(Sabbath Before Pentecost—Day 49—Live)

Fred R. Coulter—May 30, 2009

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Today is the Sabbath before Pentecost and we're going to see, has tremendous meaning. Today we are going to look at two, and we're going to finish at the beginning of the third, major things that's going to take place on Pentecost.

I had an interesting discussion with a man who came by and we were talking about some of the things in prophecy. It was very interesting because in going through: What basis and what premise do you start to understand prophecy? First of all, it has to do with the Sabbath, then the Passover and then the Holy Days!

As we were discussing it, it became very evident that God uses all of these days for specific purposes, or set times. That also reflects that if we're going to understand about prophecy, we need to realize that God fulfills prophecy and uses the Holy Days as they fall according to the Calculated Hebrew Calendar. Therefore, the old commentary thing that a prophetic year has 360 days, may not necessarily be true in its fulfillment.

For example: Passover and the First Day of Unleavened Bread we find does not begin in Exo. 12, but in Gen. 15. Exo. 12 is an extension of the promises given to Abraham in Gen. 15. Then we see that God used the Feast of Unleavened Bread to bring the children out of Israel out of Egypt and cross the Red Sea. We also see that when Christ came, all the types—days—in the Old Testament God used, like:

  • selecting the lamb on the 10th day of the first month
  • Christ was selected on the 10th day of the first month
  • He was crucified on the Passover Day

Inclusive counting from Sabbath, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, five days, that is grace.

He was resurrected on the 8th day, which was literally the Sabbath. From His crucifixion and burial it was the 8th day when you count from the Sabbath. We have inclusive counting from the Sabbath, you go 1-8, and Sabbath is one and Sabbath is eight.

There are many Biblical numerics that God uses in addition to the Holy Days. The 49 days and the 50th day God also uses. He uses the seven weeks plus one day. The simplest answer that I can give to those who still have a hard time with a Monday Pentecost is to show me any calendar which shows the day after the Sabbath being on Monday. You can't. Therefore, it's impossible to have a Monday Pentecost!

However, historically God used the Day of Pentecost for major events. He uses every Holy Day, including the Passover, for major historical events that fulfill His will. This is why those in Protestantism and Catholicism cannot understand what the Bible is all about. Even though they can understand certain concepts of it, and even though they can understand some things in it, they will not accept the fact that God's Laws today are binding upon us and does not take away from salvation by grace! In keeping the laws and commandments of God, we are not endeavoring to earn our salvation by works, because it is the gift of God!

However, it shows our love, obedience and dedication to God in keeping His commandments. In turn He gives us His Holy Spirit, which is through grace; and in turn He gives us understanding of what He's doing. We can look back and see what He has done. Then we can look forward and see what He is going to do. We will do that with our leading up to Pentecost. We'll start today and finish tomorrow.

Let's understand something about the geography and climate. You hear a lot about climate change today. It's not the first time there have been difficulties with the climate. During the days of the children of Israel in Egypt, all of North Africa and what is now the Sahara Desert, was actually a great wheat growing, barley growing country. The climate was entirely different.

Likewise, you cannot look at Mt. Sinai today and say that that's what it was like when the children of Israel were there, because we don't know how much of an up-thrust has taken place within the Sinai Peninsula because of the earthquakes. Remember, there's an earthquake fault line that runs all the way down through the Jordan Valley, down to the end of the Gulf of Aqaba, crosses over and into North Africa and runs all the way down the east coast of Africa, inland somewhat.

We don't know what the climate was like, but there had to be sufficient grass and sufficient feed for the animals. Granted it was dry and they needed water and God provided that for them. When they got to Mt. Sinai, we find that they came there on the same day of the week that they left Egypt, which was a Thursday.

God was going to do something on this particular Pentecost that was absolutely fantastic, had never been done before. When they got to Mt. Sinai, they camped there in from of the mountain.

Exodus 19:3: "And Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him out of the mountain, saying, 'Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob and tell the children of Israel, "You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings… [that is protection; they walked all the way] …and brought you unto Myself. Now, therefore…"'" (vs 3-5). Here's the whole key:

  • of everything in the Bible
  • determining our relationship with God
  • what God wants us to do
  • how we are to live our lives

Verse 5: "Now, therefore, if you will obey My voice indeed…"—truly! Of course, today what do we have? We have all the Word of God, the God-breathed Word of God!

"…and keep My covenant… [apply this to the New Testament; we're in covenant with God] …then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine" (v 5). Now we find what God originally wanted the children of Israel to do for the rest of the world!

Verse 6: "And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a Holy nation…"

Does this sound a little bit like something we can read in Rev. 20? Yes, indeed! This means that they were to take the laws and commandments of God to all the nations of the world so that they would learn about God. God chose Abraham and his seed after him, which then became the children of Israel, and they were the ones to go out to the whole world. This only happened for a very short period of time during the beginning of the reign of Solomon when all the kings of the earth came to Solomon to hear his wisdom. What happened to him? He got seduced by them! So, the children of Israel never fulfilled the commandment of God to do that. Then God said:

"…These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel" (v 6). Here's a lesson we are going to learn:

  • How many details did God give them in vs 3-6? Virtually none!
  • What did He do? He gave them an outline of what He wanted!

Actually, we will see that the covenant relationship that they had, God likened it to a marriage! This is like a proposal.

You can probably remember when your future husband proposed to you and said, 'Will you marry me?' You said, 'Yes!' Weren't there a lot of details of married life left out in that proposal? Yes! You have to have the agreement first, to start. You don't run off and get married and then have an agreement. You have the agreement first, and that's why it's worded the way that it is. The husband is to:

  • provide
  • work for
  • protect
  • watch over
  • take care of his wife

the wife is to:

  • be submissive
  • obedient

You're to become one flesh!

Even after the wedding ceremony, that doesn't tell you all the details. There are a lot more things to come later. One thing for sure, at least in the marriage contract between human beings, you really don't know all the downside of each other, in spite of eHarmony.com.

God knew the downside of the children of Israel, but He promised Abraham. He kept His promise and He was bound to do it. He made this reservation: if they did not obey, He would punish them. If they would repent, then they could come back. Here's the proposal.

Verse 7: "And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before them all these words, which the LORD commanded him. And all the people answered together and said, 'All that the LORD has spoken we will do.'…." (vs 7-8). What do you say when you have the wedding vows? I do! Same thing!

"…And Moses returned the words of the people to the LORD. And the LORD said to Moses, 'Lo, I come to you in a thick cloud that the people may hear when I speak with you, and believe you forever'.…" (vs 8-9).

We're also going to learn another lesson that is true: Miracles do not impress the mind for very long and are easily forgotten. That's why if people see and hear and are participants of a miracle, that does not equate to conversion.

God said to be ready the third day, don't come up to the mount and they were to sanctify the people and to wash their clothes (v 14).

How can you wash clothes if you don't have enough water? Think about all the people that were there: 1.8-million. That takes a lot of water, and shows that the whole climate was entirely different.

It's impossible today to say, 'I wonder where the children of Israel crossed over to Mt. Sinai?' You don't know if Mt. Sinai at that time, was much lower than it is now. It could have been thrust up a whole lot higher. Thousands of years later you come back, you don't know what happened. They got their clothes ready. They were ready the third day. Here's what happened:

Verse 16: "And it came to pass on the third day in the morning that there were thunders and lightnings…" This was not just ordinary thunders and lightening!

I've been in one near tornado in an experience in Oklahoma on the way to Texas. I won't relate that, but I tell you what, your eyes are wide open and you're watching everything, and the most stupid thing can be that if you turn the radio on to find out where the tornado is. How do they report it? By county! Here we are from Utah driving and it's from this county, that county, the other county. Where is it? You don't want to be driving a car! We got behind another car because the road was so dark. We came to a little town and there was a motel and we pulled in, checked in, got into the room and missed the tornado. The next day we came down and saw Lubbock 'wasted.' It was something like this:

"…and a thick cloud upon the mountain. And the sound of the trumpet…" (v 16). That's very interesting because, remember, the trumpet is to be sounded every Holy Day! So, a trumpet is always blown on Pentecost. Keep that in mind for later on reference.

"…was exceedingly loud so that all the people in the camp trembled" (vs 16). It was one of those things where God wanted them to have the experience of His power and His might! So, the sound was literally, going coursing right through their whole bodies and making them tremble. This was really an awe-inspiring event to take place. God only did this once.

Verse 17: "And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet with God. And they stood at the base of the mountain…. [When they stood there and looked up, what did they see?] …And Mount Sinai was smoking, all of it because the LORD came down upon it in fire. And the smoke of it went up like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly. And when the sound of the trumpet sounded long, and became very strong…" (vs 17-19). This was really a moving event that took place!

"…Moses spoke, and God answered him by voice" (v 19) God gave another warning, 'Don't anybody come up.' Moses came back down and then we have Exo. 20, and God gave the Ten Commandments.

Never before has God in His glory, though unseen because of the clouds, spoken directly to that many people. He spoke to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He spoke to Moses and to Aaron. Now He's speaking to this whole assembly of the children of Israel, right there at the base of Mt. Sinai.

The first thing He tells them, you know the Ten Commandments. We're not going to go through them here, because we'll go through them in Deut. 5 in just a bit. I want you to focus in on the Sabbath commandment first, because we will see that it is a little different than the one in Deut. 5.

Exodus 20:8: "Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it Holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work. But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter; your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your livestock, nor the stranger within your gates; for in six days the LORD made the heaven and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore, the LORD blessed the Sabbath Day and sanctified it" (vs 8-11).

Here it is in remembrance of God and His creation. We will see that there's a secondary remembrance in Deut. 5.

Verse 18: "And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking. And when the people saw, they trembled and stood afar off." They were afraid! They thought, 'Oh, we're going to die!' So, they came to Moses. Human nature on parade!

Verse 19: "And they said to Moses, 'You speak with us, and we will hear. But let not God speak with us, lest we die.' And Moses said to the people, 'Do not fear, for God has come to prove you, and so that His fear may be before your faces, so that you may not sin.' And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was" (vs 19-21). Then God started giving some of the lesser commandments based on the Ten Commandments!

If you would like a very interesting Bible study sometime, take eleven sheets of paper and put down at the top: First Commandment, Second Commandment at the top of the second page, etc. through the ten. Then on the eleventh page you can have the agricultural commandments and things like that; other commandments that pertain to it but not directly to the Ten Commandments. Go through all the other commandments that you find in the Old Testament and place them in their position under one of the Ten Commandments. For example: All of the commandments concerning the priesthood should go under the first commandment, 'You shall have no other gods before Me.' The priesthood was everything that they had there.

You can go through, read and study all of these through Exo. 21 and 22. I want to cover something very important for today and also in the society.

Let's look at the conundrum that we see in the society today. Everybody says that we need to be a law-abiding nation, but all the leading religionists say that, 'The Law has been done away,' which is the source and cause of the lawlessness that we have today. They moan and groan, 'Oh, we don't want to keep those harsh laws in the Old Testament.' Let's read some here in Exo 23 and see that this is the very problem that we are faced with today.

  • watch the news
  • watch these people
  • listen to what they say
  • see the corrupt political system

It's because they're breaking every one of these commands in vs 1-8!

Exodus 23:1: "You shall not raise a false report…. [sounds like the media, deliberately] …Do not put your hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness…. [or to do business with them] …You shall not follow a multitude to do evil…." (vs 1-2).

What do we have? Poll, after poll, after poll! What do the people think? Now we have a Supreme Court nominee who is supposed to be so much more emotionally fit, but her emotions are of greater intellect than being able to analyze the application of law.

"…Neither shall you testify in a cause in order to side with many so as to pervert judgment" (v 2). That's exactly what happens! Can we say that all of the court cases concerning some of these silly orders that:

  • you can't send water because we have to save this little fish
  • you can't use this land because of some frog
  • you can't fish here because you may cause the fish to die out

Never stopping to think! Yet, they believe in evolution. What do they find in evolution? What do they find when they go through all the strata? Animals that no longer exist! You see what happens when you do that.

Verse 3: "Neither shall you be partial to a poor man in his cause"—because a poor man is a liar just like a rich man!

Here's the kind of heart and love to your neighbor that you are to have, v 4: "If you meet your enemy's ox or his donkey going astray, you shall surely bring it back to him again." It doesn't say that you have to have a good attitude, but you have to bring it back to him.

Verse 5: "If you see the donkey of him who hates you lying under his burden, and would hold back from helping him, you shall surely help him." That's what you call today 'concerned citizens,' voluntarily helping.

Verse 6: "You shall not pervert the judgment due to your poor in his cause." You're not to go along with him, but you're not, also, to change it to go against him!

In other words, it has to be correct according to the Law of God with heart and understanding so that you're not oppressive.

Verse 7: "Keep far from a false matter… [that would empty out the churches] …and do not kill the innocent… [Who is the most innocent? The babe in the womb!] …and righteous…"—or throw them in jail!

Remember the two guards, Compean and Ramos? They were sent to jail because they were doing their work on the border, but that was politically incorrect! So, they put them in jail and the President (Obama) is a coward and did not pardon them completely. He just commuted their sentence.

"…for I will not justify the wicked" (v 7). If you do things that are not right—lying, cheating, stealing and all this sort of thing—do not expect to receive the blessings of God, because God is not going to give them!

You may have the prosperity of the wicked for the time being, because Satan is rewarding that illegal behavior, but sooner or later it's going to be all gone. Need we say any more: Bernie Madoff. Everyone in congress, all:

  • judges
  • mayors
  • governors
  • legislators

Listen up!

Verse 8: "And you shall take no bribe, for the bribe blinds the wise and perverts the words of the righteous."

  • Are not God's laws applicable at every time, every place, in every society in the world? Yes!
  • What happens when people go against them? You have exactly the society that we have today!

The only agenda that anyone should have is the truth in any matter and the Truth of God. Today, people are committed to causes, wickedness and sin first, so they can get their own. That's why today we are being oppressed by the federal government, state government and local governments. I just wanted to cover these verses to show how that in a society…

This is what Israel was to take to all the other nations. They were also to take to the other nations, the stabilizing factor of civilization: One husband, one wife and love and loyalty until death. That stabilizes a civilization! You look at every civilization that has collapsed—and ours is in the process of it because of the same thing—they have allowed:

  • rampant sex
  • homosexuality
  • lying
  • cheating
  • stealing
  • corruption

Why do I bring this out on this day leading up to Pentecost? Because Pentecost pictures the first resurrection and we are being resurrected when Christ returns so that we can run the governments of this world, not before, but when Christ comes! That's why the Feast of Firstfruits is important.

Let's see how important this is in relationship to what we're doing; v 14: "You shall keep a Feast unto Me three times in the year. You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread…" (vs 14-15).

It doesn't give you any margin for choice. It doesn't say, 'Well, if you like, or if your heart is good, you may keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread.'

"…You shall eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded you, at the time appointed in the month of Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt. And no one shall appear before Me empty. Also, the Feast of the Harvest of the Firstfruits of your labors, which you have sown in the field…." (vs 15-16).

That's what we see today. You drive around and what do you see? The harvest of the grain, barley, etc.

"…And the Feast of Ingathering, in the end of the year, when you have gathered in your labors out of the field. Three times in the year all your males shall appear before the Lord GOD" (vs 16-17). That is not to exclude females! That is because:

  • they may be bearing children
  • they may not be able to travel
  • they may have some other things that attenuate with the family and may not be able to come

But God makes it mandatory for all males!

Verse 19: "The first of the firstfruits of your land you shall bring into the house of the LORD your God…." That has, in type, to do with us!

Remember, Deuteronomy is called the second giving of the Law. So, after they had wondered because of their sins for a total of 40 years, God brought them to the point that they were ready to go into the 'promised land.' He reiterated everything that we read in Exo. 19.

Deuteronomy 4:22[transcriber's correction]: "But I must die in this land…"

Remember what happened. Why was Moses to die in Moab and not go in with the children of Israel? Because God commanded him to speak to the rock and he got angry and beat the rock! God says, 'Because you didn't believe Me, you're not going into the promised land!' You think about that and think about all the little 'fudge-factors' that we allow ourselves in our lives that amount to: Do we really believe God?

Verse 21: "And the LORD was angry with me for your sakes, and swore that I should not go over Jordan, and that I should not go into that good land which the LORD your God gives you for an inheritance. But I must die in this land; I must not go over Jordan. But you shall go over and possess that good land. Take heed to yourselves, lest you forget the covenant of the LORD your God, which He made with you, and make you a graven image, a likeness of anything which the LORD your God has forbidden you, for the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God" (vs 21-24). Then he gives another witness here, concerning your children and grandchildren!

Verse 26: "I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day that you shall soon utterly perish from off the land, which you are crossing over Jordan to possess. You shall not prolong your days upon it, but shall utterly be destroyed. And the LORD shall scatter you among the nations, and you shall be left few in number among the nations where the LORD shall drive you. And there you shall serve gods…" (vs 26-28)—and do these things!

Let's look at the difference here, in the Sabbath commandment; Deuteronomy 5:12: "Keep the Sabbath Day to sanctify it as the LORD your God has commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work. But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your ox, nor your donkey, nor any of your livestock, nor your stranger within your gates, so that your manservant and your maidservant may rest as well as you. And remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm. Therefore, the LORD your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath Day" (vs 12-15).

That's very important for us today. We keep the Sabbath and remember that God has called us out of this world, which is called Sodom and Egypt. That's why the seventh day is very important. It:

  • keeps you in contact with God
  • lets you know that He alone can save you from sin
  • lets you know that every Sabbath you need the Words of God to be instructed by Him

Human beings need to be constantly renewed because we're temporary. How many people that you may know or have known:

  • Who used to keep the Sabbath?
  • Who no longer keep the Sabbath?
  • Who no longer understand about God?

A lot of them! The key is:

  • you learn by doing
  • you are blessed in keeping
  • you always remember God
  • you let Him teach you so that you're renewed every Sabbath

Always keep that in mind! That is a key important thing.

After they again told Moses, 'You go talk to God, and then you talk to us.' Here's God's answer:

Verse 28: "And the LORD heard the voice of your words when you spoke to me. And the LORD said to me, 'I have heard the voice of the words of this people, which they have spoken to you. They have well said all that they have spoken.'"

Exactly true of human nature, always well intended. 'Yes, Moses, we'll obey you, God, we can't handle.'

Verse 29: "Oh, that there were such a heart in them that they would fear Me and keep all My commandments always, so that it might be well with them and with their children forever!"

This is what God wants to do: He wants to bless those who love Him and obey His voice and do His will! This was quite a Pentecost that they had.

Let's see another Pentecost of greater importance and of greater impact than this. I want to cover Acts 2 today because of the importance of it. Then I will have more time tomorrow, to cover other things concerning the Feast of Pentecost.

Down through the years we've had many doctrinal disputes concerning many things. One of them was concerning how to count Pentecost. It was very interesting in studying through the Greek and arriving at the correct translation of Acts 2:1. I read a translation by Bishop Cranmer who did a translation of the New Testament. This is one that was used by those who believed in a Monday Pentecost, when he translated it: 'And when the Day of Pentecost had ended.' So, I said, 'How did that happen?' They use this as a basis for their justification for a Monday Pentecost. That isn't what it means.

I'll read the correct translation here, and explain it to you; Acts 2:1: "And when the Day of Pentecost, the fiftieth day, was being fulfilled…"

That phrase is what in the Greek, is called an articular infinitive. An infinitive is a verb. 'Articular' means it has a definite article, meaning this is most important and precise. It was an 'articular infinitive' in the present passive form. What does that mean? As one growing up who hated English, I had to learn the importance of English, Greek, German and all that. That means this: 'The (present tense) being fulfilled fiftieth day.' That's an awkward translation, but that's the literal meaning of it.

That's why I translated it: Acts 2:1: "And when the Day of Pentecost…" I put 'Pentecost' there in italics because it means, the 50th day. I wanted to emphasize the 50th day because that's what the Greek means, but it is known as 'Pentecost.'

"…was being fulfilled…" (v 1). They were all there together keeping it.

(go to the next track)

Before we get a little more into the Acts 2, we also have to understand what God has done:

  • Christ died on the Passover
  • resurrected toward the end of the Sabbath
  • ascended to God the Father on the Wave Sheaf Offering Day
  • came back down and appeared to the disciples for 40 days showing many infallible proofs

Acts 1:1: "The first account I indeed have written, O Theophilus, concerning all things that Jesus began both to do and to teach, until the day in which He was taken up, after giving command by the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom He had chosen; to whom also, by many infallible proofs, He presented Himself alive after He had suffered, being seen by them for forty days, and speaking the things concerning the Kingdom of God" (vs 1-3).

Everyone has wondered, 'Why the forty days?' They say, 'Forty is the number of trial.' After being resurrected from the dead, surely that couldn't have been a trial for Jesus. It was a trial for the apostles, whether they really believed Him or not even after He was raised from the dead.

Remember Thomas? Remember what happened to him? 'Don't think I'm going to believe. I have to see the hole in His hand and the hole in His side.' So, Jesus accommodated Thomas. Eight days later He came, appeared in the middle of the room and said, 'Thomas, come here.' Thomas believed! Then Christ said, 'There's a special blessing for all of those who believe and have not seen!' So, the forty days was a trial for them.

Let's look what else happened; notice why this is true; Matthew 28:16: "Now the eleven disciples went into Galilee, to the mountain, which Jesus had appointed for them to meet Him. And when they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted" (vs 16-17).

Why? Because they has not yet received the Holy Spirit! The Holy Spirit didn't come until day fifty. This was a forty-day trial for them!

Let's see what the Apostle Paul said about this very thing. I was discussing with someone about how God adjusts things according to the reaction of those that He's dealing with: those that don't believe, and then He shifts over to some who does believe. Someone He intended to bless but ended up doing things that God had to withdraw the blessing from them, and He gave it to someone else.

1-Corinthians 15:1: "Now I am declaring to you, brethren, the same Gospel that I proclaimed to you, which you also received, and in which you are now standing." I want you to really grasp this! We are to be standing in the Gospel!

We are standing 'under the grace and in the grace' (Rom. 5). We're standing in the Gospel and the grace of God having received the Holy Spirit and forgiveness of sin!

Verse 2: "By which you are also being saved…" This is where Protestantism loses it, totally! They say, 'Once saved, always saved.' How could someone fall away if they're 'once save and always saved'? It could not happened! Salvation and conversion is also a process!

When you are first baptized, after having repented, you receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, and that means that you have been saved from your sins and living in the world. That doesn't mean you've been saved from future sins. We still all sin because of human nature. That's why John wrote, 'If you see a brother sin a sin not unto death, pray for him.' A sin not unto death is any sin that can be repented of.

Just for the sake of those who haven't heard what the unpardonable sin is, just remember this: If you've committed the unpardonable sin you would have no conscience to wonder whether you have committed it or not. You would have done it in deliberate defiance of God and rejoiced in what you did. You would have no shame.

{Note sermon: The Unpardonable Sin (Epistle to the Hebrews #29}

So, there's being saved. The final salvation is at the resurrection: That is shall be saved. There are three steps to salvation:

  • have been saved
  • are being saved
  • shall be saved

"…if you are holding fast the words that I proclaimed to you; otherwise you have believed in vain" (vs 2).

Paul talks how you believe in reality and tie that in with what Jesus told Thomas, 'Blessed are those who believe and have not seen.'

Verse 3: "For in the first place, I delivered to you what I also had received: that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures… [in writing this, he means the Old and the New] …and that He was buried; and that He was raised the third day, according to the Scriptures; and that He appeared to Cephas, and then to the twelve. Then He appeared to over five hundred brethren at one time…" (vs 3-6).

A test during those 40 days, a trial for them! So you would believe that it was true, 500 brethren at one time! Part of that was out there probably in the mount in Galilee.

"…of whom the greater part are alive until now, but some have fallen asleep. Next He appeared to James; then to all the apostles; and last of all He appeared to me also, as one who was born of a miscarriage" (vs 6-8).

That's what the 40 days was all about. Paul is saying that he was not part of that forth days. He was called later and God had to deal with him personally through vision, direct teaching in the Arabian Desert.

I'll come back to some of these things on Pentecost, but I want to cover just a few of things that are important that God did in a one-time thing as:

  • a sign of His power
  • that He uses His Holy Days
  • a declaration of His purpose

The declaration of His purpose on Pentecost was to the children of Israel, 'I'm going to use you as a nation of priests'—and there were twelve tribes.

Now, we have the twelve apostles and a new declaration of what He is going to do that it's beyond the twelve tribes, though it starts with the twelve apostles. Remember, He told them, 'Go into all the world and preach the Gospel, making disciples in all nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all thing I have commanded you, and I am with you unto the end of the age.' That was an important day when He said that. That was part of the 40th day.

Here comes the 50th day. Now God has another declaration far more powerful than speaking from Mt. Sinai to the children of Israel and signaling some very important things that were going to happen in the future.

As we read this, let's understand that the Jews—after they took credit for all the other ten tribes as well and the circumcision party that was there—believed that the Gospel was for the Jews at a high level and for the Gentiles at a lower level. That's still what the Messianic Jews believe today, but that's not true! God is showing in Acts 2 that is not true!Here's how He did it:

Acts 2:2: "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…" (vs 2-6).

Quite a difference from the children of Israel hearing the voice of God and their reaction! Here we have something never done before in this way—the Spirit of God coming into them to announce what God was going to do. That happened on the Day of Pentecost, an historical one-time occurrence with the exception of having to teach the Jews via Cornelius and his household that He was going to deal with the Gentiles, which was also an historical event, by the way. Here's what happened:

"…and they began to speak with other languages…" (v 4). Why? If you going into the whole world you have to speak in other languages! That was not just for that time there. Look at what the Bible is today and how many languages it has been translated into.

What we need to understand is that when God does something and starts it and begins to fulfill it down through time, it grows and grows and grows and fulfills to the utmost and the highest degree. Here is the start.

"…as the Spirit gave them the words to proclaim…. [these were all understandable languages] …Now, there were many Jews who were sojourning in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven. And when word of this went out, the multitude came together and were confounded, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. And they were all amazed, and marveled, saying to one another, 'Behold, are not all these who are speaking Galileans?" (vs 4-7).

All you comfortable political elite out there, listen up. God will not use you unless you repent! God uses people that you distain and hold in contempt. That's what He did right here, because they said, 'Are not all of these Galileans?' 'Who are Galileans?' It's like saying, 'Hey, you're all from North Dakota, forget them.'

So, they wondered, v 8: "Then how is it that we hear each one in our own language in which we were born?"

Then it lists all of them. I won't go through all of them, but even Arabians were there. That's amazing! What did they hear? They heard the Words of God!

Verse 11: "Cretes and Arabians; we hear them speaking in our own languages the great things of God."

Why? Because the Gospel was going to go into all the world, to all nations and Jesus told the apostles 'to the end of the earth!' Tie that together with 'to the end of the age' and that shows what God is doing.

Verse 12: "And they were all amazed and greatly perplexed, saying to one another, 'What does this mean?'"—because this is an historical event! It never happened before.

Where did it occur? At the temple! That's very important. If it had not occurred at the temple, none of the Jews would have believed, who were not there, that this was of God. This is undeniable and everybody knows. Why is this important? Because God:

  • chose Jerusalem to place His name
  • chose Jerusalem to put the temple there

He is showing that by His authority, in His temple where He put His name, He Himself is doing this and not with the assistance of the priesthood, because that was going to be phased out in 40 years! This was a prophecy of phasing the priesthood out. That's amazing! Peter gave a very powerful sermon on what they needed to do. I just want to cover some points here that we need to know.

Verse 13: "But others were mocking and saying, 'They are full of new wine.'…. [this is a drunken orgy out here going on] …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 13-15).

  • When did this come? We'll see that there was a ceremony that everyone participated in on the Day of Pentecost, with the two leavened loaves!
  • Remember what happened with those? They gave them to the priest and the priest waved them before God! Go back to the first day, the Wave Sheaf Offering Day, wave the sheaf.
  • What did that picture? The resurrection of Christ!
  • What do you suppose the two loaves picture? The resurrection!

They are waved before God.

One other point that is very important to understand and it happened on the weekly cycle. If you go from day 1-7, then the 1st day is the 8th day. So, Jesus ascended on the 8th day of the weekly cycle. Likewise, when it comes to the first resurrection, what do we have? The last week is 49 days, which is today, and the next day is the 8th day of that last week! So, we ascend on the same day of the week 7 weeks later as Jesus did.

We'll talk about the seven weeks, here, because there's a lot of stuff. In the book God's Plan For Mankind Revealed by His Sabbath and Holy Days, there is more in that book concerning events leading up to Pentecost, Pentecost and events after Pentecost, than any of the other Holy Days. As we're going to see tomorrow, Pentecost is a key historical day of the greatest and utmost significance that is going to happen, not only with the resurrection but the events leading up to it.

'The third hour of the day' is the hour that Jesus ascended to the Father on the Wave Sheaf Offering Day and the hour that the wave loaves were brought and the priests were waving them to God. Right when that was beginning, what happened? The Holy Spirit came and they were speaking these words in power! Notice what Peter said. Maybe you have often wondered about this:

Verse 16: "But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel." The prophet Joel talks about the Day of the Lord, but also about receiving the Spirit of God. Here is the first fulfillment of it:

Verse 17: "'And it shall come to pass in the last days,' says God, 'that I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh… [God didn't do it then; this was the earnest, the beginning] …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'" (vs 17-19).

That didn't quite happen at that time, but what happened at the crucifixion of Christ? Darkness for three hours! You couldn't see the sun. Just a little type of it.

Verse 20: "The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome Day of the Lord." So, Pentecost and the great Day of God tie together. We don't have Pentecost and then four months to Trumpets and virtually nothing happens.

Verse 21: "And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." That hasn't happened during this age, yet! So, all of this is a prophecy.

Let's see how some of these events overlap in coming up to Pentecost, and then Pentecost and the resurrection, which we will cover tomorrow.

Remember that Peter told them to 'Repent and be baptized each one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.'

This is also true at that time and also a prophecy for us today; Ephesians 1:9: "Having made known to us the mystery of His own will…" You understand the secrets of God! How?

  • Sabbath
  • Passover
  • Holy Days
  • Spirit of God
  • Word of God

"…according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Himself; that in the Divine plan for the fulfilling of the times, He might bring all things together in Christ, both the things in the heavens and the things upon the earth; yes, in Him, in Whom we also have obtained an inheritance, having been predestinated according to His purpose…" (vs 9-11).

That predestination is to be faithful unto the end and the first resurrection. If you're still alive at that time, you're going to be changed 'in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye.'

"…Who is working out all things according to the counsel of His own will" (v 11). All prophecy will be fulfilled according to the will of God and not according to the interpretations of men! Many of the prophecies we cannot understand until they have been fulfilled just like we read in Acts 2. We can understand that now, looking back. We can understand certain things looking forward, but not all things. He's working it according to His will. The whole purpose of all that involves us, all who have ever been called and all who have ever been converted.

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" (vs 12-13). We have been sealed!

When you receive the Holy Spirit after repenting, being baptized and having hands laid on you, you are sealed before God! That's very important in understanding about the 144,000. Anyone who is sealed now or were sealed and lived their lives faithfully to the end and have died, they will never be part of the 144,000, because they already have received the Holy Spirit.

If anyone says, 'Oh, brethren, God's only going to save 144,000,' remember the Jehovah Witnesses. They preached that for so many years, 'we're the 144,000.' When they got up to 145,000, they all had a conference and said, 'Now what are we going to do?' Here's what it is"

Verse 14: "Which is the earnest of our inheritance… [that's why we look to the Kingdom of God and everything that has to do with it] …until the redemption of the purchased possession… [because we were purchased by the blood of Christ to be in the first resurrection] …to the praise of His glory."

Let's look at the unfolding of things in the book of Revelation. When we get there and we get to a certain point, we're going to stop. So, if you want to hear the rest of the story, you better be here tomorrow, Pentecost.

Revelation 1:3: "Blessed is the one who reads, and those who hear the words of this prophecy and who keep the things that are written therein; for the time is at hand. John to the seven churches that are in Asia…" (vs 3-4). Why to the seven churches in Asia?

We won't get into Rev. 2 and 3, except to say we have the sermons series: Seven Church Harvest. You can go through that.

  • Does God give prophecies concerning the major nations of the world and even some minor nations occasionally? Yes, He does!
  • What's the most important thing in the New Testament? The Church!

we're the most important in God's eyes

  • Do you think that He would not give anything in prophecy concerning the churches? That would be ridiculous!

He did give it, Rev. 2 and 3 to all the churches.

  • time span
  • historical flow
  • attitude of churches
  • groups of churches
  • individuals

It all fits! Listen to the Seven Church Harvest.

"…Grace and peace be to you from Him Who is, and Who was, and Who is to come; and from the seven spirits that are before His throne (v 4). {note sermon series The Holy Spirit and sermons Spirit of God, Spirit of Man, Seven Spirits of God #1 & 2!

Verse 5: "And from Jesus Christ, the faithful Witness, the Firstborn from the dead, and the Ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him Who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood."

What I want you to understand is the reason that the book of Revelation is the seventh division of the Bible is because it takes the whole Bible together as background, to understand the book of Revelation! You could take each sentence that is here and you could outline so many things from the rest of the Bible that go with it.

Verse 17: "And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as if dead; but He laid His right hand upon me… [after seeing the glorified Christ] …saying to me, 'Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last, even the One Who is living; for I was dead, and behold, I am alive into the ages of eternity. Amen. And I have the keys of the grave and of death" (vs 17-18). No one else does; He alone! Then He goes through the seven churches.

Then we come to Rev. 4 and 5, a complete vision of the Throne of God in the third heaven. We're going to find that the book of Revelation tells us that the third heaven is a whole lot closer to the earth than we may have ever suspected, as we will see when some of these things are fulfilled.

Then we have the seven seals. Jesus was the only One to open them, but He had to take the book that was sealed with the seven seals out of the hand of the Father, showing that all of that came from the authority of God the Father. That's why Jesus told the disciples when they said, 'Will You restore the kingdom to Israel at this time?' Christ said, 'It's in the authority of the Father; it's not for you to know.'

When the seven seals start, the first one is going to be a little difficult to try and figure out from our present knowledge and understanding, from this point of view, we know…

Revelation 6:1: "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; 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" (vs 1-2).

We have interpreted this, and I think quite correctly, that this is the false religious movement at the end. Has it ever really come together the way that God shows that it's going to come together? We have had a lot of guesses to try and figure it out, but it hasn't happened, yet. When it happens, we will see.

Verse 3: "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; and power was given to the one sitting on it to take peace from the earth…" (vs 3-4).

There's going to be a time of peace before all these things happen at the end. We know the end is not just around the corner right now.

  • Do we have a time of peace? Anything but!
  • How far are the prophecies going to develop?
  • How big is it going to get? I think a whole lot bigger than we've imagined!

We've had some inklings of it!

What we're doing here with the second seal, is that this has to be the critical point of Dan. 11 of the King of the North coming against the King of the South and it unleashes war on one-fourth of the whole earth. China is reserved for special punishment at the end.

"…and to cause them to kill one another; and a great sword was given to him " (v 4). Then quickly comes famine, death and martyrdom; the fifth seal!

They want to blame someone. Who is going to be blamed? All of those who believe in the return of Jesus Christ! There's going to be a martyrdom. They're going to hunt them down. Remember, the fifth seal ties in with Rev. 12 where Satan went after 'the rest of the seed which keep the commandments of Jesus Christ and have His testimony.' Satan went to make war against them. That's martyrdom! When the martyrdom is completed, then God intervenes. Exactly when this intervenes, we don't know, but notice the great significance of it. It is an historical event of great proportion and magnitude that affects the whole world.

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… [never happened before] …and every mountain and island was moved out of its place" (vs 12-14).

God says in the prophecies in the Old Testament that He's going to 'shake the heavens, He's going to shake the earth, He's going to shake the sea and everything on it.'

This is leading up to a Pentecost, which we will talk about tomorrow. This is a tremendous intervention of God! You look at the first historical fulfillment of Pentecost, the giving of the Ten Commandments. The second historical fulfillment of it on the Day of Pentecost, the giving of the Holy Spirit. Now you have events leading up to another Pentecost, which we'll talk about tomorrow, but this takes place beforehand. The greatest, single, event to happen in the history of the world, up to that point! Everyone's going to know it.

Verse 15: "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).

We'll understand more of that tomorrow, on Pentecost.

Scriptural References:

  • Exodus 19:3-9, 16-19
  • Exodus 20:8-11, 18-21
  • Exodus 23:1-8, 14-17, 19
  • Deuteronomy 4:22, 21-24, 26-28
  • Deuteronomy 5:12-15, 28-29
  • Acts 2:1
  • Acts 1:1-3
  • Matthew 28:16-17
  • 1-Corthinians 15:1-8
  • Acts 2:2-8, 11-21
  • Ephesians 1:9-14
  • Revelation 1:3-5, 17-18
  • Revelation 6:1-4, 12-17

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Exodus 12
  • Genesis 15
  • Exodus 19:14
  • Revelation 20
  • Exodus 21; 22
  • Romans 5
  • Revelation 2-5
  • Daniel 11
  • Revelation 12

Also referenced:

Book: God's Plan for Mankind Revealed by His Sabbaths and Holy Days by Fred R. Coulter


  • Spirit of God, Spirit of Man, Seven Spirits of God #1 & 2
  • The Unpardonable Sin {Epistle to the Hebrews Series #29}

Sermon Series:

  • Seven Church Harvest
  • Holy Spirit

Reformatted/Corrected: bo—5/2020