Book: God's Plan for Mankind

Pentecost—June 11, 2000

(Part I)

Now for the Feast of Pentecost, the year 2000, there’s a tremendous meaning for this feast, and there are a lot of things that God wants us to know and to understand as we go forward and in keeping the holy days. And all of the holy days really show us and teach us the ways of God. Now it’s very interesting but in the Septuagint version of the Bible, when you go through Exodus 31, all the way through there with the exception of the seventh day Sabbath, it says, “My Sabbaths”, plural. So you see you can’t have one without the other. If you have the seventh day Sabbath, which you keep, then you must also keep the annual Sabbaths. Now for the Feast of Pentecost, the year 2000, there’s a tremendous meaning for this feast, and there are a lot of things that God wants us to know and to understand as we go forward and in keeping the holy days. And all of the holy days really show us and teach us the ways of God. Now it’s very interesting but in the Septuagint version of the Bible, when you go through Exodus 31, all the way through there with the exception of the seventh day Sabbath, it says, “My Sabbaths”, plural. So you see you can’t have one without the other. If you have the seventh day Sabbath, which you keep, then you must also keep the annual Sabbaths.

Now this day of the Feast of Pentecost pictures the finality of the harvest of the firstfruits. And it all begins with Christ on the wave sheaf offering day, as we saw yesterday. Let’s go back to Exodus 34 and let’s pick it up here in verse 26 because as we have seen Christ is the first of the firstfruits. And so for ancient Israel God wanted the children of Israel to always remember that the first of the firstfruits belonged to God.

Verse 26 says, “The first of the firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring unto the house of the LORD thy God.” Christ was the first of the firstfruits as we saw in John 20. That He ascended to the Father on the morrow after the Sabbath. He was the premier sheaf that was elevated by the priest to be accepted on our behalf. In other words as the very sacrifice of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins plus the resurrected Christ for the justification to put us in right standing with God, and for Christ to be at the right hand of God the Father, to carry out His plan and carry it forward.

Now let’s come to 1 Corinthians 15 and let’s see some very important things concerning the resurrection, and of course everything starts with the resurrection of Christ. And as we saw yesterday that the firstfruits is a firstfruit harvest. It is harvest holy day to celebrate the completing, the accomplishing of the firstfruits of the grain. Now that’s not all the firstfruits which follow after that. There are the firstfruits of the fruit of the tree, there are firstfruits of other products, other vegetables, other things that come along. Those all belong to God. But this is a special one. And the harvest that God has with the Feast of Pentecost relates to and begins with Christ Who is the first of the firstfruits.

Now let’s come to 1 Corinthians 15 and let’s understand something very important concerning the resurrection of Christ. And especially in this day. Now we need to understand too, and I’m going to emphasize again that you must have the right Bible. And the right Bible is the one that is based upon the right Greek text and Hebrew text. And so the King James Version has been based upon the proper texts. Now I’ve been doing a translation, and it is all complete. I used the same Greek text that was used that the translators of the King James Version used, which is the Byzantine text, also known as the authorized text, or the received text, or the text of 1550 by Stephens. And so that’s the one that I have used. Now let’s read here in the New Testament in Its Original Order—A Faithful Version With Commentary.

Let’s begin here in verse 12, because this is important. “But if Christ is being preached that He rose from the dead, how is it that some among you are saying that there is no resurrection of the dead?” So immediately Satan is there. As soon as the seeds have been sown Satan is there bringing his tares and infiltrating into the Church, bringing false doctrine and saying, “Why there’s no resurrection. We’re all going to heaven.” No.

Notice Paul’s argument here. “For if there is no resurrection from the dead, neither has Christ been raised. And if Christ has not been raised,…” Now I want you to notice the strength of his argument. And I want you to know how dogmatically he brings it because this is important. “For if there is no resurrection from the dead, neither has Christ been raised. And if Christ has been raised, our preaching is in vain…” In other words they’re preaching a myth. You’re preaching something that is empty, that is hollow, that has no meaning. “…And your faith is also in vain. And we are found to be false witnesses of God;…” Now this is an important statement. Anytime someone makes a statement that is not in conformity with the word of God, is a false witness for God. Meaning that he is testifying of something which is not true, and claiming that God has sanctioned it. Which then is false witnessing for God. Taking the name of God in vain, using the name of God in futility and vanity. “…Because we have testified of God that He raised Christ, Whom He did not raise, if indeed the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, neither has Christ been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain; you are still in your sins,” (vs. 13-17).

In other words there is no forgiveness of sin unless Christ, Who is the first of the firstfruits, ascended unto the Father to be accepted on the morrow after the Sabbath during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which then is the first day beginning the 50 day count. Unless that occurred there is no forgiveness of sin. And you can also trust and be reassured that any other scheme of the forgiveness of sin will not bring the forgiveness of sin because Christ is the way and the truth and the life. And there is no other way that it can be done than except through Jesus Christ.

Now continuing verse 18, “And those who have fallen asleep in Christ have then perished.” Cause there’s no hope. “If in this life only we have hope in Christ we are of all people most miserable.” Why? Because you’re believing in something that is false, if the dead are not raised. But notice how Paul concludes his argument. “But now Christ has been raised from the dead; He has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die,…” Because we all have inherited the law of sin and death within us, and so as in Adam we die. Just like God told Adam. “Dust you are and unto dust you shall return” (Gen. 3:19). “So also in Christ shall all be made alive” (vs. 18-22). That is all the resurrections. The three resurrections in the Bible. The first resurrection, the second resurrection of those who have not committed the unpardonable sin, and the other part of the second resurrection, which is the resurrection of those who have committed the unpardonable sin. All will be made alive in Christ. Whether for eternal life, or whether for eternal death.

Now notice verse 23, very important. “But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruit;…” And as we saw yesterday, we are the Church of the Firstborn. We are the firstfruit of the harvest but Christ is the first of the firstfruits. “…then those who are Christ’s at His coming.” And so that’s when the first resurrection is going to be, at His coming.

Now we’re going to see then “at His coming”, how this pictures the day of Pentecost as the day of the resurrection. And let’s understand that that is the only day that it can signify. Well then someone will surely say, “Well then you’re saying you know when the return of Christ is.” No we’re saying we know when the resurrection will be. And the reason is we can go back this way. Let’s look at it from what we already know. Is Christ our Passover, Who was crucified for us? Answer: yes. When was He crucified? On the Passover day. Did God do it on the time and in the day that He prophesied, and in the way and the manner that He said that He would do it? Yes.

Now it’s exactly the same thing concerning the resurrection of Christ. When was He raised? Right at the end of the Sabbath after being in the grave three days and three nights. When did He ascend to the Father? On the wave sheaf offering day. And then we saw how there are seven churches. And those seven churches represent the harvest of the church age. And the harvest of the church age then is part of the main harvest of God. And that’s from the time that Christ ascended to heaven until the time of the first resurrection, which we will see. Then every man in his own order. We know that at the end of the thousand years there will be the second resurrection of those who have not committed the unpardonable sin. And then the other half of the second resurrection, for those who committed the unpardonable sin, that all the wicked may be thrown in the lake of fire at once.

So the holy days picturing God’s plan, these things happen on the holy days. So let’s keep that in mind. And let’s understand something that of the day of Christ’s coming no one really knows because I’ll show you why. I’ll show you why a little bit later. So let’s continue on here, and let’s pick up the story now in Acts 1 and let’s see what Luke wrote concerning the things, the events that took place after Christ was raised from the dead.

Now let’s begin here in Acts 1:3, concerning Christ, “To whom also, by many infallible proofs, He presented Himself alive after He had suffered, being seen by them for forty days,…” Now isn’t it interesting that Christ was seen of the apostles from the time of His ascension until the time of His second ascension into heaven. His first one to be accepted, and then His second one to remain in heaven. He was seen of the apostles 40 days. But also isn’t it interesting that after Pentecost, and the covenant that was made with Israel and the wedding supper of Israel with the 70 elders, as I explained yesterday, that Moses was on the mount with God 40 days. So in either case we have 40 days. In Christ’s case it’s 40 days before Pentecost. And in Moses case it’s 40 days from the day after Pentecost. So it’s 40 days.

“…And speaking the things concerning the kingdom of God. And while they were assembled with Him, He commanded them not to not depart from Jerusalem but to ‘await the promise of the Father, which,’ He said, ‘you have heard of Me.’ For John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit after not many days.” Which was just 10 days away. “So then, when they were assembled together, they asked Him, saying, ‘Lord, will you restore the kingdom to Israel at this time?’ And He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father has placed in His own authority’ ” (Act. 1:3-7). Remember this was before any of the New Testament was written. And this was written before the book of Revelation was written by John. And the book of Revelation is to reveal. And all of the New Testament is to reveal the will of God and His word and His truth.

Verse 8 now, “But you yourselves shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses, both in Jerusalme and in all Judea and Samaria, and unto the ends of the earth.” And so that is a continuous thing that is going on today. And God has made it known. And God has sent it out. And there are Bibles in over 250 languages. The New Testament in over 1,200 languages, and the book of Mark in over 2,000 languages, and all of that is preaching the gospel. And so it is going out. We all have our part to do our preaching. We all have our part to do our witnessing. And brethren, pray that God will open whatever doors are necessary for us to reach out and to reach new people.

Now with our new website we’re able to reach out into all the world, 24hours a day, seven days a week, and to anyone who has a computer can get on there and find out information concerning many things. Now if you haven’t gotten on there yet go ahead and try it. I’ll give you the .com address right here. It is . Now we have a lot of information and literature on there. We have tapes on there. We have sermons on there. And we have some things especially concerning the beliefs booklet, which none of those who fellowship with the Christian Biblical Church of God have ever heard because we haven’t mailed them out. We’ve done them especially for the website. And we’re going to have some other things put on there, and hopefully this will also, what you’re seeing today will be on the website in the audio form.

Now let’s continue on here, verse 9. “And after saying these things, as they were looking at Him, He was taken up; and a cloud received Him out of their sight.” Just disappeared to go sit at the right hand of God the Father. “Now while they were gazing intently up into heaven as He was going up, behold, two men in white apparel suddenly stood by them,” That’s two angels. Angels look like men. “Who also said, You men of Galilee, why do you stand here looking up into heaven? this same Jesus, Who was taken up from you into heaven, shall come in exactly the same manner as you have seen Him go into heaven” (vs. 9-11) .

Now let’s go ahead and come here to Acts 2 and let’s see how tremendous and momentous this event was, and how important it is to understand the real meaning of verse 1. And as I mentioned yesterday, we have the booklet, which is “The True Meaning of Acts 2:1”, because everyone has misconstrued this, twisted the scriptures to their own destruction to make it say something that it really doesn’t say. So let’s read it in the King James version.

“And when the day of Pentecost, was fully come…” And some people say, “The 50th day was over. They were all assembled with one accord in one place. So see, that means they were there on the 51st day.” That doesn’t relate to what the Greek really means. The Greek here has a special articular infinitive, the present tense. And this should be translated: “and during the fulfilling”, or “the accomplishing of the 50th day”, not the 51st. If it were the 51st day then it would clearly say the 50th and first day. But it doesn’t say that in the Greek.

And now let’s read Acts 2:1 in the Faithful Version. “And when the day of Pentecost, the fiftieth day, was being fulfilled, they were all with one accord in the same place.” Why? They were assembled for the holy day, which is a holy convocation. That’s why they were there.

“And suddenly there came a sound from heaven…” Now you see here is the reenactment of what we saw yesterday at Mt. Sinai. Only instead of at Mt. Sinai it’s at the temple of God because that’s where God placed His name. So anything that God was going to do, any authorization and change in the way that things were done would come from God. And in this case by the power of His Holy Spirit, and right at the temple, so that it would be fully established that this was by the authority and the power of God, undeniable. “…a sound like the rushing of a powerful wind, and filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them divided tongues as of fire…” Remember the fire on top of Mt. Sinai. So this is showing the same fulfillment now only spiritually, of the day of Pentecost, as when the law was given on the day of Pentecost. “…and sat upon each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit; and they began to speak with other languages, as the Spirit gave them the words to proclaim.” (vs. 2-4). Now let’s understand something very important here. God is not the author of confusion, so whatever the Holy Spirit did was something that was sound, it was intelligible, it was understandable, and it was for a specific purpose. And that’s what happened on this day of Pentecost.

And here’s the reason. “Now there were many Jews who were sojournaing in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven. Now when word of this went out, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because each one heard them speaking in his own language” (vs. 5-6). So there was a double miracle. There was a miracle in the preaching. Because in the minds of the apostles they were thinking and speaking with their own language, but in everyone who was listening it came to them in their own language. Now this is a profound thing to understand. Not only just for Jews because remember the New Testament says, to the Jew first and then to the Greek. So we have here to the Jew first, but also to those who were assembled there in Jerusalem who came from every nation on earth. And please understand that the stories that went back from those who were up at Jerusalem during the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and all the events that took place that we have already covered. How that Christ was crucified and raised from the dead, and all the stories that were told by the scribes and Pharisees to tell the lies that the disciples stole the body away. And so now they knew that something big was going to happen on Pentecost, because it was a holy day of God. And this was big. This was great. This was fulfilling the prophecy of God giving His Spirit to men. And He began with the apostles.

And it says here, verse 7, “ And they were all amazed, and marvelled, saying to one another, ‘Behold are not all these who are speaking Galilaeans? Then how is it that we hear each one in our own language in which we were born?” (vs. 7-8). They were hearing, they were understanding, and then it lists all of the nations that they were from. And the last part of verse 10 says Jews and proselytes. Now proselytes were circumcised Gentiles who would embrace the religion of Judaism.

Now the last part of verse 11, “…we hear them speaking in our own languages the great things of God.” So this day was tremendous. “And they were all amazed, and greatly perplexed, saying to one another, ‘What does this mean?’ But others were mocking and saying, ‘They are full of new wine.’ Then Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice and spoke out to them; ‘Men, Jews, and all those of you who inhabit Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and pay attention to my words. For these are not drunken as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day” (vs. 11-15). Now that is in the morning. The third hour of the day. When did God appear on Mt. Sinai? In the morning. When did He give the law? On the day of Pentecost. When did He give the Holy Spirit, in other words to give them the heart now to keep God’s laws? Because remember, when He gave the Ten Commandments He said there in Deuteronomy 5:29, He said, “Oh that there were such a heart in them that they would fear Me and keep My commandments always.” Now God is supernaturally giving the heart, by the circumcision of the heart through the power of the Holy Spirit so that they would have, that they would have the ability now to keep the laws of God. Greater than that. God’s Spirit and power would write them in their hearts and in their minds so they could keep them with a willing heart, with a willing attitude. And in service to God. But first there has to be repentance as we will see in just a minute.

Then Peter went on and gave this tremendous and powerful sermon. Now notice verse 16. “But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel: ” Now we’ll see how this ties in with Revelation 7 in just a little bit. ““And it shall come to pass in the last days,” says God, “that I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; And even upon My servants and upon My handmaids will I pour out My Spirit in those days, and they shall prophesy; And I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and vapors of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.” (vs. 17-20). Well now He gave this prophecy. It’s recorded here in Acts 2, but this has not yet occurred. The only thing that has occurred of this is that the Holy Spirit was given. The rest of it has not occurred. That is for a future day of Pentecost, as we will see. And so we need to keep that in mind. We’ll see that when we get to the book of Revelation.

“ And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Men, Israelites, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarean, a man sent forth to you by God, as demonstrated by works of power and wonders and signs, which God performed by Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know; Him, having been delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you have seized by lawless hands and have crucified and killed. But God has raised Him up, having loosed the throes of death, because it was not possible for Him to be held by it;”(vs. 21-24). Now then he finished giving the sermon saying that David was not resurrected from the grave but it was Jesus, even though He gave the promise to David.

Now let’s pick it up here in verse 34, “For David has not ascended into the heavens, but he himself said, ‘The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand …” So they understood those Psalms. Remember the very first time that they saw Jesus in the evening on the day that He ascended to the Father, back there in Luke 24, what did He do? He opened their understanding concerning Him and the law, and the prophets, and the Psalms. So here he’s quoting the Psalm here. Psalm 110. “…Until I have made Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.” (vs. 34-35).

Verse 36, “Therefore, let all the house of Israel know with full assurance that God has made this same Jesus, Whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” That was a powerful sermon, and notice what happened. “Now after hearing this, they were cut to the heart; and they said to Peter and the other apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”(vs. 37) Now this is what has to happen to every one of us. This is what has to happen to everyone who God calls. They are pricked in their heart so they will understand what Christ went through to die for their sins and become the sacrifice for all of mankind. And God leads you to repentance to understand that.

And let’s understand something very important too. Repentance is a continuous, ongoing thing in our lives. By the operation of the grace of God, and He is the One Who leads us to it. You know, just like the parable of the prodigal son, remember what happened to him? He got his inheritance and went out and spent it, squandered it in a strange land and was out feeding the hogs good food. He couldn’t even eat it. And it says there, “…and when he came to himself…” Now this is what you need to do concerning repentance. You need to come to yourself. That is understand where you are. Understand your nature, understand your sins, and repent to God. Now that’s what they did here. “…They were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter, and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (vs. 37). Because there are things that God wants us to do.

“Then Peter said unto them, Repent…”, and repentance means to turn from your sin, turn from the way you’re going. Turn back and come to God. Just like God said through Ezekiel, “Turn you, turn you, for why will you die O house of Israel.” So it’s the same way with us. And I hope there are brethren out there who are turning back to God. Why will you die O Church of God, you that have gone astray? Turn you, turn you, come back to God. Let your hearts be pricked.

“…Then Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized each one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you yourselves shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. . For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all those who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God may call.” And with many other words he earnestly testified and exhorted, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” (vs. 38-40).

Now verse 41 is a very key important verse. “Then those who joyfully received his message were baptized; and about three thousand souls were added that day.” Which day? During the fulfilling of the 50th day. So that is a tremendous thing that happened. So imagine the account that every one went back and told the story of being there at the temple, and this tremendous event took place. And that one that was called Jesus Christ was raised from the dead, and how the power of the Holy Spirit came on them. This was a tremendous event. And so we’ll project forward to the last Pentecost here in just a minute.

But now I want to go back and pick up something that’s very important. Let’s go back and let’s pick up concerning in Leviticus 23 the two loaves that were baked with leaven. And let’s ask ourselves a couple of questions concerning this and let’s see if we can determine the true scriptural use of leaven here in Leviticus 23, and what that pictures in it’s fulfillment. Now remember, all during the Feast of Unleavened Bread leaven represents sin. Outside the Feast of Unleavened Bread leaven does not represent sin. Now what we are looking at here is a good use of leaven, is it not? Let’s read it.

Now in Leviticus 23:17, and this is to be done on the 50th day. “Ye shall bring out of your habitations…” Now this is all who assembled up at the temple area, that they were to bring out of their habitations. “…Two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven…” Why would God have them put leaven in these? Now this has to be a good use of leaven because it’s waved before God. Now I think we were right in our past understanding that one loaf equals those were qualified for the first resurrection under the Old Covenant, and the other loaf represents those who qualify for the resurrection under the New Covenant. Now then, why leaven? Now what does it say these are? “…they are the firstfruits unto the LORD.” Baked.

Now let’s go to Matthew 13 and let’s see something important here, where there is defining the kingdom of God with the parable of the leaven, which is a good use of the leaven. Matthew 13:33, “Another parable He spoke to them: “The kingdom of heaven is compared to leaven …” Now you can’t say that this is a bad use of leaven. You cannot say that leaven here is picturing sin because then you would have to say that the kingdom is likened unto sin. And the kingdom is likened unto righteousness, not sin, correct? Yes. So it’s likened unto leaven “…which a woman took and hid in three measures of flour until all was leavened.”

Now what happens to bread… Now all dough when you first make it is unleavened. When it’s baked in unleaven then it’s permanently in that form. That is permanently until it’s eaten. Now, when you put the leaven in it, it rises. It completely changes the form of the bread. And when you bake it, it is permanently in that changed form. It can’t be…well, I suppose it could but it’s dough. It can’t be beaten back as though to make it flat again like you do when it rises and then you beat it back, let it rise a couple more times so that you really get everything leavened. So here is a good use of leaven.

Now what does this picture? This pictures the new spirit body, which we will receive. All of those from the Old Covenant that qualified, and going all the way back to Abel. And those who under the New Covenant, beginning with the day of Pentecost as we saw who received the Holy Spirit at the resurrection, they will be changed. Now let’s see that in 1 Corinthians 15.

Now this becomes very important, very profound. You are not going to be raised with the same body that you have in the flesh today. Now let’s notice how the apostle Paul describes this. Let’s begin here in verse 34. Now remember he also condemned them already as we saw earlier, that there were some who did not believe in the resurrection. “Awake to righteousness, and do not sin, for some of you do not have the knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.” Can you imagine that? Sitting in the Church of God and not having the knowledge of God? Well we see the same thing being repeated today. How can people sit there in the Church of God and have not the knowledge of God? Well number one, they have not been taught; and number two, some of them may be tares; and number three, some of them may be Laodiceans or whatever attitude of the seven churches that be there.

Now continuing on in verse 35. “Nevertheless, someone will say, “How are the dead raised? And with what body do they come? ” Now hold your place here and let’s come to John 12 and let’s see how Jesus explained it concerning Himself, likening it also unto grain. And remember that Jesus was the first of the firstfruits, right? He was the premiere sheaf of the harvest of the grain, correct? Yes. Now let’s begin here in John 12:24. “Truly, truly I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone;” Now this is a sowing, isn’t it? And we covered part of that yesterday, didn’t we in Matthew 13? Yes. “… but if it dies, it bears much fruit. The one who loves his life shall lose it, and the one who hates his life in this world shall keep it unto eternal life” (John 12-24-25). So Christ is likening even His own death as a grain being planted that dies.

So let’s come back here to 1 Corinthians 15. It’s the same thing here. “…Fool! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body that shall be; rather, it is bare grain—it may be of wheat, or one of the other grains; And God gives it a body according to His will, and to each of the seeds its own body. Likewise, not all flesh is the same flesh. …” So he goes on to explain it in quite detail here. “…Rather, there is one flesh of men, and another flesh of beasts, and another of fish, and another of birds. And there are heavenly bodies, and earthly bodies; but the glory of the heavenly is different, and the glory of the earthly is different. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body; ” (vs. 36-44). Now notice how it’s talking about the harvest continually. It is sown, it is sown. That’s why the day of Pentecost pictures the resurrection because that’s a finality of the firstfruits harvest for the grain.

Now let’s pick it up here in verse 45. “Accordingly, it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul; the last Adam became an everliving Spirit.” That is Christ through the power of the resurrection. “ However, the spiritual was not first, but the natural—then the spiritual. The first man is of the earth—made of dust. The second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the one made of dust, so also are all those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly one, so also are all those who are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the one made of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly one. ” (vs. 45-49). And when we bear the image of the heavenly we’re going to see here that we will be changed, just like a lump of dough is changed when leaven is put in it, and then when it’s baked in it’s final form, it is permanently in a changed form. So that’s exactly what it will be with us for the resurrection.

Now let’s continue on, verse 50. “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I show you a mystery: we shall not all fall asleep, but we shall all be changed, In an instant, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. ” (vs. 50-52). Now we will see in a little bit that in Revelation 11 the last trump is defined as the seventh trump. And that is the resurrection.

Now notice, “For this corruptible must put on incorruptibility, and this mortal must put on immortality. Now when this corruptible shall have put on incorruptibility, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory. ” (vs.53-54). Now notice here. We will be changed. Permanent change. Now that is what the leaven of the two loaves picture on the day of Pentecost. And of course when all the thousands of them came there were thousands and thousands of those loaves. And they waved them before the Lord and then that became part of their keeping of the Feast of Pentecost.

Now let’s continue on brethren because this really gets exciting. Now let’s go back and we’ll just review. We won’t turn there but turn to the book of Revelation and let’s come to Chapter 6 here for just a minute. But we’ll review Chapters 2 and 3. And Chapter 2 and 3 we have the seven churches. And that pictures the seven churches that were then. That pictures the seven churches down through history. That pictures perhaps even the seven churches at the end time. If we have seven from which comes seven, out of which comes seven, which is the pattern of the book of Revelation then we probably have seven churches in the endtime which will match up to the seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3. These seven churches represent the seven weeks harvest. Now let’s see when the seven week harvest comes to an end and then we are left once again with the 50th day harvest, which will be God’s harvest.

Now, right after Revelation 2 and 3 we have Revelation 4 and 5 showing the events that are going on there, and how that Christ is the only One to open the seals. And then He was given power to open the seals, and that is after the time that God the Father gave Christ the authority to do so. Now let’s begin in Chapter 6 because here we will see where we have the end of the Church age.

Let’s begin, “ And I looked when the Lamb opened one of the seals;…” Now I’m reading out of my translation here. “…and I heard one of the four living creatures say, like the sound of thunder, “Come and see.” And I looked, and behold, there was a white horse; and the one who was sitting on it had a bow, and a crown was given to him; and he went out conquering, and to conquer. And when He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come and see. ” (Rev. 6:1-2). Now this is a picture of the false religion going out in conquering and to conquer. We see that happening right now bringing all coalesced into the coming one world government.

“And another horse went out that was red; and power was given to the one sitting on it to take peace from the earth, …” (vs. 3-4). This is the time of Revelation 13 after the beast receives the deadly wound and that is healed and he comes back, and authority is given him over all kindreds and tongues and nations, and it was given him authority to make war against the saints. Now we will see that will happen here in the 5th seal in just a minute.

Verse 5, “And when He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” And I looked, and behold, there was a black horse; and the one sitting on it had a balance in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures say, “A measure of wheat for a silver coin, and three measures of barley for a silver coin: and see that you do not damage the oil and the wine.” And when He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come and see.” And I looked, and behold, there was a pale horse; and the name of the one sitting on it was Death, and the grave followed him; and authority was given to them over one fourth of the earth, to kill with the sword and with famine and with death, and by the beasts of the earth.” (vs. 5-8).

Now then, here’s what we have, verse 9. This is when the Church age ends. “And when He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the Word of God, and for the testimony that they held;” Now this was in vision. This is not saying that they are immortal souls. But this is a way of God conveying to John, and to us, the events that are going to take place. “And they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, do You not judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” And white robes were given to each of them; and they were told that they should rest a short time yet, until it be fulfilled that both their fellow servants and their brethren also would be killed, just as they had been” (vs. 9-11).

So we have two categories of Christians at this particular point. We have those who have gone to a place of safety, as we find in Revelation 12. But also in Revelation 12 we find that Satan goes after to make war of the remnant of her seed, which have the testimony of Jesus Christ and keep the commandments of God. This is the war pictured right here by the 5th seal. Now there will come a time when all of those who are not in a place of safety will be martyred. And that will end the Church harvest. That will finish the harvest of the seven churches. That will finish the seven-week harvest. But there is still one more day, and one more day of the harvest which God Himself is going to do in a way different than dealing with us.

Now let’s see how that begins. Verse 12, “ And when He opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as the hair of sackcloth, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its untimely figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. Then the heaven departed like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. ” (vs. 12-14). This is a tremendous event. This is the event which is spoken of there in Haggai 2 where the Lord says, “And yet one more time I will shake the earth and the heavens and the dry land, and the sea.” And then Christ will appear. This is it, right here. Now we’ll see another of this in Matthew 24 in just a minute.

Notice what happens then. “ And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the powerful men, and every bondman, and every free man hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains; And they said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him Who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb. Because the great day of His wrath has come, and who has the power to stand? ” (vs. 15-17).

Now let’s see in Matthew 24 where this occurs. Jesus talked about this. Matthew 24:21 is talking about the tribulation because see, the tribulation begins with the second seal. Then we have the third seal, the fourth seal, and then the fifth seal is the martyrdom of the saints. They are blamed by the beast as causing all of these problems on the earth. And as soon as we get rid of them then we’re going to solve all the problems on the earth and we’ll have one government, we’ll one religion, we’ll have one mind, and all of these nasty Christians will be exterminated. So when they come to the point of killing every Christian they can find, because they’ll be able to find them. Because even without the mark of the beast, which none of the true Christians will have, they have the global positioning system, and they can track down any human being on earth within 100 square feet. So there is no mountain you can go to, no cave you can go to, no cellar that you can go to, because when God has determined it is His will that those who are to be martyred will be martyred, they will be martyred. And at that time God will give great strength to be able to give a witness, and to prophesy against the evil powers of Satan and the world.

Matthew 24:21 “For then shall there be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until this time, nor ever shall be again. And if those days were not limited,…” Now the Greek here doesn’t mean, “cut short”, shortening up less than 3 ½ years. It means, “limited”, those days are limited. God has in advance set a limit of the days of the tribulation. “…there would no flesh be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days shall be limited. Then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ,’ or, ‘He is there,’ do not believe it. For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and they shall present great signs and wonders, in order to deceive, if possible, even the elect. Behold, I have foretold it to you. Therefore, if they say to you, ‘Come and see! He is in the wilderness’; do not go forth. ‘Come and see! He is in the secret chambers’; do not believe it.” (Matt. 24:21-26).

Now here, this ties in with the beginning of the sixth seal with the rolling back of the heavens as a scroll rolled up together. Matt 24:27 King James Version, “For as the lightening cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west…” Now this is not talking about a bolt of lightning. Unfortunately this is not a good translation. This should read, “and as the light of day.” Because lightning does not just proceed from the east. It proceeds from the east, from the west, from the north, from the south. From the clouds down to the ground. From the ground back up to the clouds. It goes sideways, it goes at every angle. So this cannot be talking about lightning as a bolt of lightning, but the light of day, which comes out of the east because that’s where the sun rises, and shines even unto the west because that’s where the sun sets. “…So shall the coming of the Son of man be.” This is called the sign of the Son of man. So what is going to happen? When the heavens roll back as a scroll there is going to appear this brightness as if it’s another sun, and of that day, and of that hour knows no man.

Now let’s see it here in the Faithful Version, Matthew 24, verse 29. But immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. Because we saw the tribulation come up to a certain point. And when we come to the book of Revelation we are going to see that it shifts from the tribulation of man against man to the more dastardly part of it of demons and men against the angels of God with the seven trumpet plagues. So this becomes important to understand.

“And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven [as a sun just being exposed – never there before]; and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming upon the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (vs. 30). And so because of the time that is left, as we will see, that sign of the Son of man must be like a sun coming closer and closer, and closer, and closer, and closer, and closer to the earth. And then when it comes time for the resurrection then it will, I believe, lock into orbit right over Jerusalem. And that’s where the sea of glass will be. How high it will be, I don’t know. It says it’s going to be in the clouds. How high are the clouds? Clouds can be as high as 50,000 feet. They can be as low as 2000 or 3000 feet. So we don’t know but we are going to meet Christ in the air in the clouds. So Christ is coming with the clouds. Now notice, when the resurrection occurs this is what is going to happen. “And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet; and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. ” (vs. 31).

Now we got ahead of the story a little bit, but let’s go back to Revelation 7 because we need to look at the 50th day harvest of God. And this is a special harvest of God. Now let’s pick it up here beginning in verse 1. Now remember how we ended with Revelation 6. They saw the sign of the Son of man in heaven. “Because the great day of His wrath has come, and who has the power to stand?” Now then God does something very important. He intervenes to fulfill a prophecy. He intervenes to show His mercy. He intervenes because He does not want, with the end of the Church age, that there lack human beings who are converted and qualify for the kingdom of God.

Now let’s pick it up here in verse 1. “And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, so that the wind might not blow on the earth, or on the sea, or on any tree. Then I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God; and he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to damage the earth and the sea, Saying, “Do not damage the earth, or the sea, or the trees until we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads” (Rev. 7:1-3).

(Part II)

Now then, let’s understand something very important and very profound here. Of the 144,000 in Revelation 7, that cannot be anyone who is in the Church today. And that’s why the Jehovah Witnesses are completely wrong on their 144,000 and their interpretation and understanding of it. Why is it that I say that the 144,000 of Revelation 7 cannot be any of us? Well let’s answer the question by scripture. Let’s first of all go to 2 Corinthians 1 and let’s see that we are now sealed with the Holy Spirit of God. Whenever you receive the Holy Spirit you have been sealed. Now let’s see that and let’s understand that. So we will see that the 144,000 were not sealed with the Holy Spirit until this particular time down into the tribulation. So we’ll see that very clearly.

Now let’s pick it up here, 2 Corinthians 1:20. “For whatever promises of God there are, in Him is the yes, and in Him the Amen, with glory to God by us .” And that’s one thing we can do brethren. We can claim the promises of God. Not because we’re anything. Not because we’re something that we have done on ourselves and we now deserve it. No, we claim the promises of God for the sake of Christ. For the sake of His word. For the sake of His truth. For His righteousness. And it’s always yes, because He won’t deny the promise. He will fulfill it.

Now notice, “But He Who establishes us with you in Christ, and Who has anointed us, is God, Who has also sealed us and has given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts (vs. 21-22). Now the earnest of the Spirit is the down payment. See, we are just like the unleavened bread now. When we are leavened in our spiritual form then we will have the fullness of the Spirit, and that’s why leaven is pictured in good cause at that particular time. We only have the earnest of it now.

Let’s go to Ephesians 1 and let’s see how he explained it to those at Ephesus, concerning the Holy Spirit. Now notice how this begins here. Now let’s pick it up in verse 12. “That we might be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in the Christ; In Whom you also trusted after hearing the Word of the truth, the gospel of your salvation; in Whom also, after believing, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. ” (Eph. 1:12-14). So if you have the Holy Spirit of God now, you have been sealed. So you cannot be any of the 144,000 of Revelation 7.

Now let’s go back to Revelation 7 and let’s see who the 144,000 there are. And this will show how true God’s word is. Now let’s pick it up here in verse 3. “Saying, ‘Do not damage the earth, or the sea, or the trees until we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads’ ” We’ve already been sealed so these are those who are now at that time called and converted by God’s supernatural act.

Now notice… Let’s go back and just review the things in Revelation 6 for just a minute. How that all of those things that the prophet Joel said concerning the heavens, the sun, the moon, the stars, and the earthquake, and the pouring out of the Spirit of God, how even Peter prophesied that that would be before the great and notable day of the Lord. And so this is showing it right here. That’s what happened. Now here is the fulfillment of the Pentecost harvest, or the 50th day harvest by God. This is a separate harvest. Separate from the Church. This is God’s divine intervention to fulfill and complete His word and call those especially that He is determined to call.

Now let’s see who the 144,000 are, beginning verse 4. “And I heard the number of those who were sealed: one hundred forty-four thousand, sealed out of every tribe of the children of Israel. From the tribe of Judah, …” Now isn’t it interesting that in the book of Zechariah, God says that the tents of Judah will be saved first. So here is Judah first. “…twelve thousand were sealed; from the tribe of Reuben, twelve thousand were sealed;…”. Now Dan is left out. The reason Dan is left out is because the book of Genesis says of the prophecy of Dan that he would wait for his salvation. And of course Dan is the tribe of Israel that is so involved in idol worship and Catholicism. So God is going to save them later. They’re not included in this 144,000. So this is a special category that God has saved for Himself.

Now let’s understand when in time frame does this take place in the tribulation. We know that the overall tribulation is 3 ½ years. So this is an event which takes place before the 3 ½ years has expired. So let’s go back to the book of Hosea, Chapter 5, the very last verse there, and we will see that this gives us a prophetic time frame as to when this took place. Hosea 5:15 God says concerning Israel, “I will to and return to My place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek My face: in their affliction they will seek Me early.”

Now the prophecies are true. Israel is going into captivity. Now there are some people out there who say, “Israel is not going into captivity today.” That is a lie and that is a false prophet. And he is teaching things that are not according to the scriptures. Oh, that it would be, that Israel could be in such a condition before God that they wouldn’t have to go into tribulation. But you read all of the prophecies concerning where Israel is when Christ returns and all of them show that they are in captivity. So here are the children of Israel in captivity and out of those who are in captivity 144,000 are brought to repentance and are sealed. Now when during the [tribulation] Millenium does this take place?

Let’s go to Hosea 6:1. Here it is speaking of Israel during this time of repentance. “Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for He hath torn, and He will heal us; He hath smitten, and He will bind us up. After two days will He revive us…” Now in prophecy how long is a day? In prophecy a day is a year. So this is after two full years. That’s when the sign of the Son of man is going to appear in heaven and God will then begin to raise them up. Now notice, “…He will revive us: in the third day…” That is, beginning in the third year of the tribulation, which means there’s a whole year to the third year left and there is another six months making a total of a year and a half. So the whole tribulation is 3 ½ years altogether, broken down into the first two years, coming down through the opening of the seals until the sign of the Son of man appears in heaven. And then we come down to the time now of Revelation 7 where that we have what? We have then the 144,000 of Israel sealed just like it says right here in Hosea 6. “…In the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight” (Hosea 6:1-2).

Now notice also the prophecy. “Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: His going forth is prepared as the morning; and He shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth” (vs. 3). So this is what we have back in Revelation 7. God intervening to save them.

Now then, what does it say concerning the preaching of the gospel? It says to the Jews first, which includes Israel as we’ve seen here. All Israel. Then who does it go to after that? To the Greek or the Gentile. Now God is also going to reach down and supernaturally seal, and supernaturally by the power of God’s Holy Spirit through this angel who is commissioned to do so. Now let’s understand something. All of these will receive the Holy Spirit first, then they will be baptized just like it was with Cornelius’ household. They received the Holy Spirit first, then they were baptized. Now can God do that? Yes, He can. God chooses to do that whenever it is His choice to do so, like He did with Cornelius. But do they still have to be baptized? Yes they do. So then what will happen then? There will be great baptismal ceremonies taking place with the 144,000.

Now then, since it goes to the Gentile also, the same thing is going to occur. But notice this, Revelation 7:9 “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude, which no one was able to number…” So this shows contrary to the preaching of some, that God is not just restricting those that He is calling from the time of Christ until His return, to 144,000. Such a thing could never be. Because if even on the very first day, as we saw of Pentecost, 3000 were converted and thousands were added. Another place it says, “…and 5000 souls were added.” Great multitudes in Jerusalem believed. And we saw where James told Paul when Paul came up to visit James there in Acts 22. What did James say? He said “Behold the thousands that believe in Christ and are zealous for the law.” So anybody who says that God is only calling 144,000 in this age just doesn’t know what he’s talking about and he’s twisting and turning the scripture to his own destruction.

Now here it says, “…a great multitude, which no one was able to number…” Where did they come from? “…out of every nation and tribe and people and language, was standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes and holding palms in their hands; ” You know just like we saw yesterday. White robes, they’re called to the wedding. These are some of the guests who are called at the very last minute out of the highways and out of the byways, and out of the places that God is doing it at the last minute. So this undoubtedly, let’s just say this, since this is prophesied in Acts 2 to happen with all the signs preceding it, and it happened on the day of Pentecost there in Acts 2, therefore this has to happen on the next to the last Pentecost before Christ puts His feet on the earth. Or the Pentecost before the resurrection. So we have these people here now who in these circumstances will be converted for one year. These people, the 144,000 and the great innumerable multitude then are reckoned as the laborers who are put into work and hire at the eleventh hour. So there’s only one hour left. And in this case that pictures one year left. So is God able to do that? Yes He is. No doubt about it. So they’re going to receive salvation.

Now notice, let’s just finish here Chapter 7. “And they were calling out with a loud voice to Him Who sits on the throne and to the Lamb, saying, ‘The salvation of our God has come.’, because that’s what they’re going to receive. “Then all the angels stood around the throne, and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, ‘Saying, “Amen. Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power and strength be to our God into the ages of eternity. Amen” ’ ”. “And one of the elders answered and said to me, ‘These who are clothed with white robes, who are they, and where did they come from?’ Then I said to him,” ‘Sir, you know.’ “And he said to me, ‘They are the ones who have come out of the great tribulation; and they have washed their robes, and have made their robes white in the blood of the Lamb. For this reason, they are before the throne of God and serve Him day and night in His temple; and the one Who sits on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall not hunger any more, nor shall they thirst any more; neither shall the sun nor the heat fall upon them, Because the Lamb Who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them, and will lead them to fountains of living waters; and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’ ”

So this projects forward to the time that we know in Revelation 21 showing the finality of God’s plan. So what this is doing it’s showing, now what is God going to do with the 144,000 and great innumerable multitude? First of all He’s showing that they’re going to be resurrected. Of course they’re not going to be resurrected until the first resurrection takes place. But it also shows that they are not going to enter into the Millenium as physical human beings. They’re going to be spirit beings. So now we have a good setting to go on and understand what we’re talking about with some of the other scriptures concerning the day of Pentecost and the resurrection.

Ok, let’s go ahead now. Now I’m just going to summarize Chapter 8, and Chapter 9, but each of them are the seven trumpet plagues. The seventh seal is opened and then the first angel goes out. Now isn’t it interesting it talks about the first angel going out and blows his trumpet. Then the second angel, then the third angel, then the fourth angel, then the fifth angel, then the sixth angel. Now let’s come over here to Revelation 11 and we will see when the seventh angel sounds, and the seventh angel is the last trump. That’s what we need to understand. And the saints are resurrected at the last trump, not trumpets. As I mentioned yesterday, the Feast of Trumpets is a day of war, memorial of blowing of trumpets. So here we have a sequence of seven trumpets. Now if you don’t have the “Outline of Revelation” #1 and #2, and the chart that goes with it, be sure and write for it. Cause it will show that the first trumpet is blown shortly after the Pentecost where the 144,000 are sealed and the great innumerable multitude. And that comes down through the time sequence to when we come to the seventh trump, which then has to be on the day of Pentecost, or right there abouts.

Now let’s pick it up here concerning the two witnesses, because then this leads on up until up to the resurrection. Now, God allowed the two witnesses to be killed. Revelation 11:8, “And their bodies will lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.” Now Sodom tells us the morals of the peoples. Egypt tells us the religion of the people because the coming one world religion is going back to the whole thing of Egyptian religious worship. That’s why it’s defined here.

Now notice, it also says, “…where also our Lord was crucified.” And that is typified by Jerusalem because Jerusalem, even though it was city that God chose to place His name there when the temple was built there. It has never been faithful, with the exception of a few of the kings, as we find recorded in a history recorded in the books of Kings and Chronicles. Now then, when they die, “Then those of the peoples and tribes and languages and nations shall see their bodies three and a half days, for they will not allow their bodies to be put into tombs. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, and will make merry, and will send gifts to one another, because these two prophets had tormented those who dwell upon the earth.” The last two enemies now to be killed. So the world thinks. “Then after the three and a half days, the spirit of life from God entered into them and they stood on their feet…” Now can you imagine how everyone is going to view that and take that. And it says, “… and great fear fell upon those who were watching them” (vs. 9-11).

Then here is an example, a perfect example in the scripture concerning the first shall be last and the last shall be first. The two witnesses were the very last two who were martyred for Christ’s sake. And they are the very first two who are resurrected. Notice after they stood on their feet, verse 12, “And they heard a great voice from heaven, say. ‘Come up here!’ And they ascended into heaven in a cloud; and their enemies saw them rise. And in that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell, and seven thousand men were killed in the earthquake. And the rest were filled with fear, and gave glory to the God of heaven.” The second woe is past:…” And the second woe was introduced with the sixth trumpet. “…Behold the third woe is coming immediately” (vs. 12-14).

Now verse 15, “Then the seventh angel sounded his trumpet; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and His Christ, and He shall reign into the ages of eternity.” And the twentyfour elders, who sit before God on their thrones, fell upon their faces and worshipped God, saying, “We give You thanks, O Lord God almighty, Who is, and Who was, and Who is coming, that You have taken to Yourself Your great power and have reigned.” For the nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, and the time for the dead to be judged, and to give reward to your servants the prophets, and to the saints, and to all those who fear Your name, the small and the great; and to destroy those who destroy the earth” (vs. 15-18). Now then, that is the resurrection, is it not? The resurrection occurs at the seventh trump. The last trump, just as Paul said.

Now let’s go back here to 1 Thessalonians 4 and let’s see where then, as we saw in Matthew 24, the angels will pick us up as we are resurrected and will bring us up to the sea of glass, because there is going to be the meeting with the saints. And then we will see what has to happen here. 1 Thessalonians 4:14, “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, in exactly the same way also, those who have fallen asleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall in no wise precede those who have fallen asleep because the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we who are alive…” Now who are those who are alive? One, those who are of the Church in the place of safety. Two, the 144,000 of Revelation 7 and the great innumerable multitude. So after all the dead in Christ have been raised, “Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds for the meeting with the Lord in the air; and so shall we always be with the Lord” (1 Thes. 4:14-17).

Now then, let’s come to Revelation 14 and let’s see when that will take place. Notice, I want you to understand. There are a lot of things that have to take place after the resurrection before we come back to the earth. Now it is true that the Feast of Trumpets pictures the day when Christ and the saints put their feet on the earth on the Mount of Olives. But the coming of Christ began with the sign of the Son of man in heaven, and He kept coming closer and closer, and closer, and closer to the earth.

Now let’s come there to Revelation 14 and let’s see the harvest of the firstfruits. Let’s see what it says there. Then when we’re done with this we’ll go back and we’ll examine the 144,000 again of Revelation 7 and the 144,000 of Revelation 14. But first let’s get us all resurrected first. Let’s have that all taken care of.

Let’s begin here in verse12. “Here is the patience of the saints, here are the ones who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” And that means having Jesus very own faith. “And I heard a voice from heaven, say to me, “Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from this time forward. Yes, says the Spirit, so that they may rest from their labors; and their works follow them.” And I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and one like the Son of man sitting on the cloud, having a golden crown on His head; and in His hand was a sharp sickle.” Now what do you cut grain with? A sickle. “And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him Who was sitting on the cloud, “Thrust in your sickle and reap, because the time has come for You to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe” (Rev. 14:12-15). Which Jesus said the harvest is the end of the age. The age ended with the seventh trump. And this then is the resurrection of the seventh trump. So as the age is ending the sickle is put to the grain and all then are resurrected.

Now verse 16, “And He Who was sitting on the cloud thrust forth His sickle upon the earth, and the earth was reaped.” There is the first resurrection. That occurs on Pentecost. Then it jumps forward to another harvest. And this is the harvest of the destruction of the wicked through the seven last plagues. So let’s see this now.

“And out from the altar came another angel, who had authority over fire; and he called with a loud cry to the one having the sharp sickle, saying, “Thrust in your sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the earth, because her grapes are fully ripe.” These are the true grapes of wrath. “Then the angel…” Now notice, the one who did the first harvesting was like unto the Son of man, that’s Christ. Here now we have an angel with a sickle. “Then the angel thrust his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast its fruit into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and blood spewed out from the winepress as high as the horses’ bridle, to the distance of a thousand six hundred furlongs” (vs. 18-20). This is the judgment and the valley of judgment.

Now let’s come right on to Revelation 15 here, verse 1. “Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and awesome: seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them the wrath of God is filled up. And I saw a sea of glass mingled with fire…” Now remember yesterday how we saw the sea of glass was there when Christ came down on the mountain. And then He had Moses and the seventy elders and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu come up. And they all saw Him because it was pavement under His feet. So here we have, if we’re going to meet Christ in the air, what are we going to do? How are we going to be suspended? Well, there is a sea of glass which we can walk on. That’s where the angels take us. “…A sea of glass mingled with fire…” That is because of it’s brilliance there.

“…And those who had gotten the victory over the beast…” Question? When did the beast first appear? Well in the person of Satan the devil in the Garden of Eden. Have all of those who enter in to the first resurrection, have they had to get victory over the beast? Yes. Then He continues here, “…over his image…” Has there not been a female goddess worship in the image to the beast from going clear back when? Yes, at least we know that it came after the flood. So we know that they just reconstructed what they had after the flood from what they did before the flood. So there’s the image of the beast. “…And over his mark…” Now at the end time we’re going to have the mark of the beast. It’s called the Digital Angel, which is inserted in the right hand or in the forehead either one. “…And over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having the harps of God” (vs. 2)

Now notice this includes the Old Testament, those who have been resurrected and qualified from the time of Abel on down to the time of Christ. And notice what they do, verse 3. “And they were singing the song of Moses, the servant of God…” So this is those of the Old Testament. The loaf of the Old Testament. “…And the song of the Lamb…”, which then is the loaf of the New Testament. “…Saying, “Great and awesome are Your works, Lord God Almighty; righteous and true are Your ways, King of the saints. Who shall not fear you, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You only are holy; for all the nations shall come and worship before You; for Your judgments have been revealed.” Now there’s a prophecy of what’s going to happen on down into the Millenium.

Now before we get into the seven last plagues let’s go back and let’s look at the 144,000 of Revelation 7, then we’ll come back and look at the 144,000 of Revelation 14. Now in Revelation 7 we find this, verse 4. “And I heard the number of those who were sealed: one hundred fortyfour thousand, sealed out of every tribe of the children of Israel;” So these are from the children of Israel only. Twelve thousand from each tribe. Why are they sealed at this particular time? Number one because they are in captivity because they were unfaithful to God even in the letter of the law. But, here they repent. We’ll see that’s very important. Now we also find the great innumerable multitude. Now there are no other distinguishing characteristics of these other than the fact that they are sealed at the beginning of the third year during the tribulation of 3 ½ years. And they then qualify for the first resurrection. These are the laborers of the 11th hour, as we find in the Gospel of Luke 11.

Now let’s come here to Revelation 14:1 and let’s look at the 144,000 of Revelation 14, and we are going to see that these 144,000 are a different group. And we are going to see the distinguishing and qualifying things for this 144,000. Now let’s begin, verse 1. “And I looked, and beheld the Lamb standing upon Mount Sion…” Now we read that yesterday, didn’t we, in Hebrews 12? That we have come unto Mt. Zion, the Church of the Firstborn. “…And with Him one hundred and forty four thousand, having His Father’s name written on their foreheads. Then I heard a voice from heaven, as the sound of many waters, and like the sound of great thunder: and I heard the sound of harpers, playing their harps. And they were singing a new song before the throne, and before the four living creatures and the elders. And no one was able to learn the song except the hundred and forty four thousand, who were redeemed from the earth” (Rev. 14:1-3). Now this is a separate song from the song of Moses, and the song of the Lamb. This is a third song that only this 144,000 could sing. No one else could sing it. All the rest were able to sing, the one concerning Moses for the Old Covenant, the one concerning the Lamb for the New Covenant, and now we have a third category here of the 144,000 with their song.

Now notice carefully, vers 4. “These are the ones who were not defiled with women…” Now what does it mean to be defiled with women? You go right back to Revelation 17, that we have mystery Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth, and she is called the great whore. So this means that once they were converted they did not defile themselves with any of the religions or the religious practices of this world. Now we’re going to see that’s very important when we go back and look at the seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3. “…They are virgins…” And of course Christ would only marry a virgin, correct? “…These are the ones who follow the Lamb wheresoever He may go. These were purchased from among men as firstfruits…” Now that’s the correct translation. Not “these were purchased from among men, the firstfruits”, because in the Greek there is no definite article. You can even drop off the “as”. “These were purchased from among men firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.” (vs. 4). This then, we have Christ Who was the first of the firstfruits, and then we have these who are apparently the first group of the firstfruits. All the rest being the firstfruits in general. Now notice verse 5. “And no guile was found in their mouths; for they are blameless before the throne of God.”

Now let’s go back and let’s analyze all of this and let’s see what separates these even further from the 144,000 in Revelation 7. All right, let’s list them out.

#1. They have the name of the Father written in their foreheads

That doesn’t say that about the 144,000 in Revelation 7. All of these are distinguished from the 144,000 in Revelation 7. Plus the first thing that we need to understand is as we go along here because it says that they were not of the children of Israel, but they were redeemed from the earth.

#2. No one was able to learn the song except the 144,000.

#3. These 144,000 were redeemed from the earth probably over a period of time.

#4. These are they which are not defiled with women.

That is they remained virgins, or they remained totally faithful to God in everything that they did in their conversion and were never defiled by women.

#5. They are virgins.

Now remember that the warning that the apostle Paul gave to the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians 11, where he said, “For I am jealous over you with the jealousy of God because I have espoused you to one husband, so that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ” (2 Cor. 11:2). But they became nonvirgins because they committed spiritual fornication. Now maybe they were able to repent of it, just like any woman who looses her virginity through sin, she can repent of it but she’s no longer a virgin. So likewise, if it is those who have received the Holy Spirit, if they give up their virginity by being enticed by Satan the devil and getting involved in other religious practices, or other religious doctrines within the Church then they lose their virginity.

#6. These follow the Lamb wherever He goes

Meaning, that they’re always following Him regardless of where they’re spiritual life takes them.

#7. These were redeemed from the earth, from among men..

#8. Firstfruits unto God, and to the Lamb.

#9. In their mouth was no guile.

#10. For they are without fault before the throne of God.

Now let’s go back and just quickly review the seven churches, and we will see that out of the seven churches only two of the seven remained virgins. Let’s read it. Ephesus, remember we already covered that. They lost their first love and Christ told them, “Except you repent, I’m going to remove your candlestick.” Loosing your first love, that is loosing your virginity.

Now then we come to the one at Pergamos where we saw that they ate things sacrificed to idols and committed fornication. And had the doctrine of Balaam, and the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing God says He hates and He would fight against them with the sword of His mouth. So those at Pergamos, even though they repented because they were told to repent, even those at Pergamos who repented they lost their virginity. They can be put back in right standing with God but once you lose your virginity you have lost it. That doesn’t mean you can’t recoup it. You can, to be in the first resurrection. But the question is: will you still be part of the bride of Christ? Because the question is when describing the 144,000 here in Revelation 14, are they not the ones who are the bride of Christ because they remain virgins?

Ok, let’s continue on with the church at Thyatira. They had the woman Jezebel, they committed fornication, they ate things sacrificed to idols, and they also had those who knew the deep things of Satan. In other words those who infiltrated into that church were bringing in the doctrines of Satan worship under the guise that you’re worshiping Christ. Obviously they lost their virginity.

Then you have Sardis. Now what do you have in Sardis? Sardis was dead. They had a name that they lived but they are dead. With having dead practices they surely were not virgins before God. Because they somehow defiled themselves, and remember what Christ said to them. “Repent.”

Same way with the Laodiceans. The Laodiceans became lukewarm, had need of nothing, and God was spewing them out of His mouth. And God told them to repent. So we have Ephesus, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, and Laodicea. Five of the seven churches were commanded to repent of their sins. So they lost their virginity.

Now of the two churches left were Smyrna and Philadelphia. Smyrna: no command to repent. Now the Smyrnaites were the ones who were then martyred, and they were faithful unto death, which they were. And they held their virginity unto death. We have the Philadelphians who resisted everything concerning the synagogue of Satan, and they patiently kept the word of God. They were the ones who were faithful, the most faithful of all. The true Philadelphians, and there is no call to repentance there. And to the church at Philadelphia Christ said, “To him that overcomes will I write upon him the name of My Father, and the name of the city, New Jerusalem, and I will write upon him My new name.” So to the Philadelphians, if you have the name of the Father, and if you have the name of Jerusalem, and you have the name of Christ upon you, you belong to part of the bride of Christ.

Now just like we learned yesterday, not all of those in the first resurrection are going to be part of the bride of Christ. So does this tell us here in Revelation 14, because of all of these conditions that this 144,000 represents those who have been called down through time, who have been faithful unto God, who were virgins, never deviated from it. Once they were baptized and received the Holy Spirit they never got involved in any of the religions of this world, or any of the doctrines of this world. And brethren now I hope you understand why it is so important that we remain faithful.

Now those who have not remained faithful, we pray that they will repent and not lose their reward. So this is really important for us to understand. Let’s go back to 1 Corinthians 3 and let’s see. They can repent, but they have been building wooden shacks and straw huts and their works are burned up because they were not virgins. The only ones who are virgins in this case, in 1 Corinthians 3 as we will see, are those who build on the virginity, keep it, and build the gold, silver, precious stone, and not the wood, hay, and stubble.

Now let’s read it here in 1 Corinthians 3:11. “For no one is able to lay any other foundation besides that which has been laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay or stubble, The work of each one shall be manifested; for the day of trial will declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall prove what kind of work each one’s is. If the work that anyone has built endures, he shall receive a reward. If the work of anyone is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet as through fire. ” (1 Cor. 3:11-15). Now is this describing the difference between the 144,000 of Revelation 14 who become part of the bride of Christ because they remain faithful, as differentiated from those who started out but ended up sinning, ended up repenting and coming back much like the prodigal son, and they lost their virginity. So they lost some of the inheritance that they would have had otherwise. So this is really a tremendous thing for us to understand brethren.

Now let’s come back to Revelation 15 again. Now I don’t have time to go through the seven last plagues except that the seven last plagues represent the harvest of the wicked, as depicted in the last part of Revelation 14. And all of these plagues will be poured out in the presence of the saints. And these are righteous judgments. And these are true judgments. And for any who say that the God of the Old Testament was an angry and a harsh God, but the one of the New Testament is loving and kind and sweet, please understand that this is the wrath of the Lamb which is being poured out on all those sinners.

Now let’s end up where we ended up last time. Let’s come to Revelation 19:1 again. Before we begin let’s also understand this too. God knows for the resurrection, based upon the works and the faithfulness of the individuals that He is going to select those who will be in the 144,000 of Revelation 14. And if those are the ones who consist of the bride of Christ, God the Father is the One Who chooses them. So we don’t have to worry about it. We don’t have to look around and accuse people, or suspect them, because it says, ...“Blessed are those who are called to the wedding supper of the Lamb…”(Rev. 19:9). Those who are called to the supper will participate in the first resurrection in power, and in glory just like the rest. But only the bride of Christ will be with Christ in where He is.

Now let’s pick it up in verse 1. “And after these things I heard the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying,…”, because that’s all of those who were resurrected standing on the sea of glass. And it’s in the first heaven where the clouds are. “…‘Hallelujah! The salvation and the glory and the honor and the power belong to the Lord our God. For true and righteous are His judgments; for He has judged the great whore, who corrupted the earth with her fornication, and He has avenged the blood of His servants at her hand.’ And they said a second time, ‘Hallelujah!’ And her smoke shall ascend upward into the ages of eternity. And the twenty four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshipped God, Who sits on the throne, saying, ‘Amen, Hallelujah!’ And a voice came forth from the throne, saying, ‘Praise our God, all His servants, and all who fear Him, both small and great.’ ” (Rev. 19:1-5).

“And a voice came forth from the throne, saying, ‘Praise our God, all His servants, and all who fear Him, both small and great.’ And I heard a voice like that of a great multitude, and like the sound of many waters, and the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, ‘Hallelujah! For the Lord God Almighty has reigned. Let us be glad and shout with joy; and let us give glory to Him; for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.’ And it was granted to her that she should be clothed in fine linen, pure and bright; for the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints. And he said to me, ‘Write!” Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb’. And he said to me, ‘These are the true words of God.’ ” (vs. 6-9).

So we have a tremendous blessing brethren, whether we have been called to be part of the bride of Christ, which I hope whoever you are that that is true. We can’t judge for ourselves how it’s going to be. God is going to make that judgment. But also realize this. There is a great and a fantastic and eternal blessing to be called to the first resurrection and to be one of the guests at the wedding of the Lamb and His bride. So that is the full meaning of the day of Pentecost. Brethren, I hope it’s been a wonderful day for you.

(End of Sermon)

Transcriber: Carolyn Singer

Day 50—Holy Day and the 144,000
Part I and Part II
Pentecost—June 11, 2000
Scriptural References

  1. Exodus 31
  2. Exodus 34:26
  3. John 20:17
  4. I Corinthians 15:12-23
  5. Genesis 3:19
  6. Acts 1:3-11
  7. Acts 2:1-20
  8. Deteronomy 5:29
  9. Acts 2:21-24, 34-35
  10. Psalm 110:1
  11. Acts 2:36-37
  12. Ezekiel 33:11
  13. Acts 2:2-15
  14. Deteronomy 5:29
  15. Acts 2:16-24, 34-40
  16. Leviticus 23:17
  17. Matthew 13:33
  18. I Corinthians 15:34-35
  19. John 12:24-25
  20. I Corinthians 15:36-54
  21. Revelation 6:1-17
  22. Matthew 24:21-31 /li>
  23. Revelation 7:1-3
  24. II Corinthians 1:20-22
  25. Ephesians 1:12-14
  26. Revelation 7:3
  27. Revelation 6:4-8
  28. Hosea 5:15
  29. Hosea 6:1-3
  30. Revelation 7:9-17
  31. Revelation 21
  32. Revelation 11:8-18
  33. I Thessalonians 4:14-17
  34. Revelation 14:12-20
  35. Revelation 15:1-3
  36. Revelation 7:4
  37. Revelation 14:1-5
  38. II Corinthians 11:2
  39. I Corinthians 3:11-15
  40. Revelation 19:1-9