Events of the Wave Sheaf Offering Day

(Sabbath During Unleavened Bread)

Fred R. Coulter—April 11, 2009

pdfIcon - PDF | Audio | [Up]

Track 1 or Download
Track 2 or Download

Greetings brethren! Welcome to the regular Sabbath during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The regular Sabbath this year comes after the Passover on Tuesday night, which means that the Passover Day was on Wednesday. The Holy Day was on Thursday, then we have Friday, and then we have the regular Sabbath.

There are still things going on during this time, especially when you have the Passover in the middle of the week. It pictures the exact sequence of when it was that Jesus was crucified and that He was in the tomb for three days and three nights and raised from the dead at the end of the weekly Sabbath during the Feast of Unleavened Bread! Let's read the command concerning the Wave Sheaf Offering.

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).

Now, when it came on a sequence of Passover in the middle of the week, the first Holy Day on a Thursday, beginning Wednesday night, and then on into the Sabbath, they would cut the special Wave Sheaf Offering from a special place where they planted it on the Mt. of Olives near the Miphkad Altar, which was the place where they took all of the sin offerings to be wholly consumed and burned. All of the other things that needed to be burned were brought out there to the Miphkad Altar, which was not too far from where Jesus was crucified.

Likewise this special plot of ground where they planted the barley for the Wave Sheaf Offering is a very important thing to keep in mind. Especially today, since there are some people who say that we have to go to Jerusalem and see when the barley is ripe. They forget some very important things. The barley ripens depending upon when you plant it, how much water that you put into the ground, how the weather is—is it warm; is it cold—and all of those things affect it.

That's why they had this special plot on the Mt. of Olives so that they would plant it at the right time, give it the right amount of water and that it would be ready for the Wave Sheaf Offering. They were to cut it right as the Sabbath was ending—the Sabbath during the Feast of Unleavened Bread—when the days fell in the sequence that we have today. They would bring it and lay it alongside the altar, and then in the morning, the priest would wave or elevate the sheaf.

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

In Hebrew, the Sabbath is 'ha shabbat,' which always means the weekly Sabbath. When you have a Holy Day—as you will see in reading the rest of Lev. 23—they are also call Sabbaths, but they do not have the definite article 'ha' before the word 'shabbat'; so they're just called 'shabbat.' This has to be the regular weekly Sabbath during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. There are some other peculiarities in counting it when the days fall differently than we have this year, and we have booklets that explain how to count it.

Verse 15: "And you shall count to you beginning with the next day after the Sabbath…"—which is the first day of the week. This is the Wave Sheaf Offering Day. The premiere sheaf was the very first one that was accepted by God, which was a type of Christ, Who was the Firstfruit, resurrected before anybody else.

We're going to examine the Wave Sheaf Offering Day and the events that took place when Jesus was raised from the dead at the end of the Sabbath. Remember, He died at what is called the 9th hour or 3pm as we reckon time today. Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus got the body—Pilate released it to them—and they took down Jesus' body and they wound it in linen cloths. It was not, as the Catholics have it, with a shroud. That is a total fake and it was done in the 1300s. Yet, the Catholics say this has some value, so people can reverence it. That's idolatry!

What we have here is that when they took down the body of Jesus they wound it in the linen and put in the aromatic spices as they were doing it. Then when they finished winding the body, they put a special covering, which is called a napkin in the New Testament, to cover the head. Then the body was put into the tomb. So, between three o'clock and sunset at six o'clock, that's when Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus prepared Jesus' body for burial. Then it was put into the tomb right as the Passover Day was ending and just before the first part of the beginning of the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. He was to stay three days and three nights in the tomb:

  • Wednesday night/Thursday day
  • Thursday night/Friday day
  • Friday night/ Sabbath Day

Three days/three nights!

Also remember that He was dead three hours longer than three days and three nights, because He died at three o'clock, was buried just right around six o'clock. He was to be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights, and then He was to be resurrected. The resurrection did not happen on Sunday. We might also add that into the things of the counterfeit Christianity, a Sunday resurrection. Well, the truth is He was already resurrected before the first day of the week came. We know so by the Wave Sheaf Offering.

So, let's come back here and begin to see some of the things that took place on the Wave Sheaf Offering Day, and look at all of those events and understand that Christ is the Firstfruit from the among the dead. We will see where it defines Jesus as the Firstfruit, and that is pictured by the Wave Sheaf Offering.

1-Corinthians 15:17: "But if Christ has not been raised…" There are even programs trying to show that today.

Oh, He wasn't raised from the dead. Yes, He married Mary Magdalene and they escaped by night and they went over to southern France and now we have the Knights of the Templar.

"…your faith is vain; you are still in your sins" (v 17). People come along and say, 'Oh, isn't that interesting.' It's a lie! It's a fabrication!

Verse 18: "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. But now Christ has been raised from the dead; He has become the Firstfruit of those who have fallen asleep" (vs 17-20).

Since Jesus was put in the tomb just before the Sabbath began, He was raised from the dead just after the time that He died on the cross: three days and three nights. But He would also be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights. So, we have two things that took place at the end of three days and three nights:

  • the resurrection of Jesus
  • the exiting of the tomb

Let's see what the condition of the tomb was when the women came to bring more spices and aromatics to anoint the body of Jesus.

John 20:1: "Now, on the first day of the weeks…" That's the correct, literal translation; because this is the first day of the seven-week count to Pentecost (Lev. 23). This is the first day of the weeks, and in the Greek is plural; not singular.

"…while it was still dark…" (v 1). Mary Magdalene had to get up probably when it was just starting to get light on the horizon in the east!

"…Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb; and she saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb." That was huge stone! How did this happen?

The other women were also coming, and while Mary Magdalene was gone they came and saw. So, you have many events going on here. If you don't have A Harmony of the Gospels by all means get it and you can study through it there {truthofGod.org}

Verse 2: "Then she ran and came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, 'They have taken away the Lord from the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.'"

What does this tell us? The disciples didn't steal the body! Yet, today, that's exactly what many, many Jews believe. Just like it says there, and it's believed among the Jews to this day. Not only was that a true statement at that time, but a prophecy down to our time.

Verse 3: "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 3-4).

Now, just think of this: The sun has barely come up. You're out there, you're all excited, you ran down there, the stone is moved away. What do you do? You look inside! John didn't go in.

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).

John looked down he saw them lying there but he didn't walk in. Peter comes barging in and he sees it. Now, a very interesting thing that he saw:

Verse 7: "the napkin that had been on His head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself."

Let's think on this for a minute because this tells us something very important. If someone came to steal the body, they wouldn't leave the linen cloths there, nor the napkin. They would have picked up His body and carted it out as quickly as they could, because, after all, there were guards there guarding it. But when the angels came they were petrified and didn't move, so the guards were of little use at that time. What else does this tell us? This tells us two other things:

  • Cloths don't fold themselves

That means that Jesus had to be alive to do it. Since no one stole the body away, and the disciples didn't steal the body away, it was in fact, Jesus, Who when He was resurrected, took the napkin off and folded it up and put it on the side. When you see the linen cloths lying there, let's also understand something else:

  • Did Jesus need to be unwrapped from the cloths when He was resurrected?

Or, being given back eternal life, did He not have the power—since He was the firstborn from the dead; that means He was born again—to do as Jesus said, 'Go wherever, at will'?

In other words, He came right through the linen cloths. What they looked at when they saw the linen cloths lying there was probably something in the form of what Jesus' body was, with maybe the top part of the linen cloths coming down and folding in. So they saw that and then they saw the napkin, so you've got to know that He was raised from the dead.

Verse 8: "Then the other disciple, who had come to the tomb first, also went in and saw these things; and he believed…. [He believed that Jesus was raised from the dead] …For they did not yet understand the Scripture, which decreed that He must rise from the dead" (vs 8-9).

What was Jesus doing between the time He was resurrected and still in the tomb and the time that He left the tomb? Remember, He did not have to have the stone rolled away to get out of the tomb. He could walk right through the stone. The only reason that the angels removed the stone from the tomb was so that human beings who did not have enough strength—especially the women—to move the big stone, could go in and see that He wasn't there. So, what was Jesus doing?

Let's do a little search into the Psalms. Psa. 16 is a prophecy of Jesus being in the tomb and that God would not let His body see corruption. Let's read and let's see what else it tells us here, because we can learn a lot in the Psalms. This is a prophecy of it and probably Jesus was thanking God that He kept His word.

Psalm 16:1: "Preserve me, O God, for in You do I take refuge." He had to put His complete trust and confidence in God the Father! Jesus voluntarily laid down His life so that He could receive it back again. But God the Father had to give it back to Him. He didn't resurrect Himself, as some people have alleged.

Verse 2: "I have said to the LORD, 'You are my LORD; I have no goodness apart from You.'"

  • Doesn't that agree with what Jesus said: 'I can do nothing of Myself, but the Father in Me, He does the works'? Yes!
  • Do we have any goodness apart from God? No!

While human nature is a mixture of good and evil, you cannot, as long as there's a presence of evil, have pure good. Even though you do good, it's not good as God does good. The greatest good that we can do is when we are led by the Holy Spirit to love God, serve Him, keep His commandments and do the things that please Him.

Verse 3: "As for the saints in the earth, 'They are the excellent ones in whom is all my delight.'"

He was going to bring the Holy Spirit so that the saints could be brought into the promise of receiving the Holy Spirit and eternal life!

Verse 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" (vs 5-6).

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 (vs 9-10).

This is what Peter quoted when he was talking about the resurrection of Jesus (Acts 2).

Verse 11: "You will make known to Me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy. At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore."

Where did Jesus go? To the right hand of God! That's really quite something when we understand it. In order for Jesus to get to this point, He had to live a perfect life; He had to do all the things in the way of:

  • preaching the Gospel
  • healing the sick
  • raising the dead
  • teaching the apostles
  • preparing the way

and then

  • be crucified
  • die
  • raised the third day

During that time, how He was able to endure and go through this was recorded for us! All the things that He would suffer in Psa. 22 & 23, and then we have in Heb. 5 that He feared the One Who was able to save Him from death: God the Father!

Matthew 28:1: "Now, late on the Sabbath, as the first day of the weeks was drawing near… [they came down on the Sabbath Day just as it was ending] …Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to observe the sepulcher."

So, they saw it and Luke records that they went back and fixed some more aromatics and spices, that when they would come in the morning that they would anoint Jesus' body.

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." This is what the women saw when they got there!

Verse 3: "Now, his appearance was as lightning, and his raiment white as snow…. [this had an effect on the guards]: …And for fear of him, those who were keeping guard trembled, and became as dead men" (vs 3-4).

I imagine so! If that had not happened that way, do you think that guards would have allowed the women to have access to the tomb? Of course not!

Verse 5: "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 5-6).

What do we have? Jesus already resurrected; by early morning He was gone! Another thing that is very important to understand is that no one saw Jesus resurrected from the dead, except God the Father and the Holy angels. No human being! The guards didn't know, because Jesus was able to walk right out of the tomb, whenever He walked out.

I suppose that He was inside the tomb praying and thanking God for keeping all of His promises and resurrecting Him. When He left, where did He go until the morning till He ascended to the Father? He probably went to the Garden of Gethsemane where it was known that He would pray! He had a special place there where He would pray.

Then you can take many of the Psalms that have to do with the resurrection of Jesus, and you can get the whole picture of what happened, what He was praying, thanking God for everything that was done, thanking God for what He had done.

Now began the next part of the plan of God. Because He said on the Passover night, before He was arrested and crucified: 'I finished the work that You have given Me to do.' But now, after the resurrection, there's a lot of work to do, which is the spiritual work of working in those who are called to help qualify them for eternal life.

Verse 6—speaking of Jesus, the angel said: "He is not here; for He has risen, as He said…. [already done; past tense; at a point of completion before the morning] …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). Then they went quickly and ran and told the disciples!

Mark 16—here we're going to solve another problem, too, concerning when was Jesus raised. Because the truth is, when they came early in the morning He was gone; He was not there!

Mark 16:1: "Now, when the Sabbath had passed, Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of James; and Salome bought aromatic oils, so that they might come and anoint Him."

They went down to see the tomb, they came back after the Sabbath and they bought some aromatic oils and spices so that when they would go down in the morning they could anoint Him with these additional things.

Verse 2: "And very early on the first day of the weeks, at the rising of the sun, they were coming to the tomb."

Mary Magdalene started out when it was still dark. Here are the others, they are coming and the sun is rising.

Verse 3: "And they were asking themselves, 'Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?' For it was a massive stone. But when they looked up… [that is when they got close to the tomb they looked up] …they saw that the stone had been rolled away. And after entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right, clothed in a white robe; and they were very frightened…. [this is an angel appearing as a man] …But he said to them, 'Do not be afraid. You are seeking Jesus the Nazarene, Who was crucified He has risen…'" (vs 3-6).

It doesn't tell us the time that He was raised; but we know that He was not raised at sunrise, He was already gone! So, the way that we know when He was raised by putting the Scriptures together, that after three days and three nights in the tomb, He would be raised from the dead. That had to be right as the weekly Sabbath—during the Feast of Unleavened Bread in the year that Jesus was crucified, 30A.D., which happened to be April 5th by the way, three days and three nights after that He was raised from the dead. When they came to the tomb.

"…He is not here. Look, there is the place where they laid Him" (v 6).

Verse 8: "And they went out quickly and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had seized them… [I guess so!] …and they did not say anything to anyone because they were afraid." I guess they would be; especially, you have no idea how this came about.

We'll put all of this together and see what happened on that Wave Sheaf Offering Day. It was quite a day!

Luke 24:1: "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; and when they entered it, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus…. [It was gone!] …And it came to pass thatwhile they were puzzling over this, suddenly two men in shining garments stood by them" (vs 1-4).

So, one recollected one angel, and others recollected two angels. So you put it together, there were two. When they first saw there was only one, now they see there's two.

Verse 5: "And as they bowed their faces to the ground, being filled with fear, they… [the angels] said to them, 'Why are you seeking the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen… [nothing could be more clear than that] …remember when He spoke to you while He 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 1-7). So that's something!

Verse 8: "Then they remembered His words; and after returning from the tomb, they related these things to the eleven and to all the rest. Now, it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary, the mother of James, and the others with them, who told these things to the apostles. But their words appeared to them as idle talk, and they did not believe them" (vs 8-11).

So, here you have the greatest thing that has taken place—resurrection from the dead—and Jesus told them how many times? They didn't believe Him! They didn't believe the women. So what did they do?

Verse 12: "Then Peter rose up and ran to the tomb; and stooping down, he saw the linen clothes lying alone; and he went home wondering about the things that had come to pass."

So, here's all these events taking place, having to do with the resurrection of Jesus. So this was quite a day.

Now let's come to John 20 and let's see what happened here in the account of John; because all of these fill in various details of the account of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. And John 20 tells us something very, very important for us to understand concerning this Wave Sheaf Offering Day.

John 20:1: "Now on the first day of the weeks, while it was still dark… [Mary Magdalene got up earlier than any of the rest of them] …Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb; and she saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb."

She got up while it was dark. How long did it take her to walk over to the area where the tomb was? We don't know! But nevertheless, she got there and the stone had been taken away.

Verse 2: "Then she ran and came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, 'They have taken away the Lord from the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.'…. [have no idea] …As a result, Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb" (vs 2-3). They came there and John believed!

Verse 10: "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. 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'" (vs 10-13).

Forgot all about what Jesus said: 'After three days I will be raised from the dead.'

Verse 14: "And after saying these things, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but did not know that it was Jesus."

Let's follow this very carefully, because this tells us something that's very important for us to know concerning the resurrection of the dead, and the ascension of Jesus Christ to fulfill the Wave Sheaf Offering that the priest was to wave in the morning at about nine o'clock after the regular Sabbath during Unleavened Bread. Now, the only exception to that is when the first Holy Day falls on a Sunday. So to find out about that, I'm not going to explain it here because I have a whole sermon that covers How to Count to Pentecost and the different variations of the Wave Sheaf Offering Day.

Verse 15—she didn't know it was Jesus: "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.' Jesus said to her, 'Mary.'…." (vs 15-16). When He said that, He revealed Himself to her!

"…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….'" (vs 16-17).

Jesus had not yet ascended until the time when the priest at the temple would wave the Wave Sheaf Offering; that's when Jesus then ascended to heaven to the Father. Hadn't happened yet, because it's still early in the morning.

"…But go to My brethren and tell them that I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God" (v 17).

Notice how our relationship with God is going to be. On a level very close to what Jesus' was. So that's something to really consider. That just as He was the Father of Jesus, and God; so is He our God and our Father. That's why

  • we are called the Church of the Firstborn.
  • we are called the firstfruits
  • the resurrection is pictured by Pentecost and not by Trumpets

I'm getting a little ahead of myself here, but nevertheless, we'll just sort of 'prime the pump' for that time, if you will.

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." This was quite a thing!

Now let's solve one other little difficulty in Scriptures, because there is a very minor error in the King James (Mark 16:9), which had to do with the placement of a coma. The placement of a coma can make all the difference in the world. Now here is how they have it in the King James:

Mark 16:9 (KJV): "Now when Jesus had risen early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons."

So they say, 'See, Jesus was raised on the first day of the week, Easter Sunday.' Not so! That's a pagan day! He had already been raised from the dead before then. So, the placement of the coma should read this way:

(FV): "Now, after Jesus had risen,… [which agrees with the other two accounts, and agrees with what was said earlier in v 6] …early the first day of the weeks He appeared first to Mary Magdalene… [which we just saw back in John 20] …from whom He had cast out seven demons. She went and told it to those who had been with Him, who were grieving and weeping. And when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe it" (vs 9-11).

We'll see a little later on what happened, how Jesus talked to the disciples and said, 'Oh you hard-hearted and slow to believe.'

But of course, this is something that had never happened before. No one had been raised from the dead to eternal life. However, let's think of something that the disciples should have thought of to know that it was true that He was raised from the dead.

Remember back in John 11, Lazarus died! Jesus deliberately stayed away and didn't get there until the fourth day after Lazarus was dead. Now all the disciples were with Jesus when He went out to the tomb and said, 'Lazarus, come forth.' So they should have known that if Lazarus had been raised from the dead by the power of Jesus, God the Father would have the power to raise Jesus from the dead Himself, 'as was told them.' But it's interesting how quickly that human nature forgets things and puts it out. They didn't believe it. That was something!

Now then, something else took place that is really interesting here. There's much more to it in Luke. Here again the King James does not translate this correctly. So that's why we have The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version where this is translated correctly. Think for a minute how many misunderstandings and false doctrines have been generated out of faulty translations in the King James or other translations because they follow the counterfeit of Sunday, Eucharist, communion and the occult holidays; rather than following Sabbath, Passover and the Holy Days!

Think of how much they miss. If they would have known that, you would not have had these problems in translations. There are many people who want to just keep and cling to the King James Version of the Bible. Fine, do so, no problem; but you have to understand all the areas where it's not properly translated. So, here's one of them:

Luke 24:13 "And behold, on the same day, two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, which was about sixty furlongs from Jerusalem."

(go to the next track)

The verse in question that has not been properly translated will come up a little later.

Verse 14: "And they were talking with one another about all the things that had taken place. And it came to pass, as they were talking and reasoning, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them; but their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him" (vs 14-16).

Think about what a tremendous thing this was! All of these events taking place, one after the other.

Verse 17: "And He said to them, 'What are these words that you are exchanging with one another as you walk, and why are you downcast in countenance?' Then the one named Cleopas answered and said to Him, 'Are You only traveling through Jerusalem, and have not known of the things that have happened in these days?'" (vs 17-18).

It was the talk of the town, everybody knew it! Crucifixion and everything that took place!

Verse 19: "And He said to them, 'What things?'…." He played well; He didn't know anything, yet, He was the principle player involved.

"…And they said to Him, 'The things concerning Jesus the Nazarean, a Man Who was a prophet, Who was mighty in deed and word before God and all the people; and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him up to the judgment of death, and crucified Him. And we were hoping that He was the One Who would redeem Israel…. [here's the correct translation]: …But besides all these things, as of today, the third day has already passed since these things took place'" (vs 19-21).

That's what it means. So they were saying, 'Look, He said in three days, but now it's more than three days,' we're into the fourth day.

Verse 22: "And also, certain women from among us astonished us, after they went to the tomb early; for when they did not find His body, they came to us, declaring that they had indeed seen a vision of angels, who said, 'He is living.'" (vs 22-23). How much more do you expect them to know in order to believe?

Verse 24: "'And some of those with us went to the tomb and found it exactly as the women had said, but they did not see Him.' Then He said to them, 'O foolish and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!'" (vs 24-25)—because He taught them this way before He was crucified!

Verse 26: "'Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things, and to enter into His glory?' And beginning with Moses, and from all the prophets, He interpreted to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures" (vs 26-27).

I wonder what they were thinking as He was doing this and saying this? They didn't recognize Him. They didn't stop and question and say, 'Who is this that knows the Scriptures like this?' Obviously, the only One Who would know Scriptures like this would be Jesus. So, here they are tootling going down the road to Emmaus.

Verse 28: "And as they approached the village where they were going, He appeared to be going on farther. But they constrained Him, saying, 'Stay with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is declining.' And He entered in as if to stay with them. And it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, He took the bread and blessed it; and after breaking it, He gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they knew Him; and He disappeared from them" (vs 28-31).

Gone! Because He could walk through the doors. He could walk through the walls. Now, we're going to see something else that took place here:

Verse 32: "And they said to one another, 'Did not our hearts burn within us as He was speaking to us on the road, while He was opening the Scriptures to us?' And they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and those with them assembled together, saying, 'In truth, the Lord has risen! And He has appeared to Simon.' Then they related the things that had happened to them on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of the bread. Now, as they were telling these things, Jesus Himself stood in their midst and said to them, 'Peace be to you'" (vs 32-36).

Let's see the account given by John where he explains why the disciples were assembled together, and it wasn't that they were holding their first Sunday morning service, because it was late in the afternoon, right close toward sunset. So that was not the first Easter sunrise services we find in the John 20—not so!

John 20:19: "Afterwards, as evening was drawing near that day, the first day of the weeks… [before the day ended] …and the doors were shut where the disciples had assembled for fear of the Jews…"

They said, 'We are in trouble! His body is not there and they're going to say, 'The disciples came and stole it, because that's what the Jews told the soldiers to tell everyone. They're going to come and get us and arrest us! What's going to happen to us? All we can say is we went out there and we didn't find Him.' Well, you took His body away, didn't you? 'No, we didn't, we don't know where He is.' So, they were there "…for fear of the Jews…"

"…Jesus… [not needing to have a door open, just walk right through] …came and stood in the midst, and said to them, 'Peace be to you.' And after saying this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples rejoiced because they had seen the Lord" (vs 19-20).

Luke 24:36: "Jesus Himself stood in their midst and said to them, 'Peace be to you.' But they were terrified and filled with fear, thinking that they beheld a spirit apparition. Then He said to them, 'Why are you troubled? And why do doubts come up in your hearts? See My hands and My feet, that it is I. Touch Me and see for yourselves; for a spirit does not have flesh and bones, as you see Me having'" (vs 36-39).

Very interesting right here. He didn't say, 'flesh and blood,' He appeared as flesh and bones because, as a spirit being, He could do that. Just like as a spirit being He could walk through the walls; walk through the doors. So, He appeared with flesh and bones; but not flesh and blood. He didn't need any blood because He was alive as a spirit being.

Verse 40: "And after saying this, He showed them His hands and His feet. But while they were still disbelieving and wondering for joy, He said to them, 'Do you have anything here to eat?' Then they gave Him part of a broiled fish and a piece of honeycomb…. [it's all right to eat honey and fish together] …And He took these and ate in their presence. And He said to them, 'These are the words that I spoke to you when I was yet with you, that all the things which were written concerning Me in the Law of Moses and in the Prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled'" (vs 40-44). So, He opened their minds to that!

Verse 45: "Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, 'According as it is written, it was necessary for the Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day" (vs 45-46).

John 20:21: "Therefore, Jesus said to them again, 'Peace be to you. As the Father sent Me, I am also sending you.' And after saying this, He breathed on them and said, 'Receive the Holy Spirit'" (vs 21-22).

Now the apostles who were there received the Holy Spirit as a begettal at that point. When we come to Acts 20, they received an additional portion of God's Holy Spirit for the preaching of the Gospel in the powerful way that they did.

Verse 23: "'Those whose sins you shall remit, they are remitted to them; and those whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.' But Thomas, called Didymus, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. Then the other disciples said to him, 'We have seen the Lord.' But he said to them, 'Unless I see the nail marks in His hands, and put my finger into the nail marks, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe at all'" (vs 23-25).

Now, some people are thick-skinned; some are hardheaded; and some are block-headed! And that's what Thomas was at this point.

Verse 26: "Now, after eight days… [on another first day of the week] …His disciples again were within, and Thomas with them. Jesus came after the doors were shut, and stood in the midst and said, 'Peace be to you.' Then He said to Thomas, 'Put forth your finger, and see My hands; and reach out your hand, and put it into My side; and be not unbelieving, but believing.' And Thomas answered and said to Him, 'My Lord and My God.'…. [Was Jesus God? Yes, indeed, He was! They understood it.] …Jesus said to him, 'Because you have seen Me, Thomas, you have believed; blessed are the ones who have not seen, but have believed.' Now then, Jesus did many other miracles in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book" (vs 26-30).

This is why A Harmony of the Gospels is so helpful; because you have the parallel columns side-by-side, and you can read it right there and you don't have go from book-to-book and back and forth.

Luke 24:47[transcriber's correction]: "And in His name, repentance and remission of sins should be preached to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. For you are witnesses of these things" (vs 47-48). He did not show Himself to other people, just to the disciples!

Paul gives us a little more understanding as to what happened when they went over to the mount in Galilee and showed Himself to many more disciples. Paul is reaffirming and he is preaching the Gospel, and he's telling them where he got it from and what they need to do.

1-Corinthians 15:1: "Now, I am declaring to you, brethren, the same Gospel that I proclaimed to you, which you also received, and in which you are now standing; by which you are also being saved…" (vs 1-2).

That's an important and proper translation here; because salvation is a process. You have been saved from your sins when you repent and accept the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and are baptized. You are being saved—in an ongoing way—as long as you stand in the Gospel, believe God, keep the commandments of God, and walk in His way—you are being saved. When Christ returns, and you're resurrected from the dead, that finishes the other part of the equation: you shall be saved; that is to receive eternal life. So, there are three steps to salvation:

  • repentance and baptism; you're saved from your sins
  • you are being saved as you continue in the Gospel and the Word of God and growing in grace and knowledge
  • when the resurrection takes place you will be born again from the dead, and that's the only time that anyone is born again.

"…are also being saved, if you are holding fast the words that I proclaimed to you; otherwise you have believed in vain" (v 2)

There's some people we even know today that believed in vain. When something came along and changed the doctrines, they just went right along with it. Some of them turned around and walked away. Others gave up on everything, just like some of the disciples as we read there, the two were talking: 'Well, this is…the third day has already past and when are these things going to take place?' So the same thing here.

Verse 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; and that He was buried; and that He was raised the third day, according to the Scriptures; and that He appeared to Cephas, and then to the twelve. Then He appeared to over five hundred brethren at one time, of whom the greater part are alive until now, but some have fallen asleep. 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 3-8).

This was quite a day in showing Himself. But there were many, many witnesses of it. All of these were there on the day of Pentecost. In The Christian Passover book and also in the documentaries and commentaries that we have in the Bible, we have identified almost all of the 120 that were assembled there waiting for the Holy Spirit, as Jesus had promised.

Now, let's go back and let's catch up on a few things concerning Jesus Christ. Let's fill in the gap:

  • What happened from the time that Mary Magdalene saw Him and He ascended to the Father?
  • What happened when He was received?

Obviously Jesus was anxious to see the Father. So here's a Psalm that, even though David wrote it, it was probably a prophecy also; not only of David's current feelings that he had at that time, but a prophecy also of Jesus when He was resurrected from the dead and just before He ascended into heaven.

Psalm 63:1: "O God, You are my God, earnestly I will seek You! My soul thirsts for You. My flesh longs for You, as in a dry and thirsty land where no water is, to see Your power and Your glory as I have seen You in the sanctuary" (vs 1-2).

Because Jesus was right there with God before He came to the earth in the flesh; and He was anxious to see Him again. Thanking God that He had delivered Him from death; that He did not allow His body to see corruption.

Verse 3: "Because Your loving-kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You. Thus I will bless You as long as I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips" (vs 1-5).

This is the attitude that Jesus must have had as He was ascending back to heaven to the Father. Remember, that although Jesus was able to see the Father in vision, and the Father teaching Him from the very time right after He was born all the way through His life up to His ministry, He never was with the Father. This was going to be a joyous occasion. Not only that. He had conquered death. He had overcome death. He was the first raised from the dead, and He was coming as the conquering God! As the Lord Almighty, raised from the dead! Let's see a prophecy of this in Psa. 24!

  • What was it like when Jesus ascended?
  • What was it that He saw right at first after He was resurrected?
  • How was He greeted?

I kind of like this as Jesus was rising to meet the Father; and He looked down on the earth and He could see the whole world:

Psalm 24:1: "The earth is the LORD'S, and the fullness of it… [He could see the whole earth below as He was ascending] …the world, and those who dwell in it, for He has founded it upon the seas… [He could see all 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? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to vanity and has not sworn deceitfully…. [that could only be said of Jesus] …This is the generation of those who seek Him, who seek Your face, O God of Jacob. Selah" (vs 1-5).

Remember, He cried out with tears and strong cryings to Him Who was able to save Him from death.

Verse 6: "This is the generation of those who seek Him, who seek Your face, O God of Jacob. Selah."

Now, as He got up toward the Sea of Glass—and we'll see this again here in just a little bit in the book of Revelation. Here's what the angels were singing, and here was the command, because Jesus was to come through the gates. Jesus was to enter into the Holy Place of God and come to the very throne of God. So just imagine this: As Jesus is coming up to the Sea of Glass here is the gate that He is going to go through, and here are the angels that are singing and praising God and commanding the gates to open.

Verse 7: "Lift up your heads, O you gates; and be lifted up, O you everlasting doors; that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle" (vs 7-8).

He was! He overcame death! He overcame Satan the devil! He was the perfect sacrifice of God the Father, to remove the sins of the world in the plan of God.

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).

Now, after He was let into the heavens again, where God was, we get a glimpse in Rev. 4[transcriber's correction], as to what He saw, and how He was then going to approach the throne of God and to be reunited with the Father. Tremendous thing when we understand it, brethren. This must have been a magnificent time in the history of the whole universe. Here is what John was allowed to see:

Revelation 4:1: "After these things I looked, and behold, a door opened in heaven… [we just talked about the gates that let the King of Glory come in] …and the first voice that I heard was as if a trumpet were speaking with me, saying, 'Come up here, and I will show you the things that must take place after these things.' And immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was set in heaven, and One was sitting on the throne" (vs 1-2). We'll see Christ coming to the throne a little bit later!

Verse 3: "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."

I'm picturing this because it talks about the Sea of Glass here in just a minute. We'll talk about this, but here is the rainbow all around the throne.

Verse 4: "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. And proceeding from the thronewere lightnings and thunders and voices…" (vs 4-5).

The very center and power of the universe. The mighty God Who holds everything together with His Son Jesus Christ. Just the sheer power emanating from His being; that's what he saw.

"…and seven lamps of fire, which are the seven spirits of God, were burning before the throne. And before the throne was a sea of glass, like crystal. And around the throne and over the throne were four living creatures, full of eyes before and behind; and the first living creature was like a lion, and the second living creature was like a bull, and the third living creature had the face of a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle" (vs 5-7).

These are the same faces that Ezekiel saw on the cherubim or as you can say, the 'portable space vehicle' of God that He used to come and show Himself to Ezekiel. I know someone's going to ask: Do you think we're going to have space cars in heaven and we're going to be able to fly around? I bet we do. And we won't have to plug them in at night either.

Verse 8: "And each of the four living creatures had six wings respectively; and around and within they were full of eyes; and day and night they cease not saying, 'Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty…'"

There's a certain time that they did this, because if that was said continuously—without periods of silence—then you would hear nothing else.

"'…Who was, and Who is, and Who is to come.' 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).

God's plan is going to be fulfilled and the final phase of how that is going to be fulfilled occurred when Jesus ascended to heaven to be received of God the Father. We see that right here:

Revelation 5:1: "And in the right hand of Him Who sits on the throne I saw a book, written within and on the back, which had been sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, 'Who is worthy to open the book and to loose its seals?' But no one in heaven, or on the earth, or under the earth was able to open the book, or to look inside it" (vs 1-3).

Now, this also gives us an understanding of how do we understand prophecy? We understand it because God reveals it and shows it in His Word. We don't have the ability of ourselves. No one else in heaven, not even an angel. But as we will see, only Jesus Christ the Lamb of God, Who is also the son of David.

Verse 4: "And I was weeping greatly because no one was found worthy to open and to read the book, or to look into it. Then one of the elders said to me, 'Do not weep. Behold, the Lion Who is of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome to open the book, and to loose its seven seals'" (vs 4-5). Amazing! There it is about Christ!.

Verse 6: "Then I saw, and behold, before the throne and the four living creatures and before the elders was standing a Lamb ashaving been slain…"

That's Christ! This is when Christ appeared to be accepted by God the Father as the perfect sacrifice!

"…having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God that are sent into all the earth" (v 6).

The seven horns then represent the seven churches (Rev. 2 & 3), and it's in the head of Christ because He's the Head of the Church.

Verse 7: "And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him Who sits on the throne. And when He took the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having harps and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song…" (vs 7-9). This is the song we are going to sing; but they are singing it ahead of time!

"…saying, 'Worthy are You to take the book, and to open its seals because You were slain, and did redeem us to God by Your own blood… [that's us, not the living creatures or the 24 elders] …out of every tribe and language and people and nation, and did make us unto our God kings and priests… [the fulfillment of that comes in Rev. 20] …and we shall reign on the earth'" (vs 9-10).

Now, here's the celebration that went on after that. Don't you think that when we're resurrected, there's going to be a great celebration for the greatest even to happen in the history of mankind, since the resurrection of Jesus Christ? You better believe there's going to be a celebration! It says there in Rev. 19 that we say, 'Hallelujah! Praise God! And everything else that's going to take place on the Sea of Glass, which we'll talk about as we come toward Pentecost. Now notice the celebration that took place here:

Verse 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." Here's the song that they were singing, receiving Jesus Christ back into heaven:

Verse 12: "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.'"

We are co-heirs with Christ. I want you to understand that! This is the beginning of it that we are seeing here.

Verse 13: "And every creature that is in heaven, 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.' And the four living creatures said, 'Amen.' And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped Him Who lives into the ages of eternity" (vs 13-14).

Brethren, that's the meaning of the Sabbath during Unleavened Bread and the Wave Sheaf Offering Day that falls tomorrow.

Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version (except where noted)

Scriptural References:

  • Leviticus 23:9-11, 15
  • 1 Corinthians 15:17-20
  • John 20:1-9
  • Psalm 16:1-3, 5-6, 9-11
  • Matthew 28:1-7
  • Mark 16:1-6, 8
  • Luke 24:1-12
  • John 20:1-3, 10-18
  • Mark 16:9-11
  • Luke 24:13-36
  • John 20:19-20
  • Luke 24:36-46
  • John 20:21-30
  • Luke 24:47-48
  • 1 Corinthians 15:1-8
  • Psalm 63:1-5
  • Psalm 24:1-10
  • Revelation 4:1-11
  • Revelation 5:1-14

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Acts 2
  • Psalms 22 & 23
  • Hebrews 5
  • John 11
  • Acts 20
  • Revelation 2, 3, 20 & 19

Also referenced:

Books:

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

Sermon: How to Count to Pentecost

FRC:bo
Transcribed: 3-11-09
Reformatted/Corrected: 3/2020

BOOKS