16: “Jesus said to her, ‘Mary.’ Turning around, she said to Him, ‘Rabboni’; that is to say, ‘Teacher.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Do not touch Me, because I have not yet ascended to My Father. But go to My brethren and tell them that I am ascending to My Father… [probably right after that] …and your Father, and My God and your God.’” (vs 16-17). Quite a tremendous thing that happened there—right?

But notice this; I want you to understand that this is also an indication of the Family of God and the family relationship that we have with God. Look at how He says this, v 17: “‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father… [That’s why we pray our Father Who is in heaven, Holy is Your name.] …and My God and your God.’” Isn’t that amazing? Think of that, brethren! Notice on what level that elevates our relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ. Are we not brethren? Doesn’t the prophecy there in Heb. 2 say he’s ‘not ashamed to call them brethren’? We need to understand that, and we need to understand:

  • the love of God
  • the Truth of God
  • the mercy of God
  • the kindness of God

That’s why we’re called, brethren! To be the rest of the firstfruits. Salvation begins with Jesus Christ and finishes with all the saints at Pentecost and the first resurrection. That’s why these events happen on the first day of the weeks.

  • This is tremendous!
  • This is fantastic!
  • This is important!

Verse 18: “Mary Magdalene came to the disciples, bringing word that she had seen the Lord, and that He had said these things to her.”

What happened?

What was it like for Christ to ascend into the heavens and how was He received?

Can we put together some Scriptures which show us this tremendous event? I think we can! Let’s come back here to Psalm 23—this is called what? The famous Psalm that everyone quotes, the comforting Psalm! He Lord is my Shepherd! Let’s look at it from this point of view: Could this be a summary of all the prayers that Jesus offered up to the Father after He was resurrected from the dead? Being in the tomb; being a spirit being; He could have stayed there till just before the sun had set. We don’t know the exact time that He was resurrected from the dead. Even though it would be pitched black in there for us, it wouldn’t for Him. Let’s look at this as typified of the prayers that Jesus offered up after being raised from the dead.

  • Thanking God
  • Praising Him for keeping His Word.
  • Thanking Him for restoring Him to what He was.

Remember the prayer that He gave in John 17, ‘Now, oh Father, give me the glory that I had with You before the world existed.’ Yes, indeed! Psa. 23 & 24 tell us about the resurrection and then the ascension.

Psalm 23:1: “The LORD is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul… [Through the resurrection—isn’t it?] …He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” (vs 1-3). Yes, He always loved the Father. He always obeyed the Father. And what did He say of Himself? ‘Of Myself I can do nothing. It is the Father IN Me that does the works.’ Doesn’t this have to be what it is with us, also? Of course!

And here’s the kind of strength and understanding that we need to have, too, v 4: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death… [He sure did—didn’t He? Dead three days and three nights!] …I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” Just think that Jesus is praying this Psalm or a prayer similar to this, after He was raised from the dead.

Notice, this is tremendous here, v 5: “You prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies….” All the enemies were confounded; they didn’t know what to do; His body was gone! The Jews paid the guards to say, ‘They stole His body away; we don’t know where it is.’ Don’t you think that they scurried everywhere looking for that body and couldn’t find it. That’s why we have the account given there of what the apostles saw; so that we would know that this is a true resurrection from the dead.

“…You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever” (vs 5-6)—into the ages of eternity!

What was it like when Jesus ascended to the throne of God? Let’s see what that throne of God is like. Let’s come to the book of Revelation, chapter four. Let’s see what the throne of God is like. Let’s see what it was that Jesus saw when He ascended into heaven when He had come back to God the Father, and to present Himself as

  • the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all mankind
  • the perfect sacrifice to take away sin forever
  • the perfect sacrifice that now could be applied for the forgiveness of sin
  • for the giving of the grace of God
  • for the giving of the Holy Spirit of God

The Apostle John saw this tremendous vision, and it was really quite a thing to see. Let’s see what it was like here. He was told:

Revelation 4:1: “…Come up here…’ And immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was set in heaven… [Coming right to the very throne of God. This is the only place in the Bible which describes in detail what that looks like.] …and One was sitting on the throne. And He Who was sitting was in appearance like a jasper stone and a sardius stone; and a rainbow was around the throne, like an emerald in its appearance” (vs 1-3). What beauty and splendor that that is.

“And around the throne were twenty-four thrones; and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white garments; and they had on their heads golden crowns” (v 4). Now, notice the power and energy and force that was coming from this throne where God the Father was sitting. He is the Sovereign of the Universe. And through the Word of Jesus Christ—that He has delegated this authority to—He upholds all things in heaven and in earth! Brethren, when we come before God in our prayers, this is where our prayers are going. We have in Rev. 8 that also there’s a golden altar where our prayers came. It’s like incense coming up to God.

Verse 5: “And proceeding from the thronewere lightnings and thunders and voices; and seven lamps of fire, which are the seven Spirits of God, were burning before the throne…. [Those are the eyes of God that go to and fro in the earth seeking those who are seeking Him.] …And before the throne was a sea of glass, like crystal…. [Yes, it talks about the Sea of Glass, and it also talks about the Sea of Glass in reference to the first resurrection.] …And around the throne and over the throne were four living creatures, full of eyes before and behind” (vs 5-6). Then it describes the creatures and what they did.

At set times they would say, v 8: “…‘Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was, and Who is, and Who is to come.’…. [Isn’t that something? We have a hymn based on that.] …And when the living creatures give glory and honor and thanksgiving to Him Who sits on the throne, Who lives into the ages of eternity, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him Who sits on the throne; and they worship Him Who lives into the ages of eternity, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, ‘Worthy are You, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power because You did create all things, and for Your will they were created and exist’” (vs 8-11).

So here Jesus is coming up to this throne. How was He met? How did the angels greet Him? We know over here in Rev. 5 it shows Jesus coming to the throne of God to have the seven seals and the scroll that seven seals have sealed. It’s given to Him by God the Father, and notice what happens after He takes the book.

Revelation 5:11: “And I saw and I heard the voices of many angels around the throne, and the voices of the living creatures and the elders, and thousands of thousands.” This was a day of celebration. This was a day of victory! This was a day of:

  • overcoming death
  • overcoming sin
  • overcoming Satan the devil

Now the way was paved for God to call those that would yield to Him.

Let’s come back to Psalm 24 and let’s see in the Psalms what I think is the reception given to Him, that Jesus received as He ascended and then came to the Sea of Glass and saw the throne of God the Father. God the Father looking at Jesus and Jesus looking at the Father. Quite a thing! First time they would be personally together since He was begotten in the womb of the virgin Mary.

Psalm 24:1: “The earth is the LORD’S, and the fullness of it, the world, and those who dwell in it… [Think about Jesus as He was coming up and looking down upon the earth—the earth that He had created—and all the human beings that were on it.] …for He has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters. Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who shall stand in His Holy place?” (vs 1-3).

Then it describes this. A perfect description of Christ Who never sinned, always obeyed God, always loved God the Father, laid down His life in love for us and all that He would call. Brethren, we need to understand how marvelous and great that this is.

Verse 4: “He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to vanity and has not sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the LORD and righteousness from the God of his salvation…. [Yes, that’s something—isn’t it? That applies to us. We are that generation.] …This is the generation of those who seek Him, who seek Your face, O God of Jacob. Selah. Lift up your heads, O you gates… [The gates to enter in to see God the Father and all the angel around the throne with the rainbow around it and God the Father sitting on it and the four living creatures and the 24 elders and the great Sea of Glass.] …and be lifted up, O you everlasting doors; that the King of glory may come in” (vs 4-7).

Christ is that King of Glory! He was glorified through His death and His resurrection! His life and everything that He did! Jesus said in His final prayer: ‘And that glory that You have given to Me, Father, I have given to them’—that means us!

  • Think about that, brethren!
  • Think about how great our calling is!
  • Think about how absolutely fantastic that the Bible is to teach us these things so we can understand them!

Verse 8: “Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.” Did He not overcome? Yes! He tells us, ‘to the one who overcomes, as I have overcome, will I grant to sit with Me in My throne.’ Think of that, brethren!

  • We’re going to see that throne!
  • We’re going to see God the Father!
  • We’re going to see Jesus Christ!
  • We’re going to see the four living creatures!
  • We’re going to see the 24 elders!

And thousands and thousands—ten thousand times ten thousand—angels! Here they are praising God! Declaring who’s coming now to God the Father, to present Himself resurrected from the dead, bringing Himself as that perfect sacrifice.

Verse 9: “Lift up your heads, O you gates; lift them up, you everlasting doors; that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, He is the King of glory. Selah” (vs 9-10). We’re to think on that!

Let’s come back to Revelation 5; let’s see what happened; lets see what happened when Jesus came in to be received of God the Father. I imagine when Jesus came to the Father there were tears coming down out of both of their eyes, joy and happiness, and they embraced each other. The Father probably said, ‘It is done! It is perfect!’ And Jesus said, ‘Thank you, Father, for being with Me, watching over Me, teaching Me as I was growing up, giving Me the strength and power to do the things as witness that I am:

  • the Messiah
  • the Savior
  • the King of hosts
  • the Lord of Glory

Embraced each other and turned and faced the 24 elders, the four living creatures over the throne and the thousands and thousands of angels, and here is what they probably sang:

Revelation 5:11: “And I saw and I heard the voices of many angels around the throne, and the voices of the living creatures and the elders, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, ‘Worthy is the Lamb Who was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory and blessing.’…. [Tremendous, brethren! Think of that!] …And every creature that is in heaven… [this affected all of heaven and earth] …and on the earth, and under the earth, and those that are on the sea, and all the things in them, I heard saying, ‘To Him Who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing, and honor, and glory, and sovereignty into the ages of eternity.’” (vs 11-13).

That’s why this Sabbath is so important! That’s why the first day to the count of Pentecost, the first day of the weeks—that’s when Jesus was accepted of God the Father as that perfect sacrifice. We know the accounts in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John that He came back to the earth that same day and showed Himself. But this is the meaning of this day and this is the Word that we are to hear in season.

Brethren, I hope you continue to have a wonderful Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Scriptural References:

  • Leviticus 23:9-11, 24
  • Matthew 1:23-25
  • Hebrews 1:5
  • Colossians 1:18
  • Revelation 1:5, 18
  • 1 John 4:9-10
  • 1 Corinthians 13:4
  • John 14:19
  • 2 Corinthians 15:3-23
  • Psalm 16:5-11
  • Psalm 17:15
  • Matthew 28:1-7
  • Mark 16:2-9
  • Luke 24:1-8
  • John 20:1-18
  • Psalm 23:1-6
  • Revelation 4:1-6, 8-11
  • Revelation 5:11
  • Psalm 24:1-10
  • Revelation 5:11-13

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • John 19
  • Romans 8
  • John 14-17
  • Hebrews 2
  • Revelation 8

Also referenced:

Books:

  • A Harmony of the Gospels by Fred R. Coulter
  • The Christian Passover by Fred R. Coulter

Sermon Series:

Love of God

Why God Hates Hierarchy

Invisible Idol/Invisible Man

Articles:

Appendix J—Jesus’ Three Days and Three Nights of Entombment and His Resurrection (from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order by Fred R. Coulter)

Appendix E—When was Jesus Christ Born? (from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order by Fred R. Coulter)

FRC:bo

Transcribed: 3-27-11

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