Fred R. Coulter—March 5, 2016

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I got two papers last week on 'there is a secret rapture.' So, we'll talk a little bit about that.

I think that the DVD, Israel of the Alps (produced by the Seventh-Day Adventists), is a good explanation for the 1260 days. What they did, they took it from 325A.D. when Constantine officially set up the Roman Catholic Church. He was the first pope, by the way. He was Pontifex Maximus. He was never converted, either. They place it 325A.D. and go forward 1260 years and they come to the late 1500s. That's when the last persecution against the Waldensians took place. I think they are correct in that.

Then it jumps ahead to a whole other aspect. Lots of times we go along and:

  • sometimes the verses are sequence and in order
  • sometimes there is a jump ahead
  • sometimes there is a recall from the past

So, it doesn't all follow in sequential order. Some parts of the book of Revelation are just like that. They come in sequential order and then they come a flash forward and a flash back.

Revelation 12:7: "And there was war in heaven… [we've understood this to be a future war that's going to take place] …Michael and his angels warred against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels warred. But they did not prevail, neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, the ancient serpent who is called the Devil and Satan, who is deceiving the whole world; he was cast down to the earth, and his angels were cast down with him" (vs 7-9).

This gives us a setting toward the end of the age. How far into that seventieth week of the book of Daniel, we don't know. Is this just before the beginning of the Great Tribulation? Very possible!

Verse 10 let's us know that it has come to the time of salvation: "And I heard a great voice in heaven say, 'Now has come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Christ because the accuser of our brethren has been cast down, who accuses them day and night before our God.'" This is a summary going back—the last statement—because Satan is always there to accuse all the time.

Verse 11: "But they overcame him through the blood of the Lamb, and through the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto death." That's a summary of all those who have been martyred from the time of Christ until the end, because Satan was behind all of it.

Was Satan behind the crucifixion of Christ? Yes, indeed! Planned by God, carried out by Satan, because Christ had to overcome him in the flesh and through death and the resurrection.

Verse 12: "Therefore, rejoice you heavens and those who dwell in Them…. [God the Father and Jesus Christ and all the righteous angels] …Woe to those who inhabit the earth and the sea! For the Devil has come down to you, having great wrath because he knows that he has only a short time.' And when the dragon saw that he was cast down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who had brought forth the man-Child. And two wings of a great eagle were given to the woman, so that she might fly to her place in the wilderness, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent" (vs 12-14).

"…two wings of a great eagle…"—type of God's protection. There will be those who will be spared the Tribulation, who will be taken to a place of safety. Note, first of all, that this place is "…in the wilderness…"

There is no Scripture in the Bible that depicts the throne of God as a wilderness, so this is on the earth "…where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent."

So, we can conclude from this verse that this war takes place just before, or right at the beginning of, the last half of the 70th week of the book of Daniel. All of events come together all at once.

They are taken to a place in the wilderness. People read this and they say 'this is a rapture.' Well, the rapture is that you are taken to heaven. This is taken to another place on the earth; this is not a rapture, this is a carrying away from one place to another, that is true.

Verse 15: And the serpent cast water out of his mouth as a river, so that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. But the earth… [proves that the wilderness is on the earth] …helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth, and swallowed up the river that the dragon had cast out of his mouth. Then the dragon was furious with the woman and went to make war with the rest of her seed, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ" (vs 15-17).

Do the Protestants keep the commandments of God? No! So, the Protestants are not going to go to a place of safety, and they're not going to raptured away up to heaven. No one is removed from the earth in a spiritual condition until the 7th trumpet and the first resurrection. No one!

As we saw, the difference between Rev. 7 and 14 is interesting. Rev. 14 is not a sequential thing. It's a statement of events that are coming.

Verse 17 has to be the 5th seal of Rev. 6, the martyrdom of the saints. The reason that there are physical people left alive—a small group—is because Jesus said, 'I will build My Church and the gates of the grave will not prevail against it.' They're there, and I'm sure they're part of the prayers of the saints that we find listed in Rev. 8, where the incense went up with the prayers of the saints.

I'm sure that if you're in a place of safety that you're going to be praying almost day and night! Like I've said, you'll have a nice comfortable bed, a nice slab of red limestone will be just perfect, you won't need anymore chiropractic adjustments!

We won't go over Rev. 13 concerning the mark of the beast; we've covered that again and again and again! Rev. 14 is a preview. In the Bible it gives you a preview first, then the details come later.

Revelation 14:1: "And I looked, and I beheld the Lamb standing on Mount Sion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father's name written on their foreheads."

We'll do a little comparing here. First of all, we know no one is going to stand before the throne of God until after the resurrection. No one is going to be ahead of the first resurrection. The only one was Christ, the first of the firstfruit.

We find that all of these, 144,000 of Rev. 7, and the great innumerable multitude. Revelation 7:9: "After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude, which no one was able to number, out of every nation and tribe and people and language, was standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes and holding palms in their hands."

You get the impression that this happens immediately, right after that they are sealed. Not so, because the seventh trump has not sounded. But what this is, this is a projection forward to where they are going to be.

That's why it says over here, Revelation 8:4: "…with the prayers of the saints." The 144,000 and the great innumerable multitude are saints, because they have been sealed with the Spirit of God. This shows they are still on the earth. Also, the prayers of the saints come from those who go to a place of safety (Rev. 12).

Revelation 9:4: "And it was said to them that they should not damage the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only the men who did not have the seal of God in their foreheads."

Think of that for a minute. Where is this battle taking place? On the earth! If they were in heaven the plague couldn't reach them. The plague is not going to go to heaven if they were there.

"…only upon the men who do not have the seal of God in their foreheads." So, the only ones that are sealed are the 144,000 and the great innumerable multitude, and they are spared from this plague.

Just like when the plagues were coming against the Egyptians and pharaoh in the book of Exodus. There came a time when God says it's going to be all on the Egyptians, and not on the children of Israel. So, they were spared. This shows that no human being is going to come to the throne of God as a Spirit being until the resurrection, and that takes place at the seventh trump; likewise for anyone.

Revelation 14:2: "Then I heard a voice from heaven, like the sound of many waters, and like the sound of great thunder; and I heard the sound of lyre players playing their lyres. And they were singing a new song before the throne, and before the four living creatures and the elders. And no one was able to learn the song except the hundred and forty-four thousand, who were redeemed from the earth" (vs 2-3).

The 144,000 here "…were redeemed from the earth." In Rev. 7 where were they redeemed from? The twelve tribes of Israel! This is a second 144,000 redeemed from the earth.

Verse 4: "These are the ones who were not defiled with women …" Who are the women? The great harlot and her daughters, meaning they never got involved after they were converted in any of the religions of the world, be they counterfeit Christian or be they any other. All of these religions are the daughters of the harlot.

They remain faithful. "…for they are virgins…" (v 4). Is Christ going to marry a virgin? Yes! We will see who they are in just a minute.

"…they are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes… [regardless of what happened in their lives, they always followed Him] …They were purchased from among men…" (v 4). Not the twelve tribes of Israel; a different group.

"…redeemed from the earth" sounds like the resurrection. This is talking about that they will be in the resurrection. This is talking about what's going to happen to them at the time of the resurrection. But no one is going to be resurrected till the seventh trump. First all of those who are dead, and then, those who are alive, after that.

"…They were purchased from among men as firstfruits to God and to the Lamb… [not thefirstfruits, but as first fruits] …and no guile wasfound in their mouths; for they are blameless before the throne of God" (vs 4-5).

We have to add in a couple of other things here. What does it say? 'Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb' (Rev. 19). It doesn't say: Blessed are those who are called to the marriage of the Lamb, but the marriage supper.

Then we have the parable of the man who made a great feast. He said, 'Come, everything is ready.' They didn't come. It was a wedding feast. That was a parable of what's going to happen.

Will everyone who is resurrected from the dead and inherit eternal life be part of the bride? There's an indication that it includes all the Church, as Paul wrote (Eph. 5). But does this give us another perspective, in addition to it? We don't know! So we'll have to leave that as a question mark.

This dawned on me when I did a wedding and married the couple. Then they had a wedding feast. We were all sitting there enjoying. We had a supper. We had a dance. I don't know if we're going to dance when that takes place up on the Sea of Glass, or whatever, but it's going to be a joyful time. You can rest assured of that. I thought, bingo! Here's everybody that's been invited to the wedding and the feast. We're all participating in it, but we're not the bride and the groom. So, when I read these Scriptures, I thought, maybe this is telling us something.

What we're finding here is, we're finding something that we can't answer correctly, dogmatically, but we can talk about it and think about it.

Does this refer to the woman taken to a place of safety in the wilderness? I would not think so, because that's just the end-time. Were there true Christians who were always true, who never deviated? Yes! So, this would have to go back to the beginning.

To help answer that question, let's come to Rev. 2 and 3. Let's put it this way: What if someone is converted and then falls back and commits sin, kind of a very bad sin? Maybe gets involved with false Christianity for a while. Are they virgins? No!

Let's look at some things in Rev. 2. Let's just take the first church: Ephesus. They left their first love. Is that a sin? Yes, it is!

Revelation 2:5: "Therefore, remember from where you have fallen, and repent, and do the first works; for if you do not, I will come to you quickly; and I will remove your lampstand out of its place unless you repent."

Now that they have repented, will they be able to be in the Kingdom of God? Yes! We have the story of the prodigal son who comes back home. We have here repentance.

The next church: Smyrna; there is not one thing of any correction, but they are martyred. They are faithful unto death. So, you could say they would fit in the category of being a virgin.

Then you come to the Church of Pergamos. Look at how difficult this became. They were eating things sacrificed to idols, which was probably the institution of the Sacrifice of the Mass. They had the doctrine of the Nicolaitans.

Look what it says to them, v 16: "Repent! For if you do not repent, I will come to you quickly, and will make war against them with the sword of My mouth."

Christ fighting His own church. We've seen that today. They had to repent. They'll still be in the Kingdom of God.

How about Thyatira? They followed the teachings of Jezebel the prophetess, committed fornication, eating things sacrificed to idols. God tells them to repent. The one who overcomes, they'll still be in the Kingdom of God.

Likewise with the Church at Sardis: They have a name that they live, and are about dead. Jesus says, 'You just keep the basic minimum things, and I won't blot your name out of the Book of Life.' This tells us those who don't repent and keep the bare minimum things won't be in the Kingdom of God.

Notice the next one: the Church of Philadelphia. They are commended for not going back against the Word of God. No correction to them. They have to overcome, but there is no correction given to them because of sin.

So, we have out of the seven churches, when we look at the Laodiceans, who are lukewarm, so bad that God has to spew them out of His mouth. We can say that two of the churches picture prophetically those who were always faithful, and never got caught up in going back into the world, or going into the false Christian religious systems. They would be virgins!

That 144,000 would be taken out down through time over history. We can't say for sure, so it is speculation. But it's interesting that the 144,000 of Rev. 14 are different and not the same as the 144,000 and great innumerable multitude of Rev. 7.

Rev. 14 is cut into various sections, and this begins another section; Revelation 14:6: "And I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting Gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and language and people; saying with a loud voice, 'Fear God, and give glory to Him, because the hour of His judgment has come…'" (vs 6-7)

This is right at the end. When will that take place? We have to go back and look at Rev. 12. Those who are going to be spared the Tribulation and taken to a place of safety will be somewhere. They won't be able to be preaching the Gospel. Martyrdom comes along and there will be hardly any individuals preaching the Gospel. God wants to give a warning to the whole world before the Tribulation is cut loose in its full fury.

What does He do? He sends an angel to proclaim it, going around the world preaching! I guess out of the clouds, or whatever, that God is going to warn everyone. They're going to have a chance to repent! They're going to have a chance to turn to God.

"…because the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him Who made the heaven, and the earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters" (v 7)—rather than Satan the devil. The whole world worships Satan (Rev. 13).

Verse 8: "Then another angel followed, saying…" This is a preview, doesn't happen right at this point. It happens in Rev. 17 and 18, but this is a preview of what is coming. When God begins fighting against this world the whole system is done, but it's not destroyed instantly all at once; it takes place over a period of time. So before that starts to happen:

Verse 8: "Then another angel followed, saying, 'The great city Babylon is fallen, is fallen, because of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, which she has given all nations to drink.'" That's described in Rev. 17 and 18. So this is a preview of it.

Verse 9: "And a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, 'If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives the mark in his forehead or in his hand, he shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed undiluted in the cup of His wrath…'" (vs 9-10).

This is right at the end. This brings up a question: How many people will repent of being deceived into receiving the mark of the beast, and somehow get rid of it? I don't know! Does this indicate this is possible? I don't know! But it brings up some interesting possibilities, because God always honors repentance—doesn't He? Yes, He does!

Then it talks about those who won't repent of it, v 10: "He shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed undiluted in the cup of His wrath; and he shall be tormented in fire and brimstone in the sight of the Holy angels, and of the Lamb." Is that the second death? I do not know! Sounds like it.

Verse 11: "And the smoke of their torment ascends into the ages of eternity…" Their torment doesn't, it's the smoke. Because once anything gets out of the atmosphere of the earth, it goes on and on.

"…and those who worship the beast and his image, and all who receive the mark of his name, have no rest day and night" (v 11).

Sidebar: They have it that people want to be hooked up to their computers all the time. They're finding out they really don't have any rest. They really don't get the sleep that they need. Interesting!

This thing of the mark of the beast is pretty powerful, because it talks about it throughout the book of Revelation in many, many places, so it's got to be a big deal.

Here's another break. We have vs 6-11. Here is a forewarning of things to come, given by the three angels.

You could not have it come just before the resurrection. What good would that do? What good would it do to tell people 'don't receive the mark of the beast,' unless the warning came right at the time they were enforcing the mark of the beast? This has to be right just before the Tribulation.

Verse 12: "Here is the patience of the saints; here are the ones who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus." A whole sermon can be given on that.

You must have faith to keep the commandments of God! It takes no faith to be disobedient.

  • you just are not going to obey
  • you don't believe
  • 'I'm not going to do it.'

It takes faith to keep the commandments of God!

  • Did Jesus keep the commandments of God? Yes, indeed!
  • Did Jesus have the faith of God? Yes, He did!
  • Are we to have the faith of Jesus? Yes, we are!

Tie that in with v 13: "And I heard a voice from heaven say to me, 'Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from this time forward.…" That has to be at the beginning of the Tribulation[transcriber's correction] when the martyrdom occurs.

"…Yes, says the Spirit, so that they may rest from their labors; and their works follow them" (v 13). That section, vs 12-13 is one separate section, too. This is a preview as well as a promise.

Verse 14 becomes very interesting, the way that this is given. We will see that there is a preview followed by the action, and referring to Rev. 15 for the first harvest. The second harvest is a preview, but does not follow immediately, but shortly after. That is a preview of Rev. 16.

Verse 14: "And I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and one like the Son of man sitting on the cloud, having a golden crown on His head; and in His hand was a sharp sickle. 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.'" (vs 14-15).

This is a grain harvest. The Church is likened to grain. What is the Feast that pictures coming to eternal life? The seven weeks, the seven churches, the seven weeks of harvest! Then the 50th day being the resurrection.

Verse 16: "And He Who was sitting on the cloud thrust forth His sickle upon the earth, and the earth was reaped."

That's the harvest of all of those in the first resurrection. So there is this preview of it, actually a follow-up, and that goes back into Rev. 11 when the seventh trump sounds. This also carries over to Matt.24 where the angels take those who are resurrected to the throne of God.

Verse 17: "Then another angel, who also had a sharp sickle, came out of the temple that is in heaven. And out from the altar came another angel, who had authority over fire; and he called with a loud cry to the one who had the sharp sickle, saying, 'Thrust in your sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the earth, because her grapes are fully ripe'" (vs 17-18).

We even have it in the margin a reference back to Joel 3:11. This is the harvest of the wicked and a preview of the seven last plagues (Rev. 16). The first one concerning the first harvest is the Church, and is a preview of Rev. 15 where all the saints will be on the Sea of Glass.

This is why when you read the book of Revelation, I've learned this over the years. You have study, study, study, read, read, read, re-study, go over it, re-read, re-think, put it together, because there is so much to the Word of God that we learn every time we study.

Pretty soon we're coming to Passover time. I'm already getting letters from people, saying, 'I'm reading The Christian Passover book again, and this is the third or fourth time I've read it, and I'm learning new things out of it all the time.'

I go back and read it and I say to myself when I read it, 'Did you write this?' Yeah, I did write it, every word in it. But, you see, every word in the book is not sticking in my mind. So likewise when we read and study the Bible. We've got to study and read, to study and read, and put it together. You'll be amazed how much you learn when you do that. I'm still learning. We're all still learning.

Verse 19: "And the angel thrust his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast its fruit into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and blood spewed out from the winepress as high as the horses' bridles, to the distance of a thousand six hundred furlongs" (vs 19-20). That is going to be a slaughter. That is something!

I think about this when I read things like this. The area of the so-called the Holy Land, that part of the world undoubtedly has had more wars and more death and more bloodshed and more evil than any place on the earth! It's certainly going to be that right at the end. What a terrible thing this is going to be.

Remember the preview, Rev. 14:14-15, the harvest is ripe. Now here is the fulfillment of it:

Revelation 15:1: "Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and awesome: seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them the wrath of God is filled up."

This is the vengeance of God. Remember what God says, 'Vengeance is Mine, says the Lord.' He will take His vengeance on those. There's going to be absolutely no escaping that.

Verse 2: "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."

Let's stop and analyze this verse here for just a minute. When you first read this you think that it applies just to the end-times, because it talks about the beast and the mark, and so forth.

  • Was the serpent in the Garden of Eden a beast? Yes!
  • Did he cause people to make idols, to worship him? Yes, indeed!

You look at all the artifacts in archeology and you find that they worshiped gods of stone. What was one of the ones after the Flood that was one of the most notorious? The one commemorating Nimrod and sun-worship!

"…over his image and over his mark…"  Now we're getting down to the mark of the beast, the special application at the end-time.

"…and over the number of his name…" So what it tells us is this: This includes everyone from Abel to the very last one to be converted, to be raised to the first resurrection and the harvest of the firstfruits. Every one!

"…standing on the Sea of Glass…" I'll cover this when we get toward Pentecost. When Moses, Aaron, Nadab and Abihu went up to see God with the 70 of the elders of Israel, they went up Mt. Sinai so far, and then they stopped. They could look up and there was like a glasswork like sapphire that they saw God walking on.

They didn't see Him in His glory, because if God would have been in His glory, none of them would have lived. As God told Moses, when he said show me Your glory. God said, 'No man can look at My face, and live.' It is so powerful. Flesh would just be gone!

He was standing on a sea of glass. A lot of people read that and say, 'It only says it once in the Bible.' How many times does it have to say it? Once! How many first resurrections are there going to be? One! Sometimes if we go through and we ask some simple questions, we get the answer, and we don't get carried away.

Verse 3: "And they were singing the song of Moses… [which applies to those who come through the Old Testament] …the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb…" We don't know what that will be. We don't know what that song will be, but it gives some words of it here:

"…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' (vs 2-4).

This goes on into the Millennium, all nations come to worship. You think they're coming to worship before God with the Tribulation going on, the seven last plagues being poured out? No!

A lot of these things have many aspects in the verse, which go beyond just the event that is taking place, or goes back to something prior before the event takes place.

All the saints will see the seven last plagues and vengeance of God upon

  • Satan
  • the beast
  • the false prophet
  • all their armies

It is going to be one fantastic thing that takes place. That is going to be awesome indeed.

Remember, between Pentecost and Trumpets is about three and a half months, and that's when these seven last plagues come!

Scriptural References:

  • Revelation 12:7-17
  • Revelation 14:1
  • Revelation 7:9
  • Revelation 8:4
  • Revelation 9:4
  • Revelation 14:2-5
  • Revelation 2:5, 16
  • Revelation 14:6-20
  • Revelation 15:1-4

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Jeremiah 18
  • Revelation 19
  • Ephesians 5
  • Revelation 13, 17, 18, 16, 11
  • Matthew 24
  • Joel 3:11

Also referenced:

  • DVD: Israel of the Alps (produced by the Seventh Day Adventist Church)
  • Book: The Christian Passover by Fred R. Coulter

Transcribed: 3-21-16
Formatted: bo—3/22/16

Copyright 2016—All rights reserved. Except for brief excerpts for review purposes, no part of this publication may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means without the written permission of the copyright owner. This includes electronic and mechanical photocopying or recording, as well as the use of information storage and retrieval systems.