Monthly letter archive

Pentecost Chart

May 19, 2021

Dear Brethren,

Since Day 49 and Pentecost fell in the middle of May, we are combining the May and June letters into one. We hope that God blessed you with a great Feast of Pentecost, just as we had here in Hollister. We are about ready to send the expanded God’s Plan for Mankind Revealed by His Sabbath and Holy Days to the printer. For those on the mailing list, you will not have to request your new copy because we will automatically mail it to you immediately after it is printed. We will use Unit Packaging, a mailing company in Lansing, Michigan, only 15 miles from the printer. For those who use our websites exclusively and are not on the CBCG mailing list, you will need to email us your address so we can mail your copy to you.

The Sabbath and holy days of God commemorate major events of God’s direct intervention in the course of human history and point to future prophetic events revealed in Scripture. Yet the world is woefully ignorant of what these days picture!

Why the World Does Not Understand: Today there are more Bibles in more languages than at any time in history! There are billions of printed Bibles and billions of digital Bibles. Add to this the many worldwide “Christian” organizations and denominations with millions of churches—as well as thousands of TV programs, radio programs, websites, and blogs that seemingly preach from the Bible. And there are millions of books about the Bible—and thousands of magazines.

But all of this is to little avail. The distorted teachings of men and false doctrines of “organized religion” have only flooded the world with confusion. Carefully crafted false teachings promote a simplistic counterfeit salvation that features a lawless grace requiring little or no obedience to God.

Thus, Christianity today should be rightly called “fake Christianity.” While preachers read from the Bible, with varying degrees of understanding, they simply do not comprehend the truth of God and His true plan of salvation. Even the best theologians completely miss the true meaning of the prophesies of God—especially those concerning the end time and the return of Christ. On the other hand, some do have a bit of understanding about the coming “Beast power” and the “mark of the Beast.” Yet, in the final analysis, they lack the understanding of God’s true “Master Plan” for mankind

Why? Because of their almost universal belief in certain false teachings and their willful rejection (if not hatred) of the biblical Sabbath and holy days of God! The teachers of “fake Christianity” believe and teach that Jesus and the apostle Paul have abolished the Law, and that the Old Testament has been fulfilled. Thus we have no need of it today. The result is that they have become spiritually blinded. They wholeheartedly embrace Sunday-keeping and observe this world’s popular holidays—believing they are doing the will of God! It is just as Paul wrote: Satan has deceived them and blinded their minds to the true Gospel of the Kingdom of God. He writes: “But if our gospel is hidden, it is hidden to those who are perishing; in whom the god of this age [Satan] has blinded the minds of those who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, Who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (II Cor. 4:3-4).

God warned of this long ago through the prophet Isaiah: “Be stunned and amazed! Blind your eyes and be blind! They are drunk, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink, for the Lord has poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and has closed your eyes; He has covered the prophets and your rulers, and the seers. And the vision of all has become to you like the words of a book that is sealed, which they give to one who is learned saying, ‘Please read this,’ and he says, ‘I cannot, for it is sealed.’ And the book is delivered to him who is not learned, saying, ‘Please read this,’ and he says, ‘I am not learned.’

“And the Lord said, ‘Because this people draws near Me with their mouth, and with their lips honor Me, but their worship of Me is made up of the traditions of men learned by rote, and their fear toward Me is taught by the commandments of men. Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do again a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder, for the wisdom of their wise ones shall perish, and the wisdom of their intelligent ones shall vanish’ ” (Isa. 29:9-14).

We are to Understand the Mysteries of the Kingdom of God: Jesus deliberately spoke to the multitudes in parables so they would not comprehend what He was actually telling them. “And His disciples came to Him and asked, ‘Why do You speak to them in parables?’ And He answered and said to them, ‘Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For whoever has understanding, to him more shall be given, and he shall have an abundance; but whoever does not have understanding, even what he has shall be taken away from him.

“ ‘For this reason I speak to them in parables, because seeing, they see not; and hearing, they hear not; neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, which says, “In hearing you shall hear, and in no way understand; and in seeing you shall see, and in no way perceive; for the heart of this people has grown fat, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and should hear with their ears, and should understand with their hearts, and should be converted, and I should heal them.”

“ ‘But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. For truly I say to you, many prophets and righteous men have desired to see what you see, and have not seen; and to hear what you hear, and have not heard’ ” (Matt. 13:10-17).

However, in order to understand the mysteries of God we must first love God and keep His commandments, as the apostle John writes: “By this standard we know that we love the children of God: when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God: that we keep His commandments [starting with the Ten Commandments]; and His commandments are not burdensome” (I John 5:2-3).

John also gave a warning to those who do not keep the commandments of God—marking them as liars who do not know God: “And by this standard we know that we know Him: if we keep His commandments. The one who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (I John 2:3-4). Because they are liars they cannot know the truth of God or grasp His plan for mankind.

John makes it clear that we must keep God’s Word—every word of God, as Jesus said in Matthew 4:4. John continues: “On the other hand, if anyone is keeping His Word, truly in this one the love of God is being perfected. By this means we know that we are in Him. Anyone who claims to dwell in Him is obligating himself also to walk even as He Himself walked” (I John 2:5-6). What John writes agrees with this psalm: “The fear [and love] of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His

praise endures forever” (Psa. 111:10).

The Wisdom, Love, and Spirit of God Reveal the Mystery of God: In writing to the Corinthians, Paul makes it clear that in order to understand the “mystery of God” we must have the wisdom, love, and Spirit of God. Indeed, that is the only way to understand the deep things of God! He writes: “And my message and my preaching was not in persuasive words of human wisdom; rather, it was in demonstration of the Spirit and of power; so that your faith might not be in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

“Now we speak wisdom among the spiritually mature; however, it is not the wisdom of this world, nor of the rulers of this world, who are coming to nothing. Rather, we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom that God foreordained before the ages unto our glory…. But according as it is written, ‘The eye has not seen, nor the ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for those who love Him’ ” (I Cor. 2:4-9).

This also applies to prophecy. Some things cannot be understood by human means alone. Only God can reveal the true meaning of prophecy and its chronological sequences. As Paul notes, this comes through God’s Spirit and His Word: “But God has revealed them to us by His Spirit, for the Spirit searches all things—even the deep things of God. For who among men understands the things of man except by the spirit of man which is in him? In the same way also, the things of God no one understands except by the Spirit of God.

“Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is of God, so that we might know the things graciously given to us by God; which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in words taught by the Holy Spirit in order to communicate spiritual things by spiritual means. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them because they are spiritually discerned” (I Cor. 2:10-14).

Some of the deeper things of God are the difficult-to-comprehend sequences of end time prophesy. However, with the Spirit of God we can understand the Word of God—even difficult prophecies. Jesus explains: “The words that I speak to you [every word of the Bible], they are spirit and they are life” (John 6:63).

With these things in mind, we are ready to examine the key biblical passages concerning Pentecost, the return of Christ, and the first resurrection. And as Scripture will show, these events will occur much differently than people have imagined!

Understanding Pentecost, the First Resurrection, and the Return of Jesus Christ

Jesus’ return actually has three phases—two relating to Pentecost, and one relating to the Feast of Trumpets. His return is not suddenly completed in a single day, as many suppose.

Phase One begins 2 years into the 3½-year Great Tribulation, with the opening of the 6th seal. Notice what John saw in vision: “And when He opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as the hair of sackcloth, and the moon became as blood; and the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its untimely figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. Then the heaven departed like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place” (Rev. 6:12-14).

When the heavens are “rolled back like scroll,” the whole world will then see the “sign of the Son of man in heaven” (Matt. 24:30). Jesus said: “For as the light of day, which comes forth from the east and shines as far as the west, so also shall the coming of the Son of man be” (Matt. 24:27). This means that the sign of the Son of man will appear as a “second sun.” This is verified by the prophet Malachi: “ ‘For behold, the day is coming, burning like a consuming oven; and all the proud, and every doer of wickedness, shall be stubble. And the day that comes shall burn them up,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘and will leave them neither root nor branch’ ” (Mal. 4:1). This refers to the wars that will take place during the remainder of the Tribulation.

But notice what Malachi then says concerning the people of God: “But unto you who fear My name, the Sun of Righteousness shall arise, and healing will be in His wings. And you shall go out and grow up like calves of the stall” (verse 2).

This “Sun of Righteousness” is the sign of the Son of man that “shines from the east to the west”—the “second sun.” This awesome event will affect every person on earth—and at first people will believe that this is the second coming of Christ. John writes: “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?’ ” (Rev. 6:15-17). However, as we will see, Satan will convince the world that this is not the return of Jesus, but an invasion from outer space. And Satan will rally the world to fight against this “invasion”!

This “second sun” event will probably occur on the next-to-last Pentecost—when the 144,000 from the 12 tribes of Israel and the “great innumerable multitude” will be saved and sealed. (These two groups, however, will not be immediately changed from flesh to spirit because the sounding of the 7th trumpet will not occur until at the next Pentecost—when the first resurrection will actually take place.)

This first phase will last for one year—from Pentecost to Pentecost—and the “second sun” will continue to shine in the sky throughout that time. Think about the magnitude of the fulfillment of this prophecy: “Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye shall see Him…. [And] all the tribes of the earth shall wail because of Him…” (Rev. 1:7). Every eye will see the sign of the Son of man, that “second sun”—for a whole year! This shows that God will be giving the whole world a year in which to repent. But they will refuse! Instead, they will continue to follow Satan the devil and fight against each other as we find in Revelation 8-11. Since this “second sun” will remain stationary for a year, people will begin to consider it an anomaly. The wars of the 5th and 6th seals will take place as prophesied because mankind will assume that this “second sun” will remain motionless. However, by the next Pentecost, this “second sun” will move very close to the earth!

The Second Phase: When the 7th angel sounds the 7th trumpet, that signals both the first resurrection and the second phase of Jesus’ return. Just moments before the 7th trumpet sounds, the “two witnesses” of God—who were killed by the Beast—will be raised from the dead. Their bodies will have laid on a street in Jerusalem for 3½ days. A voice from heaven will call them to ascend into heaven. They will be the last martyrs and the first raised from the dead. (This absolutely fulfills the saying that “the last shall be first”!) As the “two witnesses” are ascending up toward the clouds, the 7th trumpet will sound. This is when the first resurrection begins. At that very moment, the “second sun” shining in the heavens will streak towards the earth. When it reaches the clouds, it will suddenly stop and be transformed into a gigantic “Sea of Glass” hovering in the clouds over Jerusalem (Rev. 15). This will probably occur on Pentecost, one year after the “sign of the Son of man” originally appeared on the previous Pentecost.

Jesus describes this event: “[T]hen shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming upon the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet [the 7th trumpet]; and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” (Matt. 24:30-31).

In vision, John sees the first resurrection begin when the 7th angel sounds the 7th trumpet—the last trump. This is also when rulership of the world is transferred from Satan to Jesus Christ: “Then the seventh angel sounded his trumpet; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and His Christ, and He shall reign into the ages of eternity.’

“And the twenty-four elders, who sit before God on their thrones, fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying, ‘We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, Who is, and Who was, and Who is to come; for You have taken to Yourself Your great power, and have reigned. For the nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, and the time for the dead to be judged, and to give reward to Your servants the prophets, and to the saints, and to all those who fear Your name, the small and the great and to destroy those who destroy the earth’ ” (Rev. 11:15-18).

Paul writes about the first resurrection: “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I show you a mystery: we shall not all fall asleep, but we shall all be changed, in an instant, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruptibility, and this mortal must put on immortality. Now when this corruptible shall have put on incorruptibility, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory’ ” (I Cor. 15:50-54).

Here is how John describes the first resurrection: “And I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and one like the Son of man sitting on the cloud, having a golden crown on His head; and in His hand was a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him Who was sitting on the cloud, ‘Thrust in your sickle and reap, because the time has come for You to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.’ And He Who was sitting on the cloud thrust forth His sickle upon the earth, and the earth was reaped” (Rev. 14:14-16). This shows that the first resurrection is compared to a grain harvest.

In the parable of the sower, Jesus declares that the first resurrection is indeed like a grain harvest: “And He answered and said to them, ‘The One Who sows the good seed is the Son of man; and the field is the world; and the good seed, these are the children of the kingdom … and the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels…. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father’ ” (Matt. 13:37-39, 43).

All the dead in Christ who will be in the first resurrection will be raised first. Then those saints who are alive will be instantaneously changed from human to spirit (I Thess. 4:14-17). The angels will take all who are resurrected or changed up to the Sea of Glass. John writes: “And I saw a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having the lyres of God. And they were singing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, ‘Great and awesome are Your works, Lord God Almighty; righteous and true are Your ways, King of the saints. Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You only are holy; and all the nations shall come and worship before You, for Your judgments have been revealed’ ” (Rev. 15:2-4).

This completes the second phase of Jesus’ return. All the resurrected saints will be on the Sea of Glass with Jesus from that Pentecost to the Feast of Trumpets, a period of about 4½ months. During this time, numerous events will need to take place before the saints and Jesus can return to the earth to establish the Kingdom of God.

Events to Happen While We are on the Sea of Glass

The first event to happen after the saints are on the Sea of Glass with Christ will be the pouring out of the wrath of God—the “seven last plagues”—which is God’s vengeance against Satan the devil, his demons, and all the wicked who fight against God. “And after these things I looked, and behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened. And the seven angels who had the seven last plagues came out of the temple; they were clothed in linen, pure and bright, and girded about the chest with golden breastplates. And one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden vials, full of the wrath of God, Who lives into the ages of eternity. And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from His power; and no one was able to enter inside the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled” (Rev. 15:5-8).

While the “seven last plagues” are being poured out (Rev. 16), at least eight things will take place on the Sea of Glass before Christ and the saints return to establish the Kingdom of God on earth:

1) The saints will receive their new names (Rev. 2:17).

2) The saints are given their rewards (I Cor. 3:8; Rev. 11:18; 22:12; II John 8).

3) Jesus will present the saints to God the Father, saying: “I will declare Your name to My brethren; in the midst of the church I will sing praise to You…. I will be trusting in Him … [and proclaim] ‘Behold, I and the children whom God has given Me’ ” (Heb. 2:11-13).

4) The saints will receive their assignments as kings or priests (Rev. 20:6).

5) The marriage of the Lamb and His bride will take place (Rev. 19:6-8).

6) The marriage supper will take place (Rev. 19:9; Matt. 22:1-13).

7) The saints will witness the “seven last plagues” poured out—the vengeance of God (Rev. 15:5-8; 16:1-21; Psa. 149:4-9). The 7th plague is the battle of Armageddon.

8) The saints will be gathered into God’s army and will fight with Christ as they return to the earth to establish the Kingdom of God (Rev. 19:11-21; Zech. 14:1-9).

Thus, the Word of God reveals that just as God began the Church on Pentecost by sending the Holy Spirit, He will complete the harvest of His Church—the spiritual firstfruits—on Pentecost. On that day, God will resurrect from the dead all the righteous saints—from Abel, the first martyr, to the “two witnesses,” the final martyrs. In the resurrection we will all be changed in a twinkling of an eye and given glorious, immortal bodies as the spiritual sons and daughters of God the Father. “[W]e are waiting for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; Who will transform our vile bodies, that they may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the inner working of His own power, whereby He is able to subdue all things to Himself” (Phil. 3:20-21). As glorified spirit beings, we will shine as the stars of heaven (Dan. 12:1-3; Matt. 13:43).

We will share the same eternal existence and glory as Jesus Christ: “The Spirit itself bears witness conjointly with our own spirit, testifying that we are the children of God. Now if we are children, we are also heirs—truly, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if indeed we suffer together with Him, so that we may also be glorified together with Him” (Rom. 8:16-17). This is why Paul calls the first resurrection a superior resurrection (Heb. 11:35-40). Finally, John writes: “Behold! What glorious love the Father has given to us, that we should be called the children of God…. [And] we know that when He is manifested, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him exactly as He is” (I John 3:1-2).

The book of Revelation proclaims: “Blessed and holy is the one who has part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power” (Rev. 20:6). As pictured by the Feast of Pentecost, Christians look forward to receiving eternal life and glory in the first resurrection (Rom. 8:14-18; I John 3:1-3).

The Third Phase of Jesus Christ’s Return: After the second phase of Christ’s return is completed on the Sea of Glass with the marriage of the Lamb and the Church (Rev. 19:1-9), the third phase takes place on the following Feast of Trumpets. Jesus returns to the earth with all the glorified saints to finish the battle of Armageddon and take full control of the entire world and establish the Kingdom of God: “And I saw heaven open; and behold, a white horse; and He Who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He does judge and make war. And His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns; and He had a name written that no one knows except Him. And He was clothed with a garment dipped in blood; and His name is The Word of God.

“And the armies in heaven were following Him on white horses; and they were clothed in fine linen, white and pure. And out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He might smite the nations; and He shall shepherd them with an iron rod; and He treads the winepress of the fury and the wrath of the Almighty God. And on His garment and on His thigh He has a name written: King of kings and Lord of lords.

“Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, ‘Come and gather yourselves together to the supper of the great God so that you may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of chief captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all, free and bond, and small and great.’ And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies, gathered together to make war with Him Who sits on the horse, and with His army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet who worked miracles in his presence, by which he had deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. Those two were cast alive into the lake of fire, which burns with brimstone; and the rest were killed by the sword of Him Who sits on the horse, even the sword that goes out of His mouth; and all the birds were filled with their flesh” (Rev. 19:11-21).

This completes the three phases of Jesus Christ’s return.

As we have seen, the return of Christ, the resurrection of the saints, and all the activities on the Sea of Glass occur as part of the first two phases. Jesus’ actual return with the saints to the earth is the third phase. This entire period of time—about a year and 4½ months—is necessary because Jesus’ takeover of the entire world will be the greatest, most phenomenal event to come upon this world since the Flood of Noah.

Once again brethren, this is the glorious future that we look forward to. May God the Father and Jesus Christ continue to give you the strength and endurance to remain faithful. May God bless you with His love, protect you, heal you, and empower you to continue to grow in grace and knowledge. Thank you for your prayers for us and for all the brethren. Thank you for your tithes and offerings, which are always used to feed the flock of God and to preach the Gospel to the world.


With love in Christ Jesus,

Fred R. Coulter