Book: God's Plan for Mankind

June 4, 2006

And greetings brethren, welcome to the Feast of Pentecost–2006. And this is really quite a tremendous and wonderful day when we understand the full significance of it and what it means to us, because this is the day that all true Christians are looking for, as we will see. This day is the harvest of the firstfruits. And the firstfruits then are those in the first resurrection.And greetings brethren, welcome to the Feast of Pentecost–2006. And this is really quite a tremendous and wonderful day when we understand the full significance of it and what it means to us, because this is the day that all true Christians are looking for, as we will see. This day is the harvest of the firstfruits. And the firstfruits then are those in the first resurrection.

Now let’s come back to Leviticus 23 and we’re going to see that on the fiftieth day it tells us what they were to bring. So there were special offerings that they were to bring. One has significance for the prophetic meaning of Pentecost, and the other has to do with the offerings that we are to take, because in Deuteronomy 16 it says that when we have Pentecost, also called the Feast of Weeks after you count out seven weeks and you’re to have the Feast of Weeks, which then is the fiftieth day as Leviticus 23 points out. And it says here verse 17: “Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven…” And it is the only offering other than a peace offering where they could bring leavened bread with the offering. But the leavened bread was not ever to be burned. Only unleavened bread was to be burned. The other was to be eaten. “…They are the firstfruits unto the LORD.” So there’s a significance in relating to those who are going to be in the resurrection and the church. And then it gives the offering that they were to offer—all of the rams and the lambs and so forth: “…an offering made by fire, of sweet savour unto the LORD.” Then it talks about the sacrifice of the peace offering and sin offering, verse 19.

Verse 20: “And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits…” So waving is the same thing when you come back to the first day. What do you have on the first day of the count? You are to have the premiere sheaf that was specially cut, that is waved before the Lord. And we know this symbolizes the ascension of Jesus into heaven on the first day of the count toward Pentecost to be accepted of God the Father as the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. So now we have the same thing here with: “…the priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits for a wave offering before the LORD…” And so if it applies to Jesus ascending and being accepted of God the Father on the first day, then this also has to apply to those who are in the church to be waved and accepted by God on the day of Pentecost.

Now let’s continue on here. It says: “…with the two lambs: they shall be holy to the LORD for the priest. And ye shall proclaim on the selfsame day [that very day—the fiftieth day], that it may be an holy convocation unto you: ye shall do no servile work therein: it shall be a statute for ever in all your dwellings throughout your generations” (Lev. 23:17-21).

Now since this is a holy day and we do take up an offering and it is the firstfruits. Now we need to understand, God said you shall not fail to bring your firstfruits to Him. It’s very, very important. And also the offering that we bring we need to understand that we need to apply ourselves in the offering; we need to plan for the offerings; we need to realize that just as we are part of the firstfruits, which are going to be harvested when the resurrection occurs, so likewise as we are planning to grow in grace and knowledge in character to be able to be raised from the dead when that time comes, then likewise when we bring an offering to God we need to plan it. We need to prepare for it. And that’s why Paul gives it here in II Corinthians 9. So let’s come to II Corinthians 9:6 and here is a living principle. And I’ve seen this over and over and over again in the lives of people, not only in the world but especially in the church.

“But this I say: the one who sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly; and the one who sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully.” Now this is a living principle. And it’s just the way that it is. If you’re a curmudgeon with God, He’s going to be a curmudgeon with you. It’s just that simple. Whether it be in our character, our prayers, our growing, our overcoming, our studying, our thinking, our giving of tithes and offerings. It’s all the same thing.

Now verse 7 is the key: “Each one as he purposes in his heart…” because we are to give according to the blessings that God gives us. Not only just the physical blessings but also the spiritual blessings. “…So let him give, but not grudgingly or by compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver.” In other words this: instead of saying, “Oh. It’s a holy day and I know the minister is going to ask for an offering. Well, alright I’ll give it.” No, it’s just like everything else—you need to look forward to it and you need to perform it from the heart with a willing attitude. And here is what God is able to do, see. Because those who are curmudgeons do not believe verse 8: “For God is able to make all grace abound toward you so that in every way you may always have sufficiency in all things, and may abound unto every good work…” (II Cor. 9:6-8). And so that’s what we need to look at with the offerings that God wants us to bring.

So keep that in mind because you see, when it comes down to tithes and offerings we’re not dealing in our own property, we’re dealing as custodians or stewards of the property of God. And He wants us to have it with a right heart, and a right mind, and a right attitude. So you need to trust God. He’s able to make all grace abound toward you. And let me just say this: as we have seen and as we know, that if you do not do from the heart what God wants you to do in everything that you do, not only in giving, but since we’re talking about offerings and giving, as one man wrote, he didn’t tithe and he didn’t give offerings but you know what he did? He spent all of that money on things in his life which amounted to penalties against him because he wasn’t right with God in his heart and his mind and his attitude. And he wrote and said, “I spent the tithe all the way to bankruptcy court.” Then he learned the lesson: if you can’t get along on the 90% that God gives you, then you’re surely not going to get along on the 100% which you’re claiming. So we just need to keep that in mind because today on the Feast of Pentecost we’re going to see the great blessing that God has in store for us as pictured by this holy day. So we’ll pause and take up the offering at this time.

(Pause)

There are many things we could cover on Pentecost. Some of these things we are going to review rather than get in great detail in it because we cover different aspects of it every year when we do. But God gave the Ten Commandments on the day of Pentecost. And the day of Pentecost did not picture the firstfruits until after they got into the land, as far as the harvest was concerned. But it did picture the firstfruits of God in calling Israel as the first nation. And it also pictures those people that God has called beginning with Seth and all through the righteous line that we find before the flood, and then with Abraham after the flood and so forth, who we know that Jesus said will be in the first resurrection. So when we come to Leviticus 23 let’s go back and review verse 17 just a minute: “Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto the LORD.” Now this was a special firstfruit offering. Now why would God have the Feast of Unleavened Bread where leaven at that time is pictured to be sin, and now He says put leaven into this offering? Well you see, because there is also a good application of leaven. Because see, when you put leaven into your dough and it rises and then you bake it, now what you do, you permanently set that dough in the baked condition. It can never go back, you can never beat it down to where it would be flat again. Once it’s baked it is set.

Now let’s look at a good application of leaven as it is pictured the type of the Kingdom of God. Let’s come to Matthew 13 because you see we know that the Kingdom of God is going to be righteousness, don’t we? It’s not going to be sin, so leaven here in this particular case referring to the Kingdom of God has got to refer to the leaven that is there in the wave loaves.

Now here in Matthew 13, we find something very interesting too, don’t we? We find that the whole work of God in calling people and growing and producing has to do with a harvest, has to do with planting. And He talks about the seed that fell in the different places where that they didn’t produce, and then the ones who do produce. Now then the harvest, He says, is at the end of the age. And we’ll talk about that a little bit later, but let’s look at it here. Let’s come to the one where the Kingdom of God is likened unto leaven.

Let’s pick it up in verse 33: “Another parable He spoke to them: “ ‘The kingdom of heaven is compared to leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of flour until all was leavened’ ” (Matt. 13:33). Then when you bake it, like with the two wave loaves which were offered, then you have something that is permanent; you have a finished product. Because what you do, you start out, just like it is here with the seeds that are planted. Then what has to happen is this: it has to grow; it has to be harvested; it has to be milled; you have to add to it the salt and the sweetening; you have to mix it and you have to add the leavening, and then you have to wait for it to rise. And generally you have to beat it down several times so you can get a nice real firm good kind of loaf of bread. And then you let it rise for the last time, and then you stick it into the oven and roast it or bake it. So when it’s baked it is finished. It is a complete product. And that’s what the wave loaves back there in Leviticus 23 pictured. One has got to be for those who enter into the Kingdom of God from the time of Adam down to the time of the beginning of the Church. And then from the Church forward to the return of Christ. And this happens on Pentecost. It doesn’t happen on Trumpets. Trumpets is entirely different. And Trumpets cannot be the day of the resurrection simply because a trumpet is blown, but from a concordant type study; [we learn that it is different] because the trumpet is blown on every holy day. And remember what happened at Mount Sinai when the Ten Commandments were given. What was it? The trumpet blew long and loud and louder and louder and louder and then God spoke the Ten Commandments. So we’ll look at some of that here in just a little bit later.

Let’s come to Acts 2 because here we have several things going on the day of Pentecost. And the day of Pentecost was when the Church began with the power of the Holy Spirit being given to it. And there are, as we have covered, several reasons why God did it here on the day of Pentecost at the Temple: (1) Because now the Holy Spirit was given to empower the people to keep the commandments of God; (2) it was given at the Temple so there is a consistency of the place where God chose to put His name, and it was at the Temple; (3) and also since it was the power of God’s Holy Spirit to do it, and that it was going to be the Gospel that was to be preached in all the world then He caused the miracle of the speaking of the apostles so when they spoke in their own language it came out in the language of wherever they were of the Jews who came there to keep the Feast of Pentecost. And so this was a tremendous thing that God was showing. This was also a prophecy that now then, men are going to have access to God the Father through the Spirit into the Temple in heaven above. So this was also a prophecy of the coming demise of the whole temple system and the sacrificial system. And we know what happened.

Let’s read verse 1: “And when the day of Pentecost, the fiftieth day, was being fulfilled…” And that’s the accurate translation from the Greek, and we have a booklet on that. If you don’t have it write in for it. “…They were all with one accord in the same place. And suddenly there came from heaven 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, 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.” And so what did they do? They preached the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the receiving of the Holy Spirit through repentance and baptism. A brand new thing. It had not been done before. And God was signaling the way of how now He was going to deal with His Church and His people. And a very important thing that took place here is this: When Peter preached and they were convicted in their hearts and minds about what had happened with the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, he was actually preaching to those of whom some of them may have even been in the mob demanding that Jesus be crucified. So when it really got to them and they repented and were baptized, that was a tremendous event. Because you see, on that day the words that Jesus said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they are doing,” was applied to them. Quite a wonderful thing that happened.

Now let’s pick it up in verse 37 and we’ll see how this follows along with what we read back there in Leviticus 23. Verse 37: “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 [because there’s always something we need to do]?’ 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 [meaning personally, coming from God] 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.’ ” So he made it clear right from the beginning, it is a calling that comes from God and fulfills what Jesus said, “None can come to the Father except they come through Me, and none can come to Me except the Father draw them.” And here it is fulfilled right here.

Now verse 40: “And with many other words he earnestly testified and exhorted, saying, ‘Be saved from this perverse generation.’ ” Now if there’s any perverse generation, it is today. And it’s going to get much more perverse—so perverse that just like God had to destroy the temple system, destroy Jerusalem, that He’s going to have to nearly destroy this world in order to cleanse it and purify it from all of the sins and corruption and Satanism and perversity that’s in the world today.

Verse 41: “Then those who joyfully received his message were baptized; and about three thousand souls were added that day” (Acts 2:1-4, 37-41, FV) —the day of Pentecost. So this day has a great meaning for us. And this is why God gave the Holy Spirit on that day. So it starts on this day and it ends on this day. Think about that for a minute. And we’ll look at all the different things now.

Let’s look at some of the things concerning the resurrection. Let’s come back here to I Corinthians 15. And we need to understand this. We need to realize it to the depths of our being. As I covered yesterday, there are people out there even within the ranks of the Church of God that want to come in with their own doctrines. And just like it says here, if you don’t believe that Jesus is raised from the dead then your faith is in vain. And if you don’t believe that Jesus Christ was God before He became a human being; that He was God manifested in the flesh, you don’t understand the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and you cannot comprehend the deep love that God the Father and Jesus Christ have for not only the church and the people that He calls, but also for all humanity. Because in God’s great plan through the things that we know from the holy days, He is going to save the vast majority of mankind. And God is going to offer them the kind of repentance and forgiveness that we have. But God has called us as the firstfruits. And as the firstfruits we have a great and a tremendous promise—greater than anyone else who comes into the Kingdom of God after that. And so we need to really… Let’s understand this: The Bible also says, “Without vision the people perish.” And that’s why a lot of people fall out of the church. They just don’t have the vision. So you’ve got to understand the greatness of the plan of God, and you’ve got to keep that in the forefront of your mind, that it will lead you, that it will inspire you, that it will give you hope, that it will give you the strength, that it will give you the endurance.

Now let’s come down here to I Corinthians 15:12. Now we need to understand this because there were those, even in the Church of God back there… He says here in verse 34: “Awake to righteousness, and do not sin, for some of you do not have the knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.” See. And there are a lot of people who do not have the knowledge of God as they ought to.

Now let’s come back here to verse 12: “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? For if there is no resurrection from the dead, neither has Christ been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain, and your faith is also in vain.” Now let’s understand this: Any minister, any man, any church that preaches that you go to heaven is preaching in vain because they are not preaching the resurrection of Christ. Now think about that.

“And we are also found to be false witnesses of God…” And God isn’t going to back up any liars, is He? No, they are excluded from the Kingdom of God. “…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. But if Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain; you are still in your sins, and those who have fallen asleep in Christ have then perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most miserable.” Because you suffer in vain; you go through trials in vain; you’re not developing the character of God; you have a false belief in Christ, and all of that sort of thing.

Now verse 20: “But now Christ has been raised from the dead…” And they haven’t ever produced the body; they haven’t ever produced the witnesses who carried Him away; they have never produced the bones, because He was raised from the dead. “…He has become the firstfruit of those who have fallen asleep.” That goes back to the wave sheaf offering day—the first of the firstfruits—the premiere sheaf that was accepted of God the Father. “For since by man came death, by man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” Notice: “But each [one] in his own order: Christ the firstfruit; then, those who are Christ’s at His coming” (I Cor. 15:34, 12-23). Now we’re going to see about His coming—that it is going to be quite a fantastic event. And it’s not going to be something that happens [slaps hands] just in one day. We’ll see that. We’ll understand that.

Now let’s apply this to ourselves. Let’s come to James 1 and let’s see what it says here concerning the Church. And this is important for us to understand. And let’s pick it up here in verse 17. And here it shows that we are firstfruits: “Every good act of giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with Whom there is no variation, nor shadow of turning. According to His own will…” Now you see how important it is to remain faithful, because God of His own will and desire “…begat us by the Word of truth [His Holy Spirit], that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all His created beings” (James 1:17-18).

Now let’s look at it here. Let’s come to the book of Hebrews again. We’re going to see “firstfruits” and “firstborn,” and we are called the Church of the Firstborn. And here’s where we get the parallel between the giving of the law at Mount Sinai and all the things that took place after that, and our coming to the resurrection, and our being part of coming to Mount Zion, which is the city of the living God.

Now let’s come down here to Hebrews 12:18: “For you have not come to the mount that could be touched and that burned with fire, nor to gloominess, and fearful darkness, and the whirlwind; and to the sound of the trumpet, and to the voice of the words…” See, they heard God speak. Now none of us have heard that, but we have greater than that. We have the begettal of God the Father in us—the firstfruits of the Holy Spirit. “…Which those who heard, begged that the word not be spoken directly to them. (For they could not endure what was being commanded: ‘And if even an animal touches the mountain, it shall be stoned, or shot through with an arrow’; and so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, ‘I am greatly afraid and trembling’.)” Now we’re going to see what they all experienced there is nothing compared to what it’s going to be like when Christ returns, because it’s going to be an awesome, fantastic event. And if we could say, “Let’s get the big picture,” of what’s going to take place worldwide at that time.

“But you have come to Mount Sion [Not Mt. Zion on the earth, but Mount Sion], and to the city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem; and to an innumerable company of angels; to the joyous festival gathering…” Now that’s what it means in the Greek. So this has got to be the day of Pentecost, which is a festival gathering—the greatest gathering and the great congregation that we have talked about concerning the resurrection and how that’s going to take place. “…And to the church of the firstborn…” And then we read in Romans 8:29 that Christ is the firstborn among many brethren. So we have the first of the firstfruits, we have the first of the firstborn, and then we have the firstfruits and then we have the church of the firstborn. That’s what we are called. “…Registered in the book of life in heaven; and to God, the Judge of all; and to the spirits of the just who have been perfected; and to Jesus, the Mediator of the New Covenant; and to sprinkling of the blood of ratification, proclaiming superior things than that of Abel” (Heb. 12:18-24). So this sets the stage.

Now let’s look at how this is going to take place. Let’s see how these events are going to transpire. Now let’s come here to Revelation 11. Now we know (if you don’t have the series on Revelation and Daniel, be sure and write for it, and the chart and everything that goes with it.) there’s going to come a time when the beast and the false prophet will come on the earth. They will precede the two witnesses. And there will be a time of peace, as Paul writes in I Thessalonians 5, for when they say peace and prosperity then sudden destruction is going to come upon them. Now there’s going to come a time when Satan is going to be cast down and he’s going to persecute the church, as we find in Revelation 12. Then there will be some few who will be taken to a place of safety. Those who remain behind, Satan is going to make war against them. And as we are going to see that is the martyrdom of the saints. But before that begins to take place (and as you will see on the chart that we have laying out the number of days, and so forth, of the two witnesses—when they end, when they begin, and so forth) that the two witnesses begin just before winter. And here is what they are going to do. This is going to be a key event. And it’s going to precipitate all of the events that are going to take place leading to the return of Christ and the resurrection.

So he says here, verse 1: “Then the angel gave me a measuring rod like a staff, saying, ‘Arise and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and those who worship in it. But leave out the court that is within the temple area, and do not measure it because it has been given up to the Gentiles; and they shall trample upon the holy city for fortytwo months. And I will give power to My two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two lampstands that stand before the God of the earth.’ ” Now these are special two witnesses that God is going to raise up and empower in a way of a direct giving of the Holy Spirit to give to them. These will be the two most powerful men of God that the world has ever seen. Greater than Moses, greater than Aaron. Of course not greater than Christ, but just as human beings representing God. That’s why they are called the two olive trees, and the two lampstands that stand before the God of the earth. Now if you don’t have the tape “Who Are The Two Witnesses and Elijah” write in for it.

“ ‘And if anyone attempts to harm them, fire will go out of their mouths and devour their enemies.’ ” So this is going to be a fantastic thing. So here [is] the confrontation of the two that represent Satan the devil and the two that represent God right at Jerusalem. And it’s going to take place in a powerful way because the beast is going to enter into the Temple and proclaim himself that he is God, as we have already seen. And that is the abomination of desolation that is spoken of by Daniel the prophet. We’ll go there in just a minute in Matthew 24.

Now here’s what’s going to happen. It says: “ ‘For if anyone attempts to harm them, he must be killed in this manner. These have authority to shut heaven so that no rain may fall in the days of their prophecy; and they have authority over the waters, to turn them into blood, and to smite the earth with every plague, as often as they will.’ ” That’s going to be an awesome thing. Then it says: “ ‘And when they have completed their testimony, the beast who ascends out of the abyss will make war against them, and will overcome them, and will kill them’ ” (Rev. 11:1-7). But God has a surprise for them, as we will see a little bit later on.

Let’s come here to Matthew 24 and let’s see something very important concerning Matthew 24 and when the tribulation begins, and then we will go to Revelation 6 and we will see the parallel events and how these come down to Pentecost and the resurrection.

Now let’s pick it up here in verse 15: “ ‘Therefore, when you see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (the one who reads, let him understand) [that’s John’s note that we have to be watching and looking], then let those who are in Judea flee into the mountains. Let the one who is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house; and let the one who is in the field not go back to take his garments. But woe to those women who are expecting a child, and to those who are nursing infants in those days! And pray that your flight be not in the winter, nor on the Sabbath; for then…’ ” Now this is the key to understanding when the great tribulation starts. And this is the key that locks in the beginning of all the events in Daniel and Revelation that lead up to the return of Jesus Christ and the establishing of the Kingdom of God on earth. “ ‘…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.’ ” Now what we need to understand is this brethren: We are facing humungous worldwide problems. And what we are going to see is that what God did to Egypt back in the book of Exodus with Pharaoh and Jannes and Jambres, God is going to do to the whole world, and to the beast and the false prophet, and their armies and all of those with him. It is going to be a time that has never been from the beginning of the world. So we’ve got to really understand that. “ ‘And if those days were not limited…’ ” Now it says “cut short” in the King James, but it means “limited.” God is not going to cut short the three and a half years (three and a half days in prophecy). And the reason being is this: He has limited it to three and a half years. And we’ll see the events that take place there. “ ‘…But for the elect’s sake those days shall be limited’ ” (Matt. 24:15-22).

Now we’ll come back here to Matthew 24 again a little later, but let’s come to Revelation 6 and let’s see how these events are going to unfold on the earth. And this is then going to lead us up to how Christ is going to return, and lead us up to the time of the resurrection. Now let’s pick it up here in verse 1. Christ is the one who opens the seals: “And I looked when the Lamb opened one of the seals; 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…” Now this is not Christ, because Christ opened the seal and out of the seal that Christ opened here comes a white horse. This is the false Christ. This is the false religion. This then has to be first the antiChrist, the false prophet who is coming. Now let’s understand this: both the beast and the false prophet are antiChrists.

“…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.” This tells us, as the other prophecies (this is a summary of how many of the other prophecies), that there is coming a great one world religion. And it is going to come. Now then, when it comes time for the beast power to go into the Temple and sit down and proclaim himself God as II Thessalonians tells us, then we come to verse 3. So this is the timing: “And when He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, ‘Come and see.’ And another horse went out that was red [symbolic of war]; and power was given to the one sitting on it to take peace from the earth…” When does the tribulation begin? When you see the abomination spoken of by Daniel the prophet standing in the Holy place. So what is going to happen? We’ve put all of the scriptures together—the king of the north is going to come down; he is going to enter into to the Temple of God, proclaim himself God; the false prophet is going to say, “Yes, he is God.” The two witnesses are going to say, “No, he is not God.” And then the great tribulation begins on the whole world. And that’s what this second seal pictures.

And immediately what happens with that? “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.’ ” So immediately whenever there’s war, food supplies are cut short. And don’t we have that today? Just think about how quickly death, destruction, and famine is going to take place when people do not have access to their markets; people do not have access to their shopping mall. And that’s what’s going to happen.

So then what happens after that? Immediately follows the fourth seal. So these come one-two-three, quite quickly. “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…” Now exactly where that is going to be we don’t know. But when the tribulation begins it’s going to affect one fourth of the earth. Now three fourths of the earth will not be affected by it. But when they see this take place they are going to start building their armies and getting them up to speed, because later, as we will see, there’s an army of two hundred million that is going to come, and come toward the Holy Land. So we’re looking at bigtime global events that are going to take place.

Now then, they are going to a fourth part of the earth: “…to kill with the sword and with famine and with death, and by the beasts of the earth” (Rev. 6:1-8). So this is going to be one of the most gruesome times on earth. That’s why Jesus said that if the time weren’t limited there would be no flesh saved alive because of all of the weapons we know that men have, because of all of the things that are going to take place. And unless God intervened, and we’re going to see how He’s going to intervene, and get their attention and let them know what’s going to happen, we’ll see that in just a little bit.

Now let’s continue right on here in Revelation 6. Now let’s coordinate this with Revelation 12. So hold your place here in Revelation 6 and let’s come back to Revelation 12 and let’s see what’s going to happen. Satan is going to be cast down. He’s going to persecute the Church. After those who go to a place of safety have gone, then we pick it up here in the very last verse of Revelation 12, verse 17. This is when the martyrdom of the saints begins to take place. And let’s understand something here, there is a great principle, which is this: The one who seeks to save his life shall lose it, and the one who loses his life in Christ shall save it. Now that is accomplished in two ways: (1) if you think you’re going to go to a place of safety, be guaranteed you aren’t; (2) and if you think you’re going to avoid martyrdom, be guaranteed, unless you die before these events take place, you’re not. So we might as well face the reality of the truth of the things at the endtime as Jesus said—the worse things that have ever happened on the face of the earth since the beginning of the creation are going to take place. So we might as well gear ourselves up for that thinking and ask God for the help, the strength, the character that we need, because this is not going to be “goodtime Charlie” and “wonderful Sally time” when these things and events take place. That’s why Jesus said, “Woe.” And then we’re going to see what God is going to do about it.

Last verse: “Then the dragon was furious with the woman and went to make war with the rest of her seed, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Rev. 12:17). Now when war comes against the saints they are going to know wherever true Christians are, because all of those who are true Christians will not have the mark of the beast and they will know where you are. Now granted, some can flee from city to city but they’re going to track you down, because there are going to be traitors. There will be people who are looking to kill Christians because, combined with the two witnesses, they are the ones who are causing all the problems on the earth.

Now let’s pick it up here in Revelation 6:9. Brethren, I want you to understand the magnitude of these things. I want you to understand how awesome these events are going to be where we are not talking about little events at the endtime that are going to take place and all of a sudden, like the Protestants believe, there’s going to be a rapture. There isn’t going to be any rapture. Only the few that go to the place of safety—and they are only there to fulfill what Jesus said, that the mouth of the grave would not prevail against the Church. So there’s going to come a time when all of the rest—just the few that are in the place of safety—and I don’t think many of us are going to make that, because we have to be a witness for Christ. And just like Christ was a witness to the world and gave His life that we may live, we have to give our lives for Christ. And we need to understand that. And if you have not counted yourself already dead to sin, and dead because you have been buried in the watery grave, then you are not mentally prepared for the things that are coming. And so part of what I’m trying to do is to help us have a big picture of what’s going to take place, and to give us strength and courage by the power of God’s Spirit to stand for what is right; to know what we need to do; to realize that God is there, Christ is there, they will help us, they will strengthen us; but we have to be a witness against all of the bloody wretchedness of this world, even in giving our lives. And you look back at the prophecy that we are going to read here, and many others have done so down through history. And what makes us think that we are so allfired good that we are going to avoid it. A little colloquialism: It ain’t a gonna happen.

Now verse 9: “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 [because they believed God], and for the testimony that they held…” to tell them that just like the two witnesses are saying to the beast and the false prophet, “You are of Satan the devil. You are not of God. These plagues are coming down and we call them as a demonstration against your evil and your wickedness.”

“…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…” In other words they are still dead. But this is just a vision to give you an understanding what’s going to happen at the endtime in comparison to those who had been martyred before us, you see.

“…Until it be fulfilled that both their fellow servants and their brethren also would be killed, just as they had been.” Now when it comes time that all of those that Satan makes war against—he finally gets them—that ends the “church age.” Then something new is going to begin, and as we know from past sermons and so forth, the next event that’s going to take place is going to be approximately eighteen months before Christ and the saints put their feet on the earth. Now I want you to begin to think what’s going to happen here.

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…” Because if there’s a great earthquake and it’s anywhere near volcanoes you’re going to have all of this exploding at the same time. “…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…” There is going to be a new thing that’s going to take place. God is going to reveal in a great and a powerful way, just like He said back there in the book of Haggai, “I’m going to shake the heavens. I’m going to shake the earth. I’m going to shake the sea.” And that’s what this is right here. And then the heavens are going to depart as a scroll and a new thing is going to be revealed.

Let’s see what it is: “…and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. And the kings of the earth…” Now God is going to get the attention of the whole world. This is going to be an awesome and fantastic thing. “…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?’ ” (Rev. 6:9-17).

Now what is this going to be like when this takes place. How is this going to take place? Look, I want you to understand this is the beginning of the return of Christ to the earth. But He has to come from the third heaven, however far away that that is. So the heavens roll back as a scroll and then they see something that they have never seen before. Let’s come to Matthew 24. And this is what they are going to see. The whole world is going to see this. It’s not going to be that every eye is going to see Him just kind of a flick of a second and every eye sees Him. No, we are going to see that this is going to be something that they are going to be aware of for approximately a year and a half. And it’s going to be a new thing. And it’s going to frighten the whole world.

Now let’s pick it up here, Matthew 24:27: “ ‘For as the light of day, which comes forth from the east and shines as far as the west, so also shall the coming of the Son of man be.’ ” That’s how it’s going to start. Now the light of day is what? The sun. When the heavens roll back as a scroll then, as we’re going to see, this is called the “sign of the Son of man.” And it’s going to be like a new sun that is going to suddenly appear. And what are the men on earth going to say? Why are they going to be willing to fight? The whole world has been programmed with UFO’s and aliens, right? It’s going to be declared as the alien invasion of the world and we must save ourselves from them. And in a sense they will be right because Jesus Christ and God the Father and the angels of God are indeed alien to the inhabitants of the earth. But it’s going to be greater than that, as we will see.

Now verse 29: “ ‘But immediately after the tribulation of those days…’ ” That’s the tribulation against Israel. We’ll see that when we come to Revelation 7. There’s a great tribulation which compasses the whole world. There is the tribulation that is against Israel for God’s punishment which lasts two full years, as we find in Hosea 5 and 6. “ ‘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.’ ” I mean the whole universe. The return of Christ, when it begins, is going to affect the whole universe. “ ‘And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven…’ ”, which in verse 27 says is like the light of day which shines forth from the east unto the west. So here’s a new sun. The earth is down here turning on it’s axis and it looks like it’s a new sun that goes around, that is like a second light. That’s why it shines from the east to the west because the earth is on it’s axis turning. So that’s going to be quite a thing, isn’t it? “ ‘…And then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming…’ ” And He’s going to come: “ ‘…upon the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.’ ” And it’s going to arrive at, verse 31: “ ‘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’ ” (Matt. 24:27, 29-31).

Let’s go back to the book of Revelation and see how this thing is going to be. Because when this comes down it’s going to be something. God is going to shake the heavens, God is going to shake the earth, God is going to reveal Himself. Let’s come back to Revelation 1. Why will all the tribes of the earth mourn? Why will all people be willing to fight against Christ? Because they’re following the antiChrist and the false prophet. And they are going to declare that this is an alien invasion from outer space. That’s why all the armies are going to be gathered together.

Now let’s read this here, Revelation 1:7: “Behold, He is coming with the clouds…” So as it appears in heaven, then it’s going to come closer, and closer, and closer, and closer to the earth until it reaches a point in the clouds above the earth. And that’s going to give plenty of time for all the armies of the earth to gather together. “Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye shall see Him, and those who pierced Him [that’s a direct reference to those who crucified Him; and of course our sins killed Christ, so every eye is going to see Him]; and all the tribes of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even so, Amen.” (Rev. 1:7).

Now let’s come back to Revelation 7. Let’s see what’s going to happen. So the sign of the Son of man is there. Time is going on. The earth is still turning on it’s axis. Now then, God stops the tribulation against Israel and He begins His final harvest. And there’s every reason to believe that Revelation 7 is going to take place on the next to the last Pentecost as Christ is returning, because He’s going to be coming, coming, coming, coming, coming, coming, coming to the earth. It’s not going to be all of a sudden—whoop, one day here’s Jesus; whoop, one day here’s the resurrection; and whoop, we all return to the earth on the same day. It isn’t going to happen that way because you have to ask the question: Why are all of those on the earth going to be fighting against each other and fighting against Christ. Why are all the armies of the earth gathered at Armageddon? Because they’re going to fight this alien invasion, and we are going to see that it’s going to get worse for them.

Now God intervenes. Remember this: Before any event takes place God gives space of repentance. So here’s a space of repentance that God gives to Israel: “And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth…” Now look, this is big time stuff. “…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.’ And I heard the number of those who were sealed: one hundred fortyfour thousand, sealed out of every tribe of the children of Israel.”

Now if you don’t have our study paper on who the hundred and fortyfour thousand are, write in for it. Because if you have the Spirit of God today you cannot be one of the hundred fortyfour thousand who are saved in the next to the last Pentecost before Christ and the saints return to the earth. These are of all the tribes of Israel. It is a special harvest of God, and they receive the Holy Spirit of God in a special and particular way, because there are no ministers there to baptize them; there is no one to counsel them; their repentance is because they [have gone] through the tribulation and fulfills the promise of Deuteronomy 28 and Leviticus 26 that if while in captivity you seek the Lord your God with all your heart, then He will save you. And this is what happens. And it starts out with the tribe of Judah first to fulfill the prophecy that God is going to save the tents of Judah first. And then it lists the twelve tribes. Then after that there is a great innumerable multitude because the hundred and fortyfour thousand are not the only ones who are going to repent. This is the result of the harvest of the preaching of the two witnesses to Israel and Judah [and] all the tribes of the earth. And now we have a great innumerable multitude, see. So if anyone says that there are only going to be a hundred fortyfour thousand in the first resurrection, know that they are lamebrained idiots, because the Bible says, verse 9: “…a great [innumerable] multitude… out of every nation [that takes care of sacrednamers doesn’t it?] and tribe and people and language…” And what are they going to be? They’re going to be in the resurrection. So here’s the vision that portrays them “…standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes and holding palms in their hands;…” So they’re going to be in the first resurrection.

Verse 14 says: “ ‘…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’ ” (Rev. 7:1-4, 9, 14,). Quite a thing, isn’t it? And by their repentance, that’s what’s going to happen. Then we come to all the events that take place then in Revelation 8 and Revelation 9 and Revelation 10 and all those events that take place.

Now let’s come back here to Revelation 11 and let’s see what’s going to happen because we come to the last Pentecost. That’s when the harvest is going to take place. So here, all this time during this whole year the wars have been going on, on the earth (Revelation 8, 9, and 10); the hundred fortyfour thousand and the great innumerable multitude have been spared and they have been saved, waiting the resurrection because we’re all going to be resurrected at the same time.

Now then we are going to see when the resurrection is going to take place, because this is important for us to understand because it does not take place on the Feast of Trumpets. It takes place on Pentecost because from the time of the resurrection of Christ and His ascension to heaven we have seven continuous weeks of the harvest, and God is harvesting, God is harvesting all the way down through it. And then the resurrection is going to take place on the fiftieth day. That’s when the two wave loaves are brought, when there will be permanent change from flesh to spirit.

Now let’s come back here to the two witnesses. Revelation 11:7: “ ‘And when they have completed their testimony, the beast who ascends out of the abyss will make war against them, and will overcome them, and will kill them.’ ” See, because what Satan is always allowed to do is to believe that he’s going to win. See, that’s what happened with Pharaoh when he went and chased the children of Israel to the Red Sea and thought, “Man, they got across there—I’m going across.” So they’re going to think that they’re going to win. So God is going to let them finally kill the two witnesses. And everyone with their cell phones everywhere will be able to see this. They’ll see it on television, they’ll hear it on radio, they’ll have the broadcast. This is going to be a worldwide event. They’re going to say, “Let’s have a feast.” Yes.

“ ‘And their bodies will lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt [that’s Jerusalem], where also our Lord was crucified. Then those of the peoples and tribes and languages and nations shall see their bodies three and a half days, for they will not allow their bodies to be put into tombs. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, and will make merry, and will send gifts to one another, because these two prophets had tormented those who dwell on the earth.’ ”

Now notice—surprise, surprise, God has a big one in store for them: “Then after the three and a half days, the spirit of life from God entered into them and they stood on their feet; and great fear fell upon those who were watching them. And they heard a great voice from heaven, say, ‘Come up here!’ And they ascended into heaven in a cloud; and their enemies saw them rise.” So what do we have here? Another fulfillment of the Word of God. The last two martyred are the first two raised to life.

“And in that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell; and seven thousand men were killed in the earthquake. And the rest were filled with fear, and gave glory to the God of heaven. The second woe is past. Behold, the third woe is coming immediately. Then the seventh angel sounded his trumpet [right as soon as they got out of their sight the trumpet sounds, and this is the resurrection of the rest of the saints, the rest of the firstfruits]; 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’ ” (Rev. 11:7-15). Now this is going to be something. This is a fantastic thing that is going to take place. So when that trumpet sounds let’s look at two places where it talks about the trumpets, and the resurrection, and let’s think and talk about the resurrection here for just a minute in relationship to the rest of the world.

Let’s first of all come to I Corinthians 15, and let’s pick it up here in verse 49: “And as we have borne the image of the one made of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly one. 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…” Because there will still be some [in the place of safety] who will be alive when Christ returns—plus the hundred fortyfour thousand, the great innumerable multitude—they are waiting the resurrection. They will be changed from flesh to spirit in an instant, in the twinkling of an eye. “…But we shall all be changed, in an instant, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet shall sound…” Now notice these are not trumpets, but trumpet. “…And the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 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’ ” (I Cor. 15:49-54). And it’s going to be.

Now let’s come over here to I Thessalonians 4 and let’s see what’s going to happen. Let’s see how this is going to take place, then we’ll go back to Revelation 14 and see what’s going to transpire because this is going to be an awesome event indeed. Now let’s pick it up here in verse 13: “But I do not wish you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, that you be not grieved, even as others, who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, in exactly the same way also, those who have fallen asleep in Jesus will God bring with Him.” Now how’s He going to bring them with Him because they’re dead in the grave? We’re going to see that in just a minute.

“For this we say to you by the Word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall in no wise precede those who have fallen asleep…” So the dead will be raised first. Those who are living will follow. “…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…” (I Thes. 4:13-16).

Now what’s that going to look like? Now let’s picture this for just a minute here. Let’s put all of this together. We’ll see it in Revelation 15 here in just a minute. The sign of the Son of man appears in heaven. It’s coming closer and closer and closer and closer and closer to the earth over the space of a year. And then it comes right down into the clouds. Now the clouds are restricted up to about 50,000 to 60,000 feet down to almost ground level. Now then the sign of the Son of man when it comes into the clouds is going to be transformed into a great sea of glass. We’ll see that in Revelation 15. But the resurrection takes place, and the angels are going to, as we saw, carry them up to, as we will see, the sea of glass.

Now I believe the whole world is going to see this. And what are they going to say? “The aliens have come and they’ve got this huge space craft right there hovering over Jerusalem, and they are snatching bodies.” Has the world been prepared mentally for that through movies and things? Yes. So here they’ll see all of the saints being resurrected who are in the graves. The graves opening up and here they come—thousands and thousands and thousands of them. And then those who are alive, the hundred fortyfour thousand and great innumerable multitude and those who are in the place of safety, they will be resurrected and they will come to the sea of glass. Now this is going to make the world even more angry at this alien invasion. And they are going to feel that unless we can get rid of this, unless we can marshal all the armies of the world against this mighty invasion from outer space, that we are going to be taken over by the aliens.

Now let’s come back here to Revelation 14 and Revelation 15. Let’s see how the harvest is like. Let’s pick it up here in Revelation 14, verse 14: “And I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and one like the Son of man sitting on the cloud, having a golden crown on His head; and in His hand was a sharp sickle.” The harvest of the firstfruits. Tie that in with Matthew 13—the harvest is at the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels carrying all of the saints up to the sea of glass. And this is going to bring the greatest confrontation that the world has ever, ever seen. “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.’ ” And that’s the harvest of the firstfruits. Now the harvest of the wicked comes after that. “And He Who was sitting on the cloud thrust forth His sickle upon the earth, and the earth was reaped” (Rev. 14:14-16).

Now let’s come to Revelation 15 and let’s see something. Alright, 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, and those who had gotten the victory over the beast…” That means over Satan the devil, so that goes all the way back to Abel. “…And over his image…” That includes all of the idolatry beginning with Cain and all the way down through history to our time. “…And over his mark…”, which is at the endtime with the mark of the beast that’s going to be enforced upon all human beings. “…And over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.” Now, when you’re resurrected, where are you going to be taken? If the angels take you, where are they going to take you? They are going to take you to the sea of glass. See, now that’s not a doctrine of Fred Coulter. That’s what I read out of the scriptures.

Now if you don’t have the tape, “What’s Going To Happen On The Sea Of Glass” I’ll just review it for you. (1) We’re all going to receive our garments—the righteousness of the saints. (2) We’re going to receive our new name. (3) We’re going to meet Jesus Christ. (4) The marriage of the Lamb is going to take place. (5) We will see the declaration of Jesus Christ to God the Father. When all the saints are resurrected and on the sea of glass, He is going to turn to the Father (and we’ll probably all see this at the same time) and say to the Father, “Behold all the brethren that you have given Me.” And all of our rewards are then going to be given. We’re going to have to know what to do; which cities we’re going to rule over; who are we going to work with; how’s it going to be done? We’re going to also have to understand how to ride those white horses that we’re going to be given. Because now we are going to be the army of God coming back to the earth, you see. And we don’t come back to the earth until it’s pictured by Trumpets. So we are on the sea of glass all during the time from the resurrection of Pentecost until we come back with Christ on Trumpets. And we’re going to see all the events that take place, standing on the sea of glass having the harps of God.

“And they were singing the song of Moses…” proclaiming how great and powerful God is—a man of war. “…The servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, ‘Great and awesome are Your works…’ ” This is going to be the greatest and biggest thing that has ever happened or has occurred in the history of the whole world from the beginning of the creation of man until the resurrection of His Church. And it’s going to be this great worldwide thing.

“ ‘…Righteous and true are Your ways, King of the saints. Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You only are holy; and all the nations shall come and worship before You, for Your judgments have been revealed’ ” (Rev. 15:1-4). Well, they’re not going to come and worship before God until the government of God is set up on the earth and they begin to beat their spears into pruninghooks and their implements of war into plows and come and learn the way of God. And if they don’t come and keep the Feast of God, as we know, there are going to be plagues, there are going to be things that will come upon them because God is not going to establish the Kingdom of God and have men continuously rebel. It’s going to come in power, it’s going to come in awesome destruction, as we will see here, Revelation 16 leading up to returning to the earth with Christ. This is going to be big time—absolutely the biggest thing that has ever been in the history of the world.

So what I want you to understand brethren, is this: God has called us with the greatest calling possible. We are in training for eternal life. God has given us of His Spirit. He is going to resurrect us from the dead. He is going to give us power and authority to rule under Christ. He is going to bless us with joy and greatness for all eternity and we will forever be the Church of the Firstborn—the harvest of the firstfruits of God, resurrected on Pentecost in great joy and power and wonder and magnificence. And now we are going to be ready for the biggest fight that the world has ever seen. But you have to come back for Trumpets in order to see that.

(End of Sermon)

Transcriber: Carolyn Singe

Pentecost—Holy Day
June 4, 2006
Scriptural References

  1. Leviticus 23:17-21
  2. II Corinthians 9:6-8
  3. Matthew 13:33
  4. Acts 2:1-4, 37-41
  5. I Corinthians 15:34, 12-23
  6. James 1:17-18
  7. Hebrews 12:18-24
  8. Romans 8:29
  9. Revelation 11:1-7
  10. Matthew 24:15-22
  11. Revelation 6:1-8
  12. Revelation 12:17
  13. Revelation 6:9-17
  14. Matthew 24:27, 29-31
  15. Revelation 1:7
  16. Revelation 7:1-4, 9, 14
  17. Revelation 11:7-15
  18. I Corinthians 15:49-54
  19. I Thessalonians 4:13-16
  20. Revelation 14:14-16
  21. Revelation 15:1-4

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