Fred R. Coulter—March 7, 2009

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Now the other day it occurred to me, considering all the time that we have on earth with human beings since creation, and then you go beyond that, the time before that, when God created the angels and they were on earth. And the time before that out in eternity where there was God the Father and Jesus Christ before they created the angels. You think about the whole plan of God and it's really stunning, which is this: I called it the most astounding three and half years in history, that is Jesus Christ's first coming.

Look at all the history before it and leading up to it, and we'll look at some of the prophecies and some of the things concerning it, and then everything that's taken place after it. Also, think at the end, what do we have? Three and a half years of tribulation, which will be the next major three and a half year period. The final seven years will actually be the 'times of the gentiles.' Three and a half will look like there's peace and they've solved the problems and all nations are together, and everything is fine, until they get to the three and a half year period. Then everything's going to come unglued.

But let's look at some things. Let's begin in the book of Revelation and then we'll go back to Genesis. Then we will look at some other things which tell us what God is doing. Also, I want you to understand this: when you read Revelation 2 and 3, you find the prophetic history of the Church of God. Isn't it interesting how little is mentioned about the Church, when you come right down to it, even though we have the Gospels, the General Epistles, the book of Acts, Paul's Epistles, and then the book of Revelation.

Revelation 1:4: "John to the seven churches that are in Asia… [The Church did not start until the day of Pentecost in 30 A.D., but also in the Old Testament there are prophecies about it. The Church started right after the three and a half year ministry of Jesus Christ. Isn't it interesting that when God manifested in the flesh was on the earth, people could only stand Him for three and a half years and were plotting all the time to eliminate Him. Ever thought about that? A lot of people think, 'Oh, we love God. Oh, if God were here and God would speak to us, this would be wonderful.' Well, He's given you His Word now and you better read it. You better know it and understand it, because if you don't God's not going to speak to you. He's going to deal with you in the way that He's going to deal with the world and also concerning the churches. Where are the Churches of God today and what are we doing? We all need to examine ourselves, what we are doing, and where we're going and what we're producing. Are we doing what Jesus Christ said? All of us have to answer that question ourselves individually and collectively.] …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."

Those seven spirits in Rev. 5 are called the eyes of God. The eyes of God are going to and fro in the earth, so God knows everything that's going on. Then there are the angels who are carrying out the administration of the world over human beings, and that's verified by the Dan. 4. And if you want to know why we have such crumby leaders is because the message to Nebuchadnezzar was this: 'God determines who's going to rule the nations and He sets up over them the basest of men.' So don't think there's going to be any salvation in government. Don't think there's going to be any salvation in religion, because what we're going to see—and the problems began right with Adam and Eve because religion is not going to save. God alone through Jesus Christ is going to save and it's going to be His way, not your way.

"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…. [There's the summary of the purpose of His three and a half year ministry right there.] (Now then our purpose is in v 6): …And has made us kings and priests to God and His Father…" (vs 5-6). And we're going to rule over the nations. Now if you think that the world's leaders are doing a poor job today, let me ask you a question: Are you preparing yourself to rule? By developing the character of God, by knowing the Word of God, by living your life in a way that's pleasing to God. Are you really?

I'm going to give a couple of sermons on Church at Home. By the way, we have fifteen half hour programs ready to go on that. We thought maybe we could send out some DVDs, but that will prove impractical, but we can take all the audio and we will send you about ten to fifteen of the audio from Church at Home. But I'm going to do a sermon entitled, What Does God Really Want From You—Really, Really Want from You? It's not what most people think. Even in the Church of God, too many people in the Churches of God have still high-bredization of Protestant religion, and you've got to repent of that. God is not going to accept anyone telling Him what to do. God is not going to accept any false interpretations of the Scriptures twisted by ministers and teachers to retain their own authority and power over the brethren.

Listen--any elder, minister or teacher, if he is not teaching the people to have a one-to-one relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ, he's failing God. He better not think that he's going to get any great reward for his self-exaltation of what he's doing. He may end up being as Jesus said, 'Who are you?' Because Jesus said, 'The one who's greatest among you will serve,' and to serve and to teach and to help. That's what it's all about. So are you ready to rule the world? Because here's why: "…to Him… [that is the Father] …be the glory and the sovereignty into the ages of eternity. Amen" (v 6).

Now let's look at another thing that comes right at the end, that is the return of Christ. How many prophecies are there concerning that in Isaiah and in the Psalms and in the New Testament? and Jesus saying that He would come again? Now notice, it's going to be quite an event. If you believe in the 'secret rapture,' you've got a ruptured faith because that's not going to happen.

Verse 7: "Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye shall see Him, and those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even so, Amen." They couldn't stand Him any more than three and a half years in the flesh, and now they're going to fight against Him when He returns in the spirit.

Now notice what Jesus said. He wants you to know that this is something that was known from the beginning and carries through to the end, even though in the beginning it was piecemeal and it was also given in a way that you could say was a mystery. Christ is the One Who opens that mystery and understanding for us. He says:

"'I am the Alpha and the Omega… [That's the first letter of the Greek alphabet and the last letter of the Greek alphabet.] … the Beginning and the Ending'… [So He started it; He's going to finish it and He's going to do it His way and He's going to do it according to the prophecies that He prophesied and preserved for us in His Word so that we could know.] …says the Lord, 'Who is… [He's existing now, raised from the dead. Existed previously, divested Himself from His divinity and all of His glory to become a pinprick of life and be begotten in the womb of the virgin Mary and born of the flesh to be God manifested in the flesh. And we'll see why He did that.] …And Who was, and Who is to come—the Almighty'" (v 8).

Now since we're here in Revelation, let's look at a couple of other things. God is not like too many human beings where they don't know what they're doing, where they're going, they have no plan about life, they have no understanding of how they need to live. No, God has it all planned. Let's come here to Revelation 13 because we're going to focus in on what is also covered in the beginning in Gen. 3. Let's see the contrast because this is coming. I need to give a sermon on it, but I'll just bring a little bit here.

  • World government is coming!
  • World oppression is coming!

—and it's going to be unreal and unbelievable, and part of it's going to be punishment against the children of Israel, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, for their rejecting God and turning their backs on God.

Notice, here's what's going to happen—Revelation 13:4: "And they worshiped the dragon, who gave his authority to the beast…. [That's the whole world. Now that is coming. That's going to really be some thing!] …And they worshiped the beast, saying, 'Who is like the beast? Who has the power to make war against him?'…. [This is all total control. It's coming!] …And a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies was given to him; and authority was given to him to continue for forty-two months…. [Another segment of three and a half years.] …And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven…." (vs 4-6)—all the angels, the twenty-four elders, God the Father and Jesus Christ.

Now notice what's going to happen, because you see, we're all going to have to stand up for Jesus Christ in a way that has not been asked of the people of God for quite a while. It happened when the early Church started, and it happened down through the Dark Ages and Middle Ages, thanks to the Roman Catholic Church. But notice, v 7—he's going to have total control over the whole earth: "And he was given power to make war against the saints… [So you need to prepare, because the good times are coming to an end.] …and to overcome them; and he was given authority over every tribe and language and nation" (v 7). That is total dictatorial world government by one man who proclaims himself to be God as we find in 2-Thess. 2.

Now notice if you don't believe it, v 8: "And all who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the book of life of the Lamb… [So you better make sure your name's in the book of life, and you better make sure your behavior does not erase it.] …slain from the foundation of the world" So 'I'm the Beginning and the Ending, the First and the Last,' says the Lord.

Now we'll look and see some of these key prophecies, because it's very interesting—isn't it? You have the beginning, and then you have after the Flood everything's focusing on Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and the children of Israel, and then later into the Church. But in the middle of the history of mankind, here's three and a half years with Jesus in the flesh. Then we go the rest of the time and what do we have? We wait until His second coming. If you look at all the prophecies in the Bible, the majority of them point to the three and a half years, the return of Christ, and the Millennium. The book of Revelation then brings in some of the judgments beyond.

Let's come back to the beginning. Let's come to Genesis 3. A lot of people wondered, 'Well, how did Adam and Eve become like God?' Now, we're not going to get into a great long discussion of it, but nevertheless, it shows the tendency of all human beings, which is this: They want to come to God and tell God what they're going to do for Him, rather than saying, 'God, what do you want me to do? How do you want me to live?'

When Adam and Eve were in the Garden after being made in the likeness and image of God, God appeared to them, talked with them, taught them, instructed them. Now how did God appear to them? Did God appear to them in His glory? No, because no one can be in the presence of God in His glory and live, as God told Moses when Moses said, 'Show me Your glory.' So we know He didn't appear in the glory. Well, then how did He retain being a spirit being, and appear to them so they could see Him? Well, just like after His resurrection, He came and appeared to the disciples and He said, 'A spirit does not have flesh and bone like Me.' Now what was missing in that statement, flesh and bone? Blood--because as a spirit being, you don't need blood.

So He appeared as flesh and bone, so that's probably what He did when He appeared to Adam and Eve. Now being made in the image of God, the first man and the first woman, they were very advanced because God put in their minds an intelligent language, the ability to think, the ability to choose, the ability to reason. But how is it that they became like God? Did they become like God so they were spirit beings? No! Did they become like God so they could manifest themselves in glory? No! How did God appear to them and how did they become like God? Think about this: since God undoubtedly appeared to them as flesh and bone, they looked at God as if He were another person like we are. So when the devil came along and tempted them and he said:

Genesis 3:4: "…'In dying, you shall not surely die! For God knows that in the day you eat of it, then your eyes shall be opened… [And remember whatever Satan tells you is going to happen, think the reverse. Just like today, 'Oh, if all you young people have sex now, it's going to be wonderful.' Huh! Never told you about all of the sexually transmitted diseases—right? Just think the opposite. Your eyes will be closed, but he said, "'…your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be like God… [How? Only in one aspect alone:] …deciding good and evil'" (vs 4-5). 'You're going to decide for yourself what is right and wrong, good and evil. You don't have to depend on God.' They probably thought, 'Well, we see God; we talk to Him. He's just like us. We're just like Him. Then we'll become like God and we will decide what is good and evil.' Well, you know what happened. They took of the fruit, the woman did, gave it to her husband, he should have said, 'No, Eve, God said.' But he didn't do that—did he? "And the eyes of both of them were opened… [to see evil and to see things that are not right.] …and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves" (v 7). God knew that they had done this.

One atheist said, 'Well, if God is God, why did He have to ask Adam and Eve, 'Where are you?' if He knows everything.' Of course He did; He just wanted to hear their answer. "And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day. Then Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, 'Where are you?' And he said, 'I heard You walking in the garden, and I was afraid because I am naked, and so I hid myself.' And He said, 'Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree which I commanded you that you should not eat?'" (vs 8-11).

Then the same thing happens, 'It's the woman, Lord, it's your fault, You gave me this woman; she did it. Don't blame me.' "And the LORD God said to the woman, 'What is this you have done?'" (v 13). She said, 'Oh, don't blame me, it's the serpent, Lord. He deceived me and I ate.' Now notice, He didn't give the psychological answer and say, 'Oh, now, now, now, let's figure this thing out.' No!—because God's law and His Truth is what we are to follow. If you do that, and with God's Spirit, then you can truly become like God because that's the ultimate plan of God—is it not? But most people don't know that.

"And the LORD God said to the serpent, 'Because you have done this you are cursed above all livestock, and above every animal of the field. You shall go upon your belly, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman… [Now this is the first prophecy as a result of what we read in Rev. 13:8, 'slain from the foundation of the world.' So here it is right here. This is the first prophecy of a coming Messiah. This is the first prophecy of the ministry of Jesus Christ. This is the first prophecy of the true redemption of mankind. But it also says what we're going to be doing between now and then. We're going to be fighting Satan the devil if we want to follow God.] …between your seed and her Seed… [Now that's capitalized in The Original Order Bible, because when Paul speaks of it in Gal. 3, it is the Seed referring to Christ.] …He will bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel'" (vs 14-15). Prophecy of the crucifixion of Christ. Was not Satan all involved beginning right before that last Passover? Was not Satan right there present in possessing the person of Judas Iscariot when the Passover began? Good lesson for all of us. Satan likes to infiltrate and get into places where he can do damage. So think about that.

Let's go on. So here's a prophecy of the coming fulfillment of what God would do. Now we'll look at some others, because God has a timetable. Many men have tried to figure out the timetable. You can't figure out the timetable of God for this reason: God hasn't told us. Some people say, 'Well, it's going to be 7,000 years and man has 6,000 years.' Well, we're way beyond the 6,000 years. You do this. Someone asked me, 'Is the chronology that you have that creation of Adam and Eve was about 4025 B.C.?' Now Usher has a chronology which is 4004 and others have it between the 4025 and 4004. I think it's 4011, or so forth. We have that chronology as one of the appendix in the Bible, so go ahead and look at it.

So this person said to me, 'Could you please write down 4,025?' So this is what I want you to do. And she said, 'Could you also write underneath that 1,975-years. Now could you please add those up.' Or subtract if you want to. You come to 6,000 if you add; and if you subtract you come to 1975. We're 34-years from there. So God has not given mankind 6,000 years. 'Well, it says the day with Lord is as a thousand years; a thousand years as a day.' That doesn't prove anything. So I was asked, 'Are we past 1975 or not?' The answer is yes! Why is there not a rigid time schedule? Because God always honors repentance, that's why. Now I could go through examples and show you in the Bible. We can do that at another time, but that's how we do not know.

Let's come to Deuteronomy 18. So here we go forward quite a ways in time, and let's see another prophecy concerning Jesus Christ. Now remember here in Deuteronomy 18 this was the second giving of the law and Moses was talking to the children of Israel of the generation that was going to possess the land, go in and inherit the land. Remember what happened. He gives a little review of it here, so we'll review it, because here is human nature. Human nature does not want to, of itself, commit wholly to God in every aspect of his or her life. They want enough of God so that they can receive blessings, but they want enough of their own way so that they can do what they want to. So when they're in trouble, they can return to God because they have some of Him. When things are going well, they go their own way because God is somehow forgotten. Remember what happened when they came to Mount Sinai and God told them what would happen. They said, 'Yes, all that the Lord has said, we will do.' So when the Ten Commandments were given, WOW! what a thing that was—right?

  • the trumpet blowing
  • the clouds
  • the smoke
  • the fire
  • the voice of God thundering loud and clear with the Ten Commandments

And what did the children of Israel say, 'Moses, we can't stand this. We're going to die. You talk to God and we'll listen to you.'

So let's come to Deuteronomy 18:15. here's another prophecy concerning the coming of the Messiah. It also is much more descriptive now showing what He would do, what He would teach. "The LORD your God will raise up unto you [Israel] a Prophet from the midst of you, of your own brethren, One like me…. [Now what was Moses? He was a transmitter of the laws of God—was that not true? He was the mediator between the people and God—was that not true? Yes! And he was also greater than Aaron his brother who was anointed as priest.] …One like me. To Him you shall hearken." Now hearken is a very interesting word because it means listen to obey and do. You shall hearken, notice in the final analysis any choice that you make other than this is not valid. We'll see.

Verse 16—here's the reason that he did it; here's another reason why Christ came: "According to all that you desired of the LORD your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, 'Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, so that I do not die.' And the LORD said to me, 'They have spoken well what they have spoken…. [In other words, they were well intended. Aren't people always well intended? 'Oh, I didn't mean to do this. I didn't mean to do that, I didn't mean to do the other thing.' Good intentions never translate into good actions and God does not go by intentions, He goes by actions beginning with your thoughts and your mind. So here's his answer back again. This has to do with Jesus Christ.] …I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, One like you, and will put My words in His mouth…. [Now we're also going to see that Jesus was not educated by the Jewish rabbis, because they did not have the words of God. Rather, God the Father taught him every single day. And Jesus said, 'As the Father has taught Me, so I speak. As I see what the Father does, that's what I do.' So here was going to be a prophet in the flesh, didn't tell them it was going to be God manifested in the flesh.] …One like you, and will put My words in His mouth. And He shall speak to them all that I shall command Him…. [Quite different, a little more power in the penalty of not listening to God.] …And it shall come to pass, whatever man will not hearken… [That is, listen to obey.] …to My words which He shall speak in My name, I will require it of him" (vs 16-19). (Track 1 ends here)

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Let's analyze and let's look at this a little bit more, and then we will see how this ties in with what Jesus said concerning His ministry. We'll also see a couple of other things having to do with that three and a half year period. We will also see that there is a lot concerning His birth. So let's finish up here.

Verse 20—here's how you test all prophets, all preachers, teachers, etc. "But the prophet who shall presume to speak a word in My name which I have not commanded him… [Either directly, like it was with the prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the other prophets—'the Word of the Lord came to.'] …or who shall speak in the name of other gods…" And that also includes the doctrines of other gods.

Hold your place right here and come back to Deuteronomy 12:28 and let's see that that also includes the doctrines, the teachings, of other gods. "Be careful to observe and obey all these words which I command  you… [Now remember what we read here concerning Christ, who was that Prophet, that we are to follow whatever He says and if we don't we bring judgment upon ourselves. Now notice here's why God gave all of His laws, all of His commandments, and why He is the one to tell us what to do, why He is Judge. A lot of people think, 'God, all He wants to do is destroy you.' That's not true.] …so that it may go well with you and with your children after you forever when you do that which is good and right in the sight of the LORD your God." So there you have it. That's what God wanted.

Now then He gives a warning. They were going into the land, they were going in where there were people that were inhabiting the land, they had their gods, they had their customs, and everything like that. So He said, v 29: "'When the LORD your God shall cut off the nations before you, where you go to possess them, and you take their place and dwell in their land. Take heed… [That means watch out, be careful.] …to yourself that you do not become ensnared by following them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not ask about their gods, saying, 'How did these nations serve their gods that I may also do likewise?'…. [So if you inquire how did they do it, what are you doing? You're getting into their teachings, you're getting into their doctrines. So when it says, you shall not follow anything other than what God says, that also means the doctrines.] …You shall not do so to the LORD your God, for every abomination to the LORD, which He hates, they have done to their gods; even their sons and their daughters they have burned in the fire to their gods…. [And what happened? What was Jeremiah talking about there concerning burning the children in the Valley of Hinom, offering and sacrificing them to Molech. Here's the command from God.] …Whatever thing that I command you, be careful to do it. You shall not add to it, nor take away from it" (vs 29-32)—not in the Old Testament nor in the New Testament.

Back to Deuteronomy 18:20—this gets down to the words of Christ and what He taught during His ministry. "But the prophet who shall presume to speak a word in My name which I have commanded him to speak or who shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die." Doesn't say when he will die. It doesn't say how he will die, but he shall die. And what is the ultimate, ultimate death? Lake of fire! What's going to happen to the false prophet and the beast who says I am God? What's their fate? Lake of fire!

Let's come to the New Testament. Let's look at just a couple of things here which are important. Since we're talking about Christ, let's come to Galatians, the fourth chapter, and let's see also something about God's plan that He does things on time and also this tells us that He does it according to the Holy Days. That's why we have this book, The Harmony of the Gospels. If you haven't gone through it, read it and studied it, and so forth a long time, go back through it. If you don't have it, write us and we'll send it to you. This shows the whole ministry of Jesus Christ and all the prophecies and everything, what He did, and so forth.

  • How long was He in the tomb, when was He crucified?

—and remember God uses the Holy Days.

  • Did God bring the children of Israel out of Egypt after the Passover day when He passed over their houses? Yes, He did!
  • Did God use the Passover for the death of Jesus Christ? Yes, He did!—etc.
  • Did He use the Feast of Pentecost to give the Ten Commandments to the children of Israel? Yes, He did!
  • Did He use the Feast of Pentecost in Jerusalem to give the Holy Spirit to those who believed on Jesus Christ, the apostles, etc? Yes, He did.

Let's read about an appointed time, or the time appointed. This has to do with the birth of Christ. Then we will see we have similar verbiage when it comes to His crucifixion. We have similar verbiage concerning what Jesus preached, as we found there in Deut. 18.

Galatians 4:1: "Now then I say, for as long as the heir is a child, he is no different from a servant, although he be lord of all; but he is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed beforehand by the father. In the same way, when we were children, we were held in bondage under the elements of the world…. [That's before being called. Elements of the world were of those things inspired by Satan the devil and the demons, of which is all religion and Paul is including Judaism.] …But when the time for the fulfillment came, God sent forth His own Son, born of a woman, born under law" (vs 1-4). The time of fulfillment could also read the appointed time.

That's why in The Harmony of the Gospels and also in the Bible you can read When Was Jesus Born? Now today, with all what we know about history, and so forth, we can line up not two witnesses, not three witnesses, but we can line up eight witnesses on a chronological basis to prove when Jesus was born and when Jesus was crucified, because those were at appointed times. The apparent appointed time for the birth of Jesus was the Feast of Trumpets. The appointed time for His crucifixion was what? The Passover!

Now let's come back here just a few books back to Romans 5 and let's see what it says about Jesus' crucifixion, the appointed time. See, that's why we have the book, God's Plan for Mankind Revealed by His Sabbath and Holy Days. Now if you don't have that, write for it and there are four CDs, which have thirty-eight messages on them. That book actually is--the text of each chapter is a transcript of the sermon. Paul understood this. Protestantism and Catholicism does not understand it, because they reject the Word of God and they reject the calculated Hebrew calendar. They will not believe that He was crucified in the middle of the week and was in the grave three days and three nights, just as He said. What happens with most theologians and what happens with people with their own pet doctrines, they don't believe God. They want to believe their theories. They want to believe their ways. As for other religionists, they come into the New Testament and they do what Jesus said in the Old Testament—since He was Lord God of the Old Testament—they add to and they take away so that they can fit their pagan religion into the Scriptures; and it doesn't fit.

It's like having two puzzles: one the authentic one and if you put all the pieces together, which is the Bible, and if you put everything in their proper place through the framework of the Sabbath and the Holy Days, you will have a picture of what God is doing. But if you have another puzzle that's side-by-side and you have a false savior, you have a false teaching, you have pagan doctrines and you take those pieces of the puzzle and you try and put it into the authentic one, it won't fit; and no wonder.

Now I was watching a special on National Geographic. They had some films going back in the 1920s where an explorer got way back into the jungles of the far west Amazon. You have to come in from Peru and go down the mountains into the valley of the Amazon. There were people who were headhunters and they would shrink heads. They had the film of how they shrunk the heads. So these two men went and they had an exploration party and also then they picked up guides from the local population, and they finally got to the village where they really did this in the past. What they showed was very interesting. What do you suppose is out there in the middle of that jungle setting? A Catholic Church and a Catholic priest. You know what he taught them to do? He sanctified their rituals, which were in honor of their demon gods, and said that if you believe in Jesus, you can still do what you used to do, but only do it to Jesus. I thought, 'Johnny right on the spot,' to insure that the pagans stay pagan, use the name of Christ, never understand about the salvation of God. So here these former headhunters and headshrinkers, that's what they did.

So it went a little further from there and came into a village where they were less Catholicized, and they had the laptop digital of that old movie and they finally got to the village where they did the head-shrinking. They played it. All the natives got around and looked at it. Some of the old ones recognized the one who was doing the head-shrinking and said, 'Yes, that's my uncle.' And verified that they did it—and guess what? They had gold-diggers, those looking for gold, gold miners coming in.

In that area of the jungle you can take the water and just hose down the mud and then drain it off and you can get out the gold. Well, they didn't want them doing that, so they told all of those gold miners and prospectors coming in there, 'If you don't leave,'—they held up one of these heads—'you shall be like this.' So they would still practice it, if they needed to. They all left!

Let's understand something about God's way. He has the appointed time and that was the Passover in 30 A.D. Now we know that after the fact. We can have the prophecy of it before the fact, but we don't know exactly when it would be done. So Paul said, Romans 5:6: "For even when we were without strength, at the appointed time Christ died for the ungodly." So there we have His birth, there we have His crucifixion.

Now let's look at some of His words. Let's come to John 12 and let's see what Jesus told the leaders there, why He was speaking, what He was speaking, the reason for it. Then we will see when He began His ministry that they understood a lot of the Scripture and they were looking for the Messiah. Remember when the wise men came in to Herod and said, 'We're here to worship the King of the Jews.' He said, 'When did you see the star, when did this appear?' So he told them, 'Well, you go find him and bring back word to me.' So they found Him, but they didn't bring word back because God revealed to them, 'Go!' And then revealed to Joseph, 'You take the mother and child and go into Egypt,' which would fulfill a prophecy that 'My Son came out of Egypt.'

Everything about the whole life of Christ, from conception, the prophecies ahead of time, the prophecies of His ministry, the prophecies of the Church that would follow, are all in the Bible. But you have to put it all together. Let's come here to. Here's why miracles never convince anyone. Think about this: How many thousands did Jesus heal during His ministry? Remember, in His ministry He didn't go to the Sadducees and Pharisees and say, 'Here, I'm the Son of God, now you have to accept Me.' They would say, 'Well, join us and we'll accept you.' No, what did He do? Just like John, He went to the people. So miracles, all the thousands—you would think that all of those who were healed would become baptized members of the Church—right? Wouldn't you think that? Well, they didn't, because miracles never convince anyone if you have a set approach to everything that you think is right.

John 12:37: "Although He had done so many miracles in their presence, they did not believe in Him…. [That's what it is today. If you belong to a 'Christian' church that does not keep the Christian Passover, does not keep the Sabbath, and does not keep the Holy Days, you are not Christian and you don't believe in the Christ in the Bible. Just like they didn't.] …So that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled who said, 'Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?' For this very reason they could not believe because again Isaiah said, 'He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts so that they would not see with their eyes and understand with their hearts, and be converted, and I would heal them'" (vs 37-40).

Now every Protestant better read that, because you think your mission is to convert as many people as you can. If God does not call them, if Christ does not lead them, if you do not believe in the things that I just said, and you do not completely submit yourself to God the Father and Jesus Christ, God didn't send you. You have blinded eyes and hardened hearts. Try this on for size: How about if you're a minister or preacher who teaches on Sunday, how about you go to your pulpit next Sunday and say, 'All the people here I want you to know the Bible says keep the Sabbath. I'm going to give a sermon on it and show how we ought to keep the Sabbath, why we ought to keep the Sabbath, and next week I want you here on Saturday all repentant and we will seek God.' No, you're blinded just like them.

Verse 41: "Isaiah said these things when he saw His glory and spoke concerning Him. But even so, many among the rulers believed in Him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him… [Isn't that interesting. Today many people confess Him, but they won't obey Him. There's not much difference today—right? So what is your excuse? Now here's why:] …so that they would not be put out of the synagogue" (vs 41-42). And I bet a Sunday-keeping minister if you tried what I said to do, you would be put out of that church, but where would you live, how would you have a salary? Do you believe God and trust in Him? What is it?

Here's why: "For they loved the glory of men more than the glory of God…. [You go back and you read Deuteronomy 18 again and let's see how Jesus said it here.] …Then Jesus called out and said, 'The one who believes in Me does not believe in Me, but in Him Who sent Me…. [He revealed the Father] …And the one who sees Me sees Him Who sent Me. I have come as a light into the world so that everyone who believes in Me may not remain in darkness…. [Now notice v 47 how this ties right in with Deut. 18]: …But if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. The one who rejects Me and does not receive My words has one who judges him; the word… [Meaning His whole message.] …which I have spoken, that shall judge him in the last day. For I have not spoken from Myself; but the Father, Who sent Me, gave Me commandment Himself, what I should say and what I should speak" (vs 43-49). That exactly conforms to Deut. 18. Jesus was that Prophet. In Acts 3 Peter confirmed that He was that Prophet.

Now let's come back to John, the first chapter; let's see some of these things that are revealed. Let's see what John wrote. Now remember, the first part of John was probably the prologue which was added after he had already written a lot of it before the final canonization that he did in 98 A.D. Let's look at what they wanted to find out about Christ and then we'll come back and see how the prophecies fit in with what He really was.
John 1:19: "…this is the testimony of John…" Remember, there were prophecies about John and John was the greatest prophet of all the prophets, none was greater than John. How long was his ministry? Six to nine months at the most. How long was Jesus' ministry? Three and a half years. Of all that God is doing, there were only three and a half years devoted to the ministry of Jesus Christ and the teaching of the apostles. Isn't that incredible? All the prophecies pointing to it and then pointing away from it and then back to it again. Let's read what they wanted to find out.

"And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem… [As I mentioned before, this is an official visit, much like a congressional on-the-spot investigation, because they understood the prophecies up to a point—didn't they? So they wanted to know what was John doing?

  • Why?
  • Who was John? He was the son of a priest.
  • Why wasn't he at the temple with them and why was he down at the river Jordan away from them?
  • Why did he never train as a priest, but stayed in the wilderness until the day of the beginning of his ministry?
  • Why was he baptizing in the Jordan and not up there at the ritual baths near the temple?

So they came from Jerusalem to ask him: …'Who are you?' Then he freely admitted, and did not deny, but declared, 'I am not the Christ.'…. [they were looking for the Christ] …And they asked him, 'Then who are you? Are you Elijah?'…. [Because that ties in with Mal. 4 that before the great and dreadful day of the Lord He's going to send the prophet Elijah.] …And he said, 'I am not.'…. [Yet, Jesus said he was.] …Then they asked, 'Are you the Prophet?'…. [That we just read about in Deut. 18 and in John 12.] …And he answered. 'No.' Therefore, they said to him, 'Who are you? What do you say about yourself so that we may give an answer to those who sent us?' He said, 'I am a voice crying in the wilderness. "Make straight the way of the Lord," as Isaiah the prophet said'" (vs 19-23). We find that in Isa. 40.

"Now those who had been sent belonged to the sect of the Pharisees, And they asked him, saying to him, 'Why then are you baptizing, if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?' John answered them, saying, 'I baptize with water, but there is one Who stands among you Whom you do not know. He it is Who comes after me, but Who has precedence over me; of Whom I am not worthy to loose the thong of His sandal'" (vs 24-27). So that was quite an encounter to have that here—wasn't it?

Now then John wanted to expand upon this, because later we find in the Epistles of Paul that after the Church was already up and going for the years that it was, God revealed more and more and more about who Jesus really was. So here we have beginning in v 1 telling us who Jesus was. Isn't that I think very profound that the Old Testament shows two things as I covered during the Feast of Tabernacles. It shows the Messiah being born, the prophecies. The prophecies show Him growing up, the prophecies show Him being crucified, the prophecies show His ministry, but it didn't say that it was God in the flesh.

Now when you go to John 10, even the scribes and Pharisees didn't understand that when they said, 'Well, who are you, are you the Son of God?' He said, 'That's what I've told you from the beginning.' They said, 'You blaspheme.' Jesus said, 'Well, how can I blaspheme when it says in the Psalms you are gods,' which also reveals some of the plan of God. So what did they want to do? They wanted to kill Him because they said, 'Well, if You're the Son of God, then You make Yourself equal to God.' Just like if I have a son and he grows up, he's equal to me, and in some cases even better. Well, I have three sons and a daughter. All of them are taller than me, except Rachelle.

So now was a time to write definitively as John was canonizing the Scriptures—who was Jesus. He makes it very clear. John 1:1: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Now that is clear and simple in the Greek and means exactly as it's translated in the English. There is no way you can get around it. What does this show us? This shows us: The One Who became the Word was with God and was God, which reveals how many Gods are there in Elohim—two, not three. So this is a tremendous verse and Scriptures to show us that there is the duality of God and not the trinity of God.

"He was in the beginning with God… [Now what did He do, notice:] …All things… [That means each and every thing.] …came into being through Him, and not even one thing that was created came into being without Him…. [Isn't that something? The Creator God is our Savior. Now we'll see that in some other Scriptures here a little later.] …In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, but the darkness does not comprehend it" (vs 1-5). Can't, because it doesn't want to obey it.

Then it talks about John, v 6, he came as a witness. He wasn't the light. Now down to v 9: "The true light was that which enlightens everyone who comes into the world…. [Which means this: He is the One who gives the spirit of man to everyone who comes into the world. That's something! They couldn't stand Him any more than three and a half years—think of that. Of all the history from the beginning of the creation of world and the prophecy that He was slain before the foundation of the world, think of it.] …He was in the world, and the world came into being through Him, but the world did not know Him" (vs 9-10). What a tremendous thing that is.

And they still don't. I've got a book that I haven't started reading yet. It's called Everything Came From Nothing. Now you try this: You have an empty closet and you sit there and think and you think about how you would like that closet full of gold coins. Every time you open the door of the closet and turn on the light, there aren't any there, because they can't come from nothing. And yet everyone thinks, 'Everything came from nothing.' No, it came from Christ.

Now notice something else. It was prophesied that He would come of the seed of Abraham, the seed of David. Verse 11: "He came to His own… [And you would think they would say, 'Oh, this is the prophesied Messiah, wonderful! Let's believe in Him. Moses told us we are to believe in Him.'] …He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him…. [Isn't that something? Now to receive means here to welcome with a loving embrace. What did they do? They rejected Him, they jeered Him, they crucified Him. So God turns the tables on them—right? What did Jesus say? 'Because you don't believe, the kingdom is going to be taken from you and given to those who bring forth fruits.'] (Here we have another version of it, v 12): …But as many as received Him… [That is as God and as Savior and as the Light of the world, and you repent and are baptized.] …to them He gave authority to become the children of God, even to those who believe in His name" (vs 11-12). Now that's quite a thing—isn't it?

So that everyone would understand that this was not worked out by men and their plans and their schemes, he adds this. Now this can apply to Christ directly and it can apply to those who receive the Holy Spirit. Verse 13: "Who were not begotten by bloodlines, nor by the will of the flesh, nor by the will of man, but by the will of God…. [That applies to Christ and that applies to us when we receive the Holy Spirit.] (Now then he wanted to make it absolutely clear who Jesus was, v 14): …And the Word… [Who was with God and the Word was God. And there are people today who read the book of John and cannot understand that God was manifested in the flesh as a human being. That's why we were made in His image in the first place.] …And the Word became flesh, and tabernacled among us…" And that means dwelt temporarily among us. That ties right in with going back to the children of Israel, who the first thing that they had to do for their relationship with God was what? Build a tabernacle, so that God would dwell among them. You know what happened, they rejected all the things of God. God had to destroy the temple and they had the tabernacle first. So He tabernacled among us, dwelt among us, lived among us, lived as a human being.

Here come back to Philippians 2 and let's see how Paul wrote of it when he had more revelation given to him of the very ministry of Jesus Christ and why He came in the first place, and how He did it. That's why we need the whole Bible, all the Old Testament and all the New Testament, because it fits everything together and you must have all the pieces of the puzzle correctly put in the right place.

Philippians 2:5—here's the goal of what is for us. This is why we do what we do. This is why we have Sabbath every week. God intended us to have Sabbath every week so that we can worship God, have fellowship with God, receive of His instructions, receive of His Spirit, and to do what? To develop the character of God, which here is expressed as the mind of Christ. Now if all the politicians back there in any government of the world had the mind of Christ, don't you think things would be a whole lot different than they are today? Sure.

Philippians 2:5: "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus." See, you have to let it. It's not going to come automatically.

  • It will come when you choose God's way.
  • It will come when you repent and are baptized.
  • It will come as you grow and overcome.
  • It will come as the laws and commandments of God are written in your heart and mind as it says of the New Testament.

Now notice how humble He was: "Who, although He existed in the form of God… [Because He was God. That's what is says in John 1—right?] …did not consider it robbery to be equal with God… [In other words, it was not a thing extraordinary, like you're robbing something, to be equal with God, because He was.] (But notice what He had to do): …But emptied Himself… [of what? His glory, His divinity.] …and was made in the likeness of men, and took the form of a servant; and being found in the manner of man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross" (vs 6-8). That's what God has done for us.

So we need to realize this is also the goal that God wants us to follow. That's really something—isn't it? John helps tie all of these things together.
John 1:14: "And the Word became flesh, and tabernacled among us (and we ourselves beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten with the Father), full of grace and truth…. [The only begotten, none other were begotten this way.] …John testified concerning Him, and proclaimed, saying, 'This was He of Whom I said, "He Who comes after me has precedence over me because He was before me"'…. [And that means that He existed before John as God.] …And of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace…. [Notice, now the law is elevated]: …For the law was given through Moses, but the grace and the truth came through Jesus Christ…. [And that is how to receive eternal life.] (Then he adds one final statement to it here): …No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, Who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him" (vs 14-18).

So you see, those prophecies of the Old Testament, you have to put them all together. There are many more that we could put together to add to this, but this shows us how important that that three and a half year ministry of Jesus Christ really was. And the world couldn't take it any longer than three and a half years, yet look at all the prophecies that come and focus in on His birth, which occurred thirty years before His ministry began. Then all those that have to do with His ministry, and especially His crucifixion. Now we have in The Harmony of the Gospels as well as in the Bible the appendices Twenty-Eight Prophecies Fulfilled On the Crucifixion Day on that Passover day when Jesus died.

So with that, I'll leave you to study that and we'll continue on and show how Jesus is the Savior and the Redeemer.

Scriptural References:

  • Revelation 1:4-8
  • Revelation 13:4-8
  • Genesis 3:4-15
  • Deuteronomy 18:15-20
  • Deuteronomy 12:28-32
  • Deuteronomy 18:20
  • Galatians 4:1-4
  • Romans 5:6
  • John 12:37-49
  • John 1:19-27, 1-5, 9-14
  • Philippians 2:5-8
  • John 1:14-18

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Revelation 2 & 3, 5
  • Daniel 4
  • 2-Thessalonians 2
  • Galatians 3
  • Acts 3
  • Malachi 4
  • Isaiah 40
  • John 10
  • John 1:6

Also referenced: Books:

  • Usher's Commentary
  • Harmony of the Gospels by Fred R. Coulter
  • God's Plan for MankindRevealed by His Sabbath and Holy Days by Fred R. Coulter
  • Everything Came From Nothing (no author cited)

FRC:lp
Transcribed: 12-05-09
Formatted: 12-08-09

BOOKS