"Because I Live, You Shall Live"

Fred R. CoulterJune 3, 1990

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It becomes very important for us to know and understand concerning the Day of Pentecost. Even though we've done a lot on Pentecost, we still have to go to Lev. 23, because that's the place we should start with all the Holy Days, that's automatic. We're told by God that we're to preach these things 'in season.' Now it is 'in season' and so we are told we are to count the 50 days and we're to have a Holy convocation. We'll go on going through the Scriptures that we are to keep this day in regard to a very detailed day, in knowing how to count this and how to arrive at the proper time.

Leviticus 23:15: "And you shall count to you beginning with the next day after the Sabbath, beginning with the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven Sabbaths shall be complete. Even unto the day after the seventh Sabbath you shall number fifty days. And you shall offer a new grain offering to the LORD" (vs 15-16).

This new meal/grain offering we know has symbolic reference to the firstfruits. It has symbolic references to those who have been brought into that condition of salvation. Those under the Old Testament—which there were a few, some of the kings and the prophets, and so forth—and the New Testament, are symbolized by using the 'loaves' that we'll read about next.

Verse 17: "You shall bring out of your homes two wave loaves of two tenth parts. They shall be of fine flour. They shall be baked with leaven…" This is the only offering that God accepts with leaven. There's a special significance in that, because leaven does, through the Days of Unleavened Bread, represent sin. The reason that the leaven is in this offering is because it typifies us being accepted as the 'firstfruits' by God, in spite of the fact that we have the 'law of sin and death' within us. That's why you can't, I can't, no one can ever make themselves perfect. No one is ever good enough to go into the Kingdom of God themselves, except through the grace of God. That's the only way that a person is going to be in the Kingdom of God is through the grace of God! So, they are baked with leaven.

Now it says, "…They are the firstfruits to the LORD" (vs 17). That's what we represent. The 'firstfruits' are those who are going to be resurrected in the first resurrection. We also know that they are the ones who are going to receive, and have received and continue to hold, the firstfruits of the Spirit of God within our mind.

It talks about all of the animal sacrifices and the drink offerings to be given in (vs 18-19).

Verse 20: "And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits, a wave offering before the LORD, with the two lambs. They shall be Holy to the LORD for the priest. And you shall proclaim on the same day that it may be a Holy convocation to you. You shall do no servile work therein. It shall be a statute forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations" (vs 20-21).

That's why we have the Holy Day today There are occasions just like this where a Holy Day comes right back to back with a Sabbath.

I want to reference something that we covered a little bit yesterday (Day 49) and that is, we were discussing about Gen. 1-3, how that nothing of the civilization before the Flood was preserved. We know nothing of it. God destroyed all the history, all the writings and didn't even allow Noah to carry forward very much of the history. It's all condensed down into Gen. 1-5.

I'm not going to dwell on that, but the thing that is important is that God created the two trees: the Tree of Life as well as the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Because Jesus said, 'Because I live, you shall live,' I want to focus in on that today as part of the very Spirit of God that gives us the begettal of eternal life. This pictures not only the receiving of the Holy Spirit and the beginning of the Church, but also it pictures when we will be resurrected as the firstfruits.

We know exactly some of these Scriptures that we cover every Feast of Pentecost and we should. We need to learn more of it as we go along. I think it's very interesting, though, that if you start counting the days from the Passover down to the resurrection of Jesus and then count the days where He appeared for them eight days and then another week later He appeared to them, and then Luke says on the 40th day that He ascended. Then we come to Acts 2 and this becomes very important for us to understand.

Acts 2:1: "And when the Day of Pentecost, the fiftieth day…[that's what Pentecost means] …was being fulfilled…" That can mean and does mean, 'and during the accomplishing or the observing of the 50th day.' If you know the day that the Wave Sheaf Offering was waved on, this tells you exactly what it was.

"…they were all with one accord in the same place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like the rushing of a powerful wind, and filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them divided tongues as of fire, and sat upon each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit…" (vs 1-4).

At that time, God didn't start a Church by running out and saying, 'All right now, all you disciples, I want you to go down here and I want you to take out articles of incorporation.' He could not give them any precedence or any establishment of authority at the temple because the priests were in control. So, He had to supernaturally begin the Church in this way so that it would have the handprint, as it were, the authority directly from God from heaven to show that this is what God wanted. That why He did it this way. It was really a tremendous and a miraculous day.

"…and they began to speak with other languages, as the Spirit gave them the words to proclaim" (v 4).

We know that the Holy Spirit gives us 'the spirit of love, power and of a sound mind.'We know, we don't have to go through all the dissertation about the fact that this was languages. 'Tongues' is referring to languages; not some unknown tongue, not some angelic tongue, but languages, because their job was to preach the Gospel. Their job was to witness of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Verse 5: "Now, there were many Jews who were sojourning in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven. And when word of this went out, the multitude came together and were confounded, because each one heard them speaking in his own language" (vs 5-6).

Of course, that would be absolutely phenomenal! They didn't have any need of microphones, no need of translators, no need of anything.

Today, we're sort of mesmerized in this television and communication age. We can sit down and we can watch world leaders communicate back together and tell them what wonderful friends that they are going to be.

Here is such a phenomena—nothing ever heard of like this before—where you would have those who would be speaking in either Greek or Hebrew would be able to speak, but everything they said came out in whatever language that that person had as their native language. That would be something. Also, this helps us to understand that because God spoke to all of the nations at this time in their own language, therefore, we don't need to have what are called 'sacred names' because in the New Covenant, as we know and have seen, the sacred names are the Father and the Son.
I bring that up because get 'sacred name' material; it seems like we have a cycle. We can almost just take a circle and put on there:

  • Passover
  • Pentecost
  • sacred names
  • healing
  • only eight are going to be saved and all the rest are damned

So, we have the exclusiveness! We can put that on a circle and we could almost do like the 'Wheel of Fortune.' We could almost come in every Sabbath, spin that wheel and know sure enough that someone is going to send something concerning these things. God is making it abundantly clear that He wants this to go to all of the world in their own languages. That's what He wants.

Verse 7: "And they were all amazed, and marveled, saying to one another, 'Behold, are not all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that we hear each one in our own language in which we were born?'" (vs 7-8).

  • hear—v 8
  • heard—v 6

and that equates by hearing to:

  • tongues
  • languages

together as the same and synonymous. So, here's where the Jews came from:

Verse 9: "Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and those who inhabit Mesopotamia, and Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, both Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya which are near Cyrene, and the Romans who are sojourning here, both Jews and proselytes" (vs 9-10).

This means, born in every nation. Not just Jews alone of Jewish blood or Israelite blood, but also proselytes: Gentiles who were converted to Judaism who attended the synagogue where they are keeping the Feast, and they're the ones who also heard.

Verse 11: "'Cretes and Arabians; we hear them speaking in our own languages the great things of God.' And they were all amazed and greatly perplexed, saying to one another, 'What does this mean?'" (vs 11-12).

You would sure have to ask that question if you were there at the temple on the Day of Pentecost and all of this started happening. You'd want to know, 'What does this mean? What is this!?' Does God know how to get people's attention? He sure does! This you can't deny because the Sadducees and Pharisees said, 'These men are from Galilee. They've never learned. They didn't go to our schools.' So then, God had to give them the supernatural authority, because now it wasn't going to be just in the Levites and just in the house of Aaron.

Verse 13: "But others were mocking and saying, 'They are full of new wine.' Then Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice and spoke out to them: 'Men, Jews, and all those of you who inhabit Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and pay attention to my words. for these are not drunken as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day…. [approximately nine in the morning] …But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel… [he gives a quote] …"'And it shall come to pass in the last days,' says God, 'that I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh…'"'" (vs 13-17).

That's going to happen again this time. That is going to happen again in the near future. God is going to have to harvest and equip us spiritually because the battles that we have to fight are spiritual battles. God is going to have to equip us that way.

We're going to see more and more that this is were our battle lies. Not only is it spiritual, but it's also through those instrumentalities and people that Satan is using to stir up and destroy any form of Christianity that he can lay his hands on. There is a concerted assault upon everything that Christianity stands for, not only as we know of Protestantism but of what we know with Sabbath-keepers, and what we know with the Church of God.

Ephesians 6:10: "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the might of His strength." That's where it has to be because the physical things are not going to endure for us. They are not going to protect us. The laws are going to be turned against us. Absolutely! You can be guaranteed that!

Verse 11: "Put on the whole armor of God so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil because we are not wrestling against flesh and blood, but against principalities and against powers, against the world rulers of the darkness of this age…" (vs 11-12).

Talking about the powers of darkness, look what happened when the powers of darkness that ruled the Soviet Union for 70 years: degradation, stupidity, backwardness, a people without hope.

I don't know what you have in your editorials, but I read the editorial by Ronald Reagan in the San Jose Mercury News where he's very positive and really gives hope as to why the American and Christian standard is the right and good standard compared to what the Soviets have had. They are totally falling apart. As I said before, you can be guaranteed that any nation that rejects God is going to fall! They can't even provide for their people the simplest things. Then there was the editorial by Edward Shevardnadze, who is the foreign minister of the former Soviet Union. It was so depressing to read what he had to say. Absolutely no hope! Absolutely no life! It was really a stark comparison.

Look what happened when Satan go a hold of the Soviet Union. Look at it: evil, rotten, downtrodden. It's coming here! They're just changing the scene. Now Satan is going to redo it because he has other people in high places conniving against the whole world to bring it into slavery.

"…against the spiritual power of wickednessin high places…. [there's a reason that Paul gives us this warning]: …Therefore, take up the whole armor of God…" (vs 12-13).

That's what Pentecost really pictures in this meaning by receiving the power of God that we may have the spiritual strength, the mental strength and the ability through Christ to stand in this day.

That's why God talks about a church that is lukewarm at the end-time. They sort of give up to a lot of these things and just give in to a lot of these things, because it's so easy and it's so smooth. Just wait, that easiness and that smoothness isn't going to be there much longer. That's why we have to have the whole armor of God.

"…so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having worked out all things, to stand. Stand, therefore, having your loins girded about with Truth… [God's Word] …and wearing the breastplate of righteousness…" (vs 13-14)—which comes from God:

  • that no one can penetrate
  • that no one can get into you
  • that no one can turn you from God under any circumstances

period!

Verse 15: "And having your feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace.  Besides all these, take up the shield of the faith, with which you will have the power to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one" (vs 15-16).

I had a man, not in the Church but he's a Seventh Day Adventist, come to me and ask me what I thought about 'Ess' a New Age movement. He said that he talked to some people when they got into Ess and they got their brains all scrambled up. He said, 'What did I think about it?' I said, 'Your friend has told you the truth. You get into that and 'you are god; god is within you.' It's this Eastern Oriental Religion in a new guise. Satan is busy changing clothes! He's busy changing the front in which he's working! That's why we have to be able to take the

"…shield of faith, with which you will have the power to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one; and put on the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God" (vs 16-17).

This day (of Pentecost) pictures commemorating receiving the Holy Spirit of God Let's be sure and take that Holy Spirit of God and use it this way.

Acts 2:17: "'And it shall come to pass in the last days,' says God, 'that I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; and even upon My servants and upon My handmaids will I pour out My Spirit in those days, and they shall prophesy; and I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and vapors of smoke'" (vs 17-19).

Not only was this an indication of things that happened then, in type—with the earthquake with the darkness with the things that took place at the crucifixion of Christ and His resurrection—but it is also going to happen in our time.

We are sitting right now on the very verge of many of these things happening before our very eyes. Do you realize how close it is? There were millions that starved in the former Soviet Union. It is not like it is here. When October comes, there you're in 'deep freeze' until March, when that Siberian winter sets in. Realize that they are further north than Canada. Realize that one third of all the Soviet Union is above the Artic Circle. They can't even get bread. They can't get the simple little things that we're accustomed to.

Just like for this Feast, we can go down here and they have food galore in the stores to buy. We got some nice chicken. Do you know how much that would cost in the Soviet Union? I think we paid about $4.00 for each chicken, all cooked and done, ready to eat. That would cost you, as far as I know, the equivalent of $20.00 per chicken in the former Soviet Union.

There are going to be some signs and wonders, there are going to be prophecies being fulfilled and God says:

Verse 20: "The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome Day of the Lord." It's really fantastic how much closer we are to it than we were when we first believed. I hope we're going to see the return of Jesus Christ in our lifetime, but I tell you, any one of the events now, could escalate and just come on so strong it would make your hair stand on end. We always have to be ready.

Verse 21: "'And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.'" Men, Israelites, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarean, a Man sent forth to you by God, as demonstrated by works of power and wonders and signs, which God performed by Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know; Him, having been delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you have seized by lawless hands and have crucified and killed. But God has raised Him up, having loosed the throes of death…'" (vs 21-24).

We talked about the resurrection yesterday and how that the whole Gospel is based on the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The whole Gospel is based upon, 'because I live, you shall live.' You know we can just be good people in the society, but that doesn't bring eternal life. We're here because of eternal life. We're here because of having God's Holy Spirit, based upon the resurrection of Jesus.

"'…because it was not possible for Him to be held by it… [of death] …for David speaks concerning Him, "I foresaw the Lord before Me continually; for He is at My right hand, so that I may not be moved. Therefore, My heart rejoiced and My tongue was glad; moreover, My flesh also shall rest in hope"'" (vs 24-26)—of the resurrection! This flesh can just go, and it's over with!

Verse 27: "'"For You will not leave My soul in the grave, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. You did make Me to know the ways of life; You will fill Me with joy with Your countenance." Men and brethren, let me speak to you freely concerning the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day…. [not ascended unto the heavens] …Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn to him in an oath that from the fruit of his loins, as concerning the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit upon his throne; He foresaw this and spoke concerning the resurrection of Christ, that His soul was not left in the grave, nor did His flesh see corruption. This Jesus has God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore, having been exalted by the right hand of God, and having received the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father, He has poured out this that you are now seeing and hearing'" (vs 27-33).

That's what gives us life, the Spirit of God. That Spirit of God within us puts us at odds with this world. John wrote that if you're a friend of the world you're an enemy of God. Unfortunately, that's the way it turns out. We can't live and be part and parcel of the world and be still belonging to God.

Verse 34: "For David has not ascended into the heavens, but he himself said, 'The Lord said to my Lord, 'Sit at My right hand until I have made Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.'" Therefore, let all the house of Israel know with full assurance that God has made this same Jesus, Whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.'" (vs 24-36).

We're going to see what is preached on Pentecost:

  • repentance
  • baptism
  • receiving the Holy Spirit
  • eternal life

Those four things. Those are the four major things of preaching the Gospel.

Verse 37: "Now, after hearing this, they were cut to the heart; and they said to Peter and the other apostles, 'Men and brethren, what shall we do?' Then Peter said to them, 'Repent and be baptized each one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you yourselves shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit'" (vs 37-38).

That's the most important thing that you can have, the gift of the Holy Spirit. Because we have human nature, there is the internal battle always going on, but don't worry about that. That is good because that shows you have the Spirit of God. That's why that battle is going on. Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and that gives you life. If you have the Spirit of God, you have eternal life!

Verse 39: "'For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all those who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God may call.' And with many other words he earnestly testified and exhorted, saying, 'Be saved from this perverse generation'" (vs 39-40). If that was true then, think how much more true it is today.

Verse 41: "Then those who joyfully received his message were baptized; and about three thousand souls were added that day." That's a tremendous way to start the Church of God. Start it right at the temple. Start it right at the headquarters. Right where the priests and the Sadducees were; right there! You talk about undoing the enemy, that Church undid the enemy. Fantastic!

I want to follow through on repentance, baptism, the Holy Spirit and eternal life. Those four things are emphasized on the Feast of Pentecost, the Day of Pentecost.

Romans 2:3: "Now do you think yourself, O man… [any person] …whoever is judging those who commit such things, and you are practicing them yourself, that you shall escape the judgment of God? Or do you despise the riches of His kindness and forbearance and long-suffering, not knowing that the graciousness of God leads you to repentance?" (vs 3-4).

Because of what God did in sending Jesus Christ, and in all the things that He did, that He lived, that He went through leads us to repentance because we see how absolutely inadequate we are. That's the whole key with repentance. I tell you what, the longer I live the more inadequate I see that we are as human beings.

Verse 5: "But you, according to your own hardness and unrepentant heart…"—because they rejected Jesus and because they've absolutely been hateful to Him.

"…are storing up wrath for yourself against the day of wrath and revelation of God's righteous judgment, who will render to each one according to his own works: on the one hand, to those who with patient endurance in good works… [the goodness of God] …are seeking glory and honor and immortality… [What are you going to receive?] …—eternal life; on the other hand, to those who are contentious and who disobey the Truth, but obey unrighteousness…" (vs 5-8)—which we have more and more of today in the society; it's all just messed up.

"…—indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish—upon every soul of man who works out evil, both of the Jew first, and of the Greek; but glory and honor and peace to everyone who works good, both to the Jew first, and to the Greek, because there is no respect of persons with God. For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law; and as many as have sinned within the Law shall be judged by the Law, (because the hearers of the law are not just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified" (vs 8-13)—shall be saved!

This is what God wants us to focus in on. This is what we need to know, understand and realize. When we get out and just:

  • trying to function in the world
  • trying to live
  • trying to grapple
  • trying to keep things together
  • hanging everything together

Sometimes we get our eyes off this:

Romans 5:8: "But God commends His own love to us because, when we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more, therefore, having been justified now by His blood, we shall be saved… [Jesus said, 'Because I live, you shall live.'] …from wrath through Him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His own Son, much more then, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life" (vs 8-10).

Let's focus in on this aspect of life, eternal life, and what Jesus did and how He brought it.

John 1:4: "In Him…"—Christ:

  • the One Who was the Word
  • the One Who was God
  • the One Who was with God
  • the One Who created everything that there is

"…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 4-5). It surely doesn't! Absolutely does not! There is no way that it comprehends it!

John 5 talks about the resurrection, the Holy Spirit and life; John 5:20: "For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him everything that He Himself is doing…." The Father is loving the Son, the Father is showing Him all things that He, Himself is doing.

"…And He will show Him greater works than these, so that you may be filled with wonder. For even as the Father raises the dead and gives life, in the same way also, the Son gives life to whom He will" (vs 20-21).

That's what's so important. That's what's so important about Pentecost because, remember what we read, 'As many as the Lord shall call.' We have been called. That calling is above everything else that there is in this world—period! That's what's so important about it. He's going to quicken/give life "…to whom He will.'

Verse 22: "For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son so that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. The one who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father Who sent Him. Truly, truly I say to you, the one who hears My word, and believes Him Who sent Me, has everlasting life…" (vs 22-24).

That belief has got to be profound. We have seen that that belief has got to be coupled with repentance and with baptism, and we know also with the laying on of hands for the receipt of the Holy Spirit.

"'…and does not come into judgment; for he has passed from death into life'" (v 24). Jesus said, 'Because I live, you shall live.' You have "…passed from death into life."

Though you may die in the flesh because 'it's given once to all men to die' because of the sin of Adam, you shall not 'taste of death forever' because you have "…passed from death into life." I want us to really comprehend that today and to understand it today. You have "…passed from death into life." That is the most important thing that we can cover concerning the Feast of Pentecost.

Verse 25: "'Truly, truly I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear shall live.'"

Receiving the Holy Spirit is life. You have passed already—past tense. Why have you passed 'from death unto life?' You are buried with Him by baptism into His death! (Rom. 6). That death of Christ is sufficient. You have "…passed from death into life." When that call comes, you will hear His voice!

Verse 26: "For even as the Father has life in Himself, so also has He given to the Son to have life in Himself… [to give that life to whomsoever He wills] …and has also given Him authority to execute judgment because He is the Son of man. Do not wonder at this, for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves shall hear His voice and shall come forth: those who have practiced good unto a resurrection of life, and those who have practiced evil unto a resurrection of judgment" (vs 26-29).

I know that I've heard one of these verses given as meaning that we're to have the Kingdom now and we're to have the abundant life now. Listen, the time is going to come when being a Christian is going to really be very miserable. It will be.

John 10:7: "Therefore, Jesus again said to them, 'Truly, truly I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them'" (vs 7-8).

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Verse 9: "'I am the door. If anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and shall find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal and kill and destroy. I have come so that they may have life, and may have it more abundantly'" (vs 9-10).

We can see by the example of the Apostle Paul, that that abundance is not in the physical things that we have or just in the physical things that we enjoy. That abundance is in Christ and looking forward to the resurrection when there will be that abundant life as spirit beings forever with God the Father and Jesus Christ. That's a tremendous thing to really keep in mind. If there's any one thing that we need to set our minds on, it's to keep that right in the forefront of our minds.
Verse 11: "I am the good Shepherd. The good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. But the one who is a hireling, and who is not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep, and flees. And the wolf seizes the sheep and scatters them" (vs 11-12).

It's talking about political intrigue here, in case you didn't know it. That's why God gave up everything that He had. He gave up everything to become a human being so that he would be that perfect sacrifice for us that we could be saved.

Verse 13: "'Now, the hireling flees because he is a hireling and has no concern for the sheep. I am the good Shepherd, and I know those who are Mine, and am known of those who are Mine. Just as the Father knows Me, I also know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep'" (vs 13-15). That's what Christ is doing. That's what this Day of Pentecost pictures.

John 3:14: "And even as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, in the same way it is ordained that the Son of man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish, but may have everlasting life" (vs 14-15).

That's what this day is picturing. Not only the begettal of the Holy Spirit to receive eternal life, but when we will receive the full portion of eternal life at the resurrection. That's why we're called the firstfruits. That's why Jesus is called 'the Firstborn among many brethren, the Firstborn from the dead.' We are to follow in His footsteps. That's why we have:

Verse 16: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in Him… [that active, on-going, 'faithizing' into Jesus Christ] …may not perish, but may have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world that He might judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him'" (vs 16-17). That's what this day pictures.

We'll talk a little bit about the harvest, which is pictured by the seven churches. We have an article here that someone wrote: There Are Three Kinds of Christians. I think we find here in Rev. 2 and 3 that there are seven kinds of Christians. There are seven attitudes. I think that Rev. 2 and 3 contain everything that people have thought that it contained:

  • a prophecy of the Church of God from the time of the vision down to the return of Christ
  • if people want to believe in historical eras, you have it
  • if people want to believe in attitudes, you have it
  • if you want to believe in seven specific Churches as God would see them, I think that is also there

Too many times people try and throw off one from the other so that it throws confusion into it and try and make a prophecy or dogma against it.

I know I have gone through the seven Churches many, many times. I'll tell you a secret: At different times I have an attitude of one of the different Churches. I cannot say that I constantly have one attitude of one of the Churches. I heard that there was another split that went off from one of the Churches of God and we now have another Philadelphia Church of God.

What I want to focus in on is not the problems. Everyone of the churches had their problems. Some of them more severe than others:

  • some of them had problems of idolatry
  • some of them had problems of the Nicolaitans, which is the super over-lordship of the people
  • some of them had problems that they were almost dead
  • some of them had no problems but they were physically poor
  • some of them were just so lukewarm that they could just kind of take it or leave it
  • some of them were faithful

What I want to focus in on is the reward. Notice that this is to all of the churches.

Revelation 2:7: "The one who has an ear… [the one who is willing to listen] …let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who overcomes…" That is to the one who is victorious, or to the one who is overcoming on a constant on-going basis.

"…I will give the right to eat of the tree of life… ['because I live, you shall live'] …that is in the midst of the paradise of God" (v 7). There's the promise of eternal life reinforced again—more specifically to those that God has called—to the churches.

Verse 11: "The one who has an ear… [the one who is willing to listen] …let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who overcomes shall not be hurt of the second death." That's a tremendous promise, though you may be carted off to jail and tortured and die, you won't be "…hurt of the second death." (tie that in with Rev. 20:4-6.

Verse 17: "The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who overcomes I will give the right to eat of the hidden manna… [the Tree of Life] …and I will give him a white stone… [A stone of authority, of rulership, of eternal life] …and on the stone a new name written, which no one knows except the one who receives it." Again:

  • notice the promise
  • notice the reward
  • notice the encouragement to eternal life

Though He says, 'Look, I've got to correct you.' Though He say to this one here, the Church at Pergamos, 'I might have to even come and fight against you.'

Let's go to the Church at Thyatira, v 26: "And to the one who overcomes, and keeps My works unto the end… [sounds like this group is going to be around at the end] …I will give authority over the nations; and he shall shepherd them with an iron rod…'" (vs 26-27).

That's what those who are preaching a form of Christianity today do not understand. You cannot save this society and system today, because Satan is here. You can't change it until he is put away! The greatest impact you could have is to have a little modification of it, but that is it.

When Christ returns, we're going to have power over the nations. Just remember when you're watching some of the news and the things going on and you get that urge that you would love to do something about it right now, just wait! God is going to fill that urge and:

  • you're going to have the opportunity
  • you're going to have the knowledge
  • you're going to have the wisdom
  • you're going to have the spiritual life through the resurrection to do it

Isn't that going to be something? A whole society under Christ made right by the very sons of God. That's us, brethren!

"…as vessels of pottery are broken in pieces; as I have also received from My Father; and I will give him the morning star…. [a type of glory that we're going to have] …The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches (vs 27-29).

Even to the Church at Sardis, the one that is accused of being dead, notice what He says of them; Revelation 3:5: "The one who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments; and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life…" You talk about God's mercy! You talk about God extending it because of His commitment, because of His calling.

"…but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches" (vs 5-6)—to all the churches collectively.

Are there times when you ever thought, 'Maybe I'm a Sardisite'? Most of the time we read and say, 'Oh, well, I'm a Philadelphian.' I tell you that there will be a time when you feel like you've got to be a Sardisite because you just let things slip so long. Did you think, 'Boy! I'm nearly dead!' There's still hope for you.

Now, the Church of Philadelphia, v 12: "The one who overcomes will I make a pillar in the temple of My God…"—which is going to be New Jerusalem. We're going to be there! We're going to have a new name, but the 12 tribes of Israel and the 12 apostles are going to have their names written on the foundations and on the gates. We might have our name written at some other little place. That's all right with me. Whatever it may be. Wherever that little white stone is going to be. That's going to be, 'Fred, here's where you're going to be.

"…and he shall not go out any more; and I will write upon him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which will come down out of heaven from My God; and I will write upon him My new name" (v 12). We're going to have three names!

Verse 13: "The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."

Let's come down and read about the Laodiceans, those old nasty, rotten, just lukewarm, Laodiceans. Even God has encouragement for them.

Verse 21: "To the one who overcomes will I give authority to sit with Me in My throne…" That's something!

  • To sit down with Christ in the very throne of Christ?
  • To have the very authority of Christ for rulership and for judgment?

"…even as I also overcame, and sat down with My Father in His throne. The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches" (vs 21-22). Let's see if we can get that message and learn it.

1-John 5:10: "The one who believes in the Son of God…" You can just automatically remember to put it in this sense: The one who is believing on the Son of God! Brethren, when you get down to it, what else is there to believe on? There is nothing else! There is no other way! There is no other course! That is the way!

"…has the witness in himself; the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar… [no one's going to make God a liar because it's impossible for God to lie] …because he has not believed in the witness that God has witnessed concerning His Son. And this is the witness: that God has given us eternal life…" (vs 10-11). The fact that He gave His son and has given us of His Spirit, it is the record that we have been given eternal life.

"…and this life is in His Son. The one who has the Son has eternal life… ['Because I live, you shall live'] …the one who does not have the Son of God does not have eternal life" (vs 11-12).

There's no such a thing as we're all going to get to heaven in many different ways and many differen religions and we're all going in the same direction. Isn't that wonderful? That's called 'The broad way which leads to destruction' (Matt. 7). But if you have the Son, you have life!

Verse 13: "These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God in order that you may know that you have eternal life…"

That's what the Day of Pentecost is all about, to know that you have eternal life! Not that you look to your own self and you own weaknesses and think, 'O God, how am I ever going to make it?' That's a good thought. Through the grace of God you're going to make it. That's how it's going to be.

"…and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God. And this is the confidence that we have toward Him: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us" (vs 13-14).

God hears us! He will answer! He will be there! The answer will come the way that God wants it to come.

Verse 15: "And if we know that He hears us, whatever we may ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of Him. If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin that is not unto death…" ( vs 15-16). It shows that people are going to sin. That's why the loaf has leaven in it, as I mentioned at the beginning of the sermon.

"…he shall ask, and He will give him life for those who do not sin unto death…." (v 16). What is a sin unto death? The rejection of the Son! The rejection of the salvation of God through Jesus Christ! That's a sin unto death. The others are not.

"…There is a sin unto death; concerning that sin, I do not say that he should make any supplication to God. All unrighteousness is sin, and there is a sin not unto death" (vs 16-17). He wants Christians to know there is the weakness of the flesh. Brothers are going to sin, sisters are going to sin, but that we ask God's help and forgiveness for that.

Verse 18: "We know that anyone who is begotten by God does not practice sin… [is not practicing that sin unto death] …for the one who has been begotten by God keeps himself by the power of God, and the wicked one does not touch him." That's a tremendous promise. He might:

  • irritate us from time to time
  • be after us from time to time
  • be stiring up the society around us

But He can't touch us to take away eternal life!

Verse 19: "We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the wicked one." Some might think that that's rather a presumptous statement, but it is true. We are of God and the whole world truly does lie in wickedness.

Verse 20: "And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us an understanding, so that we may know Him Who is true; and we are in Him Who is true, and in His Son, Jesus Christ. He is the true God, and the eternal life…. [then John gives a final little statement]: …Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen (vs 20-21).

Since this day pictures the resurrection of the firstfruits, 1-Corinthians 15:20: "But now Christ has been raised from the dead; He has become the Firstfruit of those who have fallen asleep." That Wave Sheaf Offering on the first day is what Christ pictures! That's what the Firstfruit is. Now we come clear down to Pentecost and the 50th day.

The reason that we count and we know it's going to be 50 days from the day after the weekly Sabbath, we know that, but we don't know what day of the month in the 3rd month it's going to be, as far as the number of the day is going to be. It could be anywhere from the 6th to the 13th.

We know that the resurrection is pictured by an event that is going to take place at a specific time. Just like Pentecost takes place at a specific time, but we don't know exactly when it's going to be. However, we know that God, from the time of the resurrection of Jesus Christ until His return in our resurrection, knows exactly the time.

Verse 21: "For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive" (vs 21-22). As it says, 'some unto life and some unto everlasting condemnation' (John 5).

All are going to be made alive; all who are in their graves are going to be resurrected, either to eternal life—those who are in Christ—or to a resurrection of judgment—as we know when we have the fulfillment of the rest of the Holy Days.

Verse 23: "But each in his own order: Christ the Firstfruit; then, those who are Christ's at His coming." Why did He specifically say that here? Because there were those who were saying that the resurrection was past! 'There's no more resurrection. You go to heaven and be with God.'

Verse 24: "Afterwards the end comes, when He shall have delivered up the kingdom to Him Who is God and Father, when He shall have put an end to all rule and all authority and power. For it is ordained that He reign until He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death" (vs 24-26). We have passed from death to life because we believe on Jesus Christ!

Verse 42: "So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption…"

The North Koreans are 'really nice folks.' They sent back some bones and some remains of some of our troops that were there from the Korean War. They showed pictures before they put the bones in the casket to send it on its way. It was just exactly like Ezek. 37 when God asked Ezekiel, 'Ezekiel, can those bones live?' It showed the skill and all the bones laid out there. This person died. Now it's a mystery because we don't know how God is going to re-gather everything—do we? We think, 'Well, yes. We're going to be resurrected, but when you see those bones, you're confronted with the same kind of thought.

My wife and I always have an on-going joke. Whenever we go by a cemetery we think: the first thing that's going to happened is they're going to be resurrected out of their graves and knock themselves out on their tombstone as they're coming out. That's not exactly the way it's going to be. They're going to be resurrected. It doesn't matter:

  • where a person has lived or died
  • if they're eaten up by sharks,
  • if they're boiled in oil
  • if they're thrown into a fiery furnace

God's going to resurrection them!

"…it is raised in incorruption" (v 42). I don't think they're going to have any skill-saws to nip fingers off. That's corruption, really quick corruption. Won't have to worry about that.

Verse 43: "It is sown in dishonor…" That is true. Geraldo Rivera showed this very controversial thing where this one teacher was teaching against drugs and drunken driving. He took his students from his classroom and took them down to the morgue. He took them step-by-step through everything that happens in the morgue. He pulled out the refrigerated drawer, pulled back the sheet and there was this dead body, have to identify it, big toe sticking up there with a tag on it identifying the individual.

Then he took them into the autopsy room and showed how that every person that comes into the morgue goes through an autopsy. Not only did these kids have the shock of their life to see a dead body, but to see mangled dead bodies, because of wrecks. He made them stand there and watch the one who does the autopsies take his little buzz-saw and just cut them right open. There were a lot of convinced people, that they are very mortal and very subject to death. They better not take drugs because they saw the descended brains of these drug addicts because he opened the skull and showed it to them.

That's corruption! We're all corruptible. I don't want to sound too gruesome, but part of the problem that we have in the world today and the brainwashing that is going on, there is nothing that they allow anyone to see that is really rotten as a result of sin. Oh, yeah, they'll let you watch murders, they'll let you watch rape, but they won't show you what happens to people because of their sins. It was really effective with these teenagers. They were convinced, but there were a lot of 'do gooders,' 'Oh! You're hurting these tender little minds.' They're going to the grave anyway.

"…it is raised in glory…." (v 43). That's going to be a tremendous mystery, how that God can take this and all of a sudden resurrect it in a glorious body with a spirit mind to live forever!

Verse 44: "It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body; accordingly, it is written, 'The first man, Adam, became a living soul; the last Adam became an ever-living Spirit.' However, the spiritual was not first, but the natural—then the spiritual" (vs 44-46). We're not going to have eternal life until we've run the course of this natural life, however God has determined that it will be.

Verse 47: "The first man is of the earth—made of dust…." Dust you are and unto dust you'll return, for out of the ground you were taken. No man has turned that back, except Jesus Christ by the resurrection of the dead through God the Father.

"…The second Man is the Lord from heaven. As is the one made of dust, so also are all those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly one, so also are all those who are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the one made of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly One" (vs 47-49). I don't think we are going to have problems with being:

  • overweight
  • too thin
  • too short
  • too tall

We will have God's Spirit. We will eat whatever spiritual food there is to eat. Just think, no more vitamin pills. How about that? That'll be good.

If you want to know if you're going to be in the resurrection, there it is right there: "…as we have borne the image of the one made of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly One," at the resurrection.

Verse 50: "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God…" That's why Paul says that. You see all the things we've gone through to get to this statement. It isn't going to be.

"…nor does corruption inherit incorruption…. [it must be transformed] …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" (vs 50-52). That's going to be a tremendous thing!

Verse 53: "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.' O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory? Now the sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the Law. But thanks be to God, Who gives us the victory…" (vs 53-57). Didn't we just read, 'To the one who is overcoming.' That's the victory!

"…through our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord" (vs 57-58).

Philippians 3:7: Paul says, "Yet, the things that were gain to me, these things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. But then truly, I count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord; for Whom I have suffered the loss of all things… [that was Paul's abundant life] …and count them as dung; that I may gain Christ and may be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is derived from law, but that righteousness which is by the faith of Christ—the righteousness of God that is based on faith; That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; if by any means I may attain unto the resurrection of the dead" (vs 8-11).

That's what this day pictures, brethren, that we "…attain to the resurrection of the dead." That we be the firstfruits; we're the firstfruits that are called now, but we have to be brought to harvest. We have to be brought to that harvest of the first resurrection.

Verse 12: "Not as though I have already received, or have already been perfected; but I am striving…"

  • You keep going!
  • I keep going!
  • We keep going!

"…so that I may also lay hold on that for which I also was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not count myself as having attained; but this one thing I do—…" (vs 12-13).

This is what we need to do, brethren, in going forward, even though this is in the way of what is called 'positive attitude.' This is an attitude of faith, here.

"…forgetting the things that are behind…" (v 13). You can't go back and undo it. You can repent of it. You can go forward from there.

"…and reaching forth to the things that are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (vs 13-14).

I'm going to finish were I began, John 14. I didn't give you the Scriptural reference. I just quoted it for you. Let's keep this in mind! Let's always focus in on that! This the theme for the Feast of Pentecost!

John 14:19,  Jesus said: "'…Because I live, you shall live also." That's the meaning of the Feast of Pentecost!

All Scripture from The Holy Bible In Its Original Order, A Faithful Version

Scriptural References:

  • Leviticus 23:15-17, 20-21
  • Acts 2:1-17
  • Ephesians 6:10-17
  • Acts 2:17-41
  • Romans 2:3-13
  • Romans 5:8-10
  • John 1:4-5
  • John 5:20-27
  • John 10:7-15
  • John 3:14-17
  • Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 26-29
  • Revelation 3:5-6, 12-13, 21-22
  • 1-John 5:10-21
  • 1-Corinthians 15:20-26, 42-58
  • Philippians 3:7-14
  • John 14:19

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Leviticus 23:18-19
  • Genesis 1-5
  • Romans 6
  • Revelation 20:4-6
  • Matthew 7
  • Ezekiel 37

FRC:nfs
Transcribed:10-27-16
Proofed: bo—11/7/16

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