(Pentecost—LIVE)

Fred R. Coulter—May 27, 2007

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As we know, the children of Israel were to do in the letter of the Law what God wanted them to do to bring the knowledge of God to the world. It is true, and it can be done, that people can keep the Laws of God in the letter of the Law. God wanted them to take the knowledge of Him and His way, and His laws to the whole world.

So, we have physical Israel, and we're going to concentrate on spiritual Israel.

After they came to Mt. Sinai… It's very interesting what happened here because they received the Law on Pentecost. {note sermon: From the Red Sea to Mt. Sinai} When they got there:

Exodus 19:3: "And Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him out of the mountain, saying, 'Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob and tell the children of Israel; "You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you unto Myself"'" (vs 3-4).

Let's think about this in relationship to the resurrection on Pentecost. Obviously, they weren't on eagles' wings; they walked! But that shows a sign of protection. But when we're resurrected, how are we going to meet Christ in the air? The angels are going to take us up! Here's a little parallel in symbolism and type.

Verse 5: "Now, therefore, if you will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then…"

Most people like to do ifs and thens the other way around. They say, 'God, if You will do this, then I will do such and such. But that is backward. God tells us if we do certain things, then He'll do certain things! The created cannot tell the Creator what to do!

That would be like having a robot in your house, and all of a sudden the robot takes over and starts telling you what to do. What would you do? Cut the power and end it! That's what God is going to do with people who try and tell Him what to do.

"…you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine" (v 5). Then He gives the mission statement as to what He wanted them to do!

What happened? They got all involved in their own way! All involved in thinking that they could continue on with the way that they were in Egypt. I think it's in Jeremiah that God said that He though of punishing and even destroying the children of Israel while they were in Egypt, because they were so bad! Here's what God wanted them to do:

Verse 6: "And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a Holy nation…." We see that that has implications in the New Testament!

"…These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel" (v 6). Then they prepared themselves and they received the Ten Commandments, and they heard the voice of God!

We are also going to hear the voice of God on the Day of Pentecost. We'll see that there are many, many parallels with this. Let's see some of the things that God would have us do. We're going to see that part of our rewards are going to be a Holy nation.

1-Peter 2 talks about the same thing. This is going to be, instead of a physical nation, a spiritual nation of people who have been perfected, of those who are now spirit being because of the power of the resurrection.

2-Peter 2:4: "To Whom [Christ] coming, as to a living Stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God, and precious." Remember that!

We're few, but the few that we have God wants us to be perfected and grow in grace, knowledge, Truth and understanding. We don't know what God has in the future for us one way or the other, but we know that there are going to be many more who are going to pass into their place of safety. Their lives are going to end while they're still in the faith. That's the whole goal of God!

We are chosen and precious!Remember that God loves you and has called you because He loves you. Don't think of God in the way that people do in the world, that God has got to prove Himself to you first. It's the other way around! We come to God and IF we do these things THEN He will bless us. But He still loves us.

Because of the work that He is doing, v 5: "You also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house…"

Jesus said on the Passover night, 'In My Father's house are many dwelling places, and I go and prepare a place for you.' That's going to be something! What is it going to be like? We'll project forward way ahead: When we are allowed to walk into New Jerusalem, and God shows us our place to live, what is that going to be like? and to be made of spirit?
I often think what it's going to be like if maybe an angel will take us up there and say, 'Here's your room, and by the way, here is your closet full of robes and the official clothes that you're going to wear. What's it going to be like having clothes made of spirit? How beautiful that is going to be? That is going to be your abode forever, and it's going to be so fantastic. There won't be a temple there. I'm getting ahead of myself, but we need to look ahead to see what the goal is. That way when we see the steps we take step-by-step as we're going along, then we'll always be able to have the goal in mind.

When you always have the goal in mind then you can always overcome the present difficulties.

Verse 5: "You also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house—a Holy priesthood—… [because we're going to be priests and kings] …to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God through Jesus Christ."

Let's see that the way that Christ is working—because He's the Head of the Church—and through whatever God is doing and however He is doing it, God is working and dealing with His people to bring them to perfection.

Though we may think it kind of insignificant, and though we may think 'I'm just little ole me and what does God care about me?' Remember, we're looking through 'a glass darkly' and God has a fantastic plan and purpose for each of us, which is pictured by this day.

Ephesians 2:17: "Now when He came, He preached the Gospel—peace to you who were far off and to those who were near…. [Gentiles and Jews] …For through Him we both have direct access by one Spirit to the Father" (vs 17-18).

This is why even in the midst of our worst trials, we don't have to be totally downcast. Sometimes it's a little difficult. When I get to thinking that I'm having a hard time, I always remember Jeremiah and Ezekiel.

Jeremiah was thrown into the muck of the sewer and left to die and have to be pulled out of that—imagine the stench and everything that was there—God rescued him. Jeremiah sort of complained, 'O God, I've done all of this…' God said, 'Don't worry about it, I'm going to take care of you.'

Then Ezekiel was told to demonstrate the children of Israel how bad they were. He was to make this special pottage of spelt, wheat and barley and he was to put human dung in it. He said, 'O Lord God, I haven't touched anything unclean in life.' He was priest! God said, 'Okay, cow dung.' So, there was a little cow dung in there.

Then God said, 'I want you to go naked and at a certain time every day for 390 days I want you lay on your right side for Israel. Then lay on your left side for a number of days for the Jews.' When I read those things and see what that is, then look at what my little ole trial is, I think, O God thank You! Help me! If any of us had to do like God commanded Ezekiel, you'd be arrested and thrown into jail for indecent exposure, unless you were living in San Francisco.

God is dealing with us! He has called us! We have direct access to God by one Spirit. That's what makes our prayers so tremendous. That's why:

  • never get lukewarm
  • never get bored
  • never put off praying

When you think you will put off praying, that when to pray!

Verse 19: "So then, you are no longer aliens and foreigners; but you are fellow citizens with the saints… [our citizenship is in heaven] …and are of the household of God. You are being built up… [because Christ is working in each one of us] …on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief Cornerstone in Whom all the building, being conjointly fitted together…" (vs 19-21).

The perfection will come at the resurrection, and that's what this day is all about!

 "…is increasing into a Holy temple in the Lord… [we are a temple of God because we have the Spirit of God (1-Cor. 3)] ...in Whom you also are being built together for a habitation of God in the Spirit" (vs 21-22).

We'll see what this has to do with the Day of Pentecost as we go along. Let's come back to where the Church began. We had the official beginning of the nation of Israel under God at Mt. Sinai. When we come to Acts 2, also on the Day of Pentecost, we have the official beginning of the spiritual nation of God, the Church of God!

The #12 pops up in this all the way through. How many tribes were there in the tribes of the children of Israel? Actually, there were 13, counting the priesthood and the Levites! But there 12, because the Levites were scattered into all the tribes. They had their cities and did their instruction there and so forth. They went, at set times of the year, up to the temple to work.

In Acts 1 how many were there? Think of the 3-1/2 year ministry of Jesus Christ:

  • all that He did
  • all that He taught
  • all the miracles

There were 120! That was it. Now Christ was going to let the disciples carry on from there. But they couldn't carry on from there unless they were imbued with power from on high.

So, we come to Acts 2 and we find that God began His Church at the temple, because that's where He placed His name. At the time that the children of Israel received the Ten Commandments and the covenant that was given to them, where had God placed His name? On Mt. Sinai! Then He chose the temple and said that He would put His name there.

Anything that God was going to do had to originate at the temple. This is what happened. Just as hearing the voice of God at Mt. Sinai was a miraculous thing for the people, it was so powerful that the people couldn't endure to hear it hear it. So, they wanted Moses to speak to God and then have Moses speak to them and they would do what God said. But they never really did.

Likewise, God is going to speak to people after the 3-1/2 year ministry of Jesus Christ, now He's going to speak to those gathered at the temple in a miraculous way so that they could understand the parallel between what it was at Mt. Sinai when they heard the voice of God and now at the temple when the Holy Spirit comes and they hear the words of God. Let's read this because this is quite a phenomenal day that took place:

Acts 2:1: "And when the Day of Pentecost, the fiftieth day, was being fulfilled… 

The proper translation of the Old Testament combined with this, that's what the Greek is, present tense passive participle. I don't think there will be any serious mistakes of a Monday Pentecost henceforth in most of the Churches of God.

"…they were all with one accord in the same place" (v 1). That's what's going to happen when we're resurrected on Pentecost! We're all going to be in one place, and we're all going to be of one accord.

Verse 2: "And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like the rushing of a powerful wind…" What is the Spirit of God likened to? To water, to oil and to wind!

Here comes the power of God, which is His Holy Spirit, "…and filled the whole house where they were sitting" (v 2).

At the temple area they had different rooms alongside the temple. Different groups had their room that they were in. So, they were in Solomon's Room. I don't know how they got that, maybe through John who was actually the bloodline of the house of Aaron, so maybe he had access to get that. But that's where they were. It started in this room right on the temple grounds.

Verse 3: "And there appeared to them divided tongues as of fire…" This is not baptism by fire, but it was like fire! You can't see wind, so in order to show to the apostles and disciples there that this was of God, and it was something spiritual, he made it appear as flames of fire. It didn't scorch them or burn them, or anything like that.

"…and sat upon each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit" (vs 3-4).

When you go back and read about the school of the prophets and how things like this occurred—not exactly in the same way, but in type—you will see that it also fulfills what God has done in the past. When God does something new in the future, He always parallels that with something in the past. It's anchored in something that God has already done, and now it's expanded in a new way.

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

It would be like this: If every one of you had a different language, and you were all here and you couldn't understand what I was speaking, which I would speak to you what was in my mind. But it would come out of my mouth to each of you in  your own language. You would have to know that that was from God!

  • Why?
  • Where do we go in the Old Testament for the anchor?
  • Who created all the languages?

God did beginning with Adam! Then at the Tower of Babel He confused all the languages and made all the languages of the world. Of course, men have since evolved those even more.

Since God confused the languages, now He's going to untangle them for those who were there at the temple to hear the message of God! Another thing, too, as the Spirit gave them the power to proclaim the words, what was it that Moses did? The Lord spoke to Moses, 'Speak unto the children of Israel…' So, they're the words of God! Same way with every one of the Prophets. Same way with what Jesus said; so here we have a repeat of it.

Verse 5: "Now, there were many Jews who were sojourning in Jerusalem…" This was after the Passover, crucifixion and the resurrection!

You know how fast the bird flies from Jerusalem throughout the empire. I've always had in mind that there were a lot of Jews that God especially moved to go to Jerusalem at this particular Day of Pentecost that maybe weren't there at other times. The word came out, because at Passover and Unleavened Bread there were a lot of Jews there, too. All the events that took place, and they came back and said,

WOW! You won't believe what has happened on the Passover Day. It was like night and there was a great earthquake! And the hand of God struck the temple and the veil was ripped in two. Guess what, about the middle of the Feast there were many people who recently died who were resurrected back to life and came to those that knew them.

Can you imagine all this excitement that was there during that Feast of Unleavened Bread? When that was over, what did they do? All those who had come for the pilgrimage Feast they went back to wherever they lived in the Diaspora: Syria, Egypt, Rome, Greece, Parthia, Babylon. When they got to the synagogue they could hardly wait to tell them what went on.

'You came from Jerusalem, tell us what went on.' You will never believe what happened! We actually heard that this Jesus Who was crucified was resurrected from the dead. Let's go to Jerusalem for Pentecost, because if that actually happened then, then something great is going to happen at Pentecost.

So, here you have this throng already prepared from every nation under heaven.

Verse 6: "And when word of this went out, the multitude came together and were confounded, because each one… [great miracle from God] …heard them speaking in his own language. And they were all amazed, and marveled, saying to one another, 'Behold, are not all these who are speaking Galileans?'" (vs 6-7).

They could see them, besides they were all fishermen. Jesus Christ did a real number on the priesthood. He didn't choose a single one of them except John the Baptist, and that's the link between the Old and New Testaments. 'How can this be?'

So, don't ever figure that at any time that you are what you are, and who you are does not mean that God cannot use every one of us in any way that He desires. God will use us to form in us what He desires, because God is continually creating in us the spiritual character, which is the mold that is going to be the key for the spiritual mind and body at the resurrection. This is fantastic stuff, brethren. All of this is contained in the Word of God as we go along, if we just take the time and look at it.

Of course, there are going to be detractors; 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).

Here they are at the temple of God, where God placed His name. Here they are on a Holy Day ready to carry out the rituals that they were to do. All of a sudden God interrupts this whole thing with a great powerful blast of His Holy Spirit. They all hear the words of God preached!

I wonder what the priests were doing? I wonder what they thought of this. The people weren't coming to them, they were coming to the apostles. Of course, you know the confrontation that happened later.

Verse 13: "But others were mocking and saying… [there are always detractors] …'They are full of new wine'"—these are drunkards!

Verse 14: "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. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel'" (vs 14-16).

This also is a future prophecy. This is partially fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost here, but this is a future prophecy for us. It also gives us a time-setting when some of these things will be.

Verse 17: "'And it shall come to pass in the last days,' says God, 'that I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh… [not happened, yet; the last days are not here, so it was a partial fulfillment] …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. The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord'" (vs 17-20).

This projects for us into the book of Revelation when we understand that.

Verse 21: "'And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.'"

What do we find in the book of Revelation? The 144,000 and the great innumerable multitude! In the Scriptures we have all of these things portrayed there if we put it together, and add it together the way that it should be.

Verse 22—Peter continues: "Men, Israelites, listen to these words… [he got their attention] …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."

As he was preaching there, I wonder how many were there with the group that was there on the day of Jesus' judgment when Pilate, 'Who do you want, Barabbas or Jesus?' And they said Barabbas and crucify Jesus! Think about that. This is in a the Greek a hapax legomenon, a one-time event.

Verse 23: "Him, having been delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God…" Tie in with:

  • Rev. 13:8, 'slain before the foundation of the world'
  • the beginning of the ministry of Jesus, 'behold the Lamb of God

You can take each one of these verses and bring to it other aspects of the Bible and see how fantastic God is that He puts it all together. What we have to do is take a little here and a little there and get the whole picture together.

"…you have seized by lawless hands and have crucified and killed. But God has raised Him up, having loosed the throes of death, because it was not possible for Him to be held by it" (vs 23-24).

Then Peter talks about David and that he's not resurrected, and so forth.

Verse 32—Peter continues: "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. 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"'" (vs 32-35).

Notice what the apostles were doing all along here as God inspired them to do. Drawing from the prophecies of the Old Testament to make it relevant for today and then reaching out into the future.

Verse 36: "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." They were looking for the Messiah!

What was one of the first things they wanted to know when the wise men came into Jerusalem? They got together with the priests and wanted to know where He was to be born. So, they looked in the Scriptures and said, 'In Bethlehem' So, where did the wise men go? To Bethlehem! They understood. So, when Peter said, "…both Lord and Christ," this had a tremendous impact upon them, because they were looking for the Messiah, the Savior. Peter is saying, 'He's here!'

Verse 37—this was a real moving and stirring message: "Now, after hearing this, they were cut to the heart…"

This is what happens, there comes a time in our lives when all of a sudden God is dealing with us and BANG! something happens! It's called in the Bible you come to yourself and you understand and realize! But also, God is dealing with you to lead you to repentance. We see this here:

"…and they said to Peter and the other apostles, 'Men and brethren, what shall we do?'…. [we come to the very first step that God wants us to do]: …Then Peter said to them, 'Repent and be baptized…'" (vs 37-38).

You take these words and you go through the New Testament and you see what God has in the way of the meaning of all of it. When we are baptized we commit our lives and ourselves to God as Christ committed Himself to us. That's why Paul wrote that we are conjoined in baptism into His death so that we, through the power of the Holy Spirit, can put to death the deeds of the flesh, overcome the carnal nature, let God work within us to develop His character and love of God and so forth.

So Peter said, "…'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" (v 38).

I want you to understand how vitally important that this is. God inhabits eternity. God gives to us something that He never gave to the angels. I'm sure this is why Lucifer and the angels rebelled. God gives us of His Spirit in a special way and has made and produced man in His image. When you despise and kill men you are killing those made in the image of God. God can take care of those who are evil, and He will. He'll resurrect them and then later on He'll say, 'What do you think about this?' and they're going to do just like it is here, 'O Lord My God' and repent!

They received the Holy Spirit in a way that the angels never could, because God did not make angels to receive the Holy Spirit the way that we do.

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."

You can take this one verse and what verses automatically come to mind here:

John 6:44: "No one can come to Me unless the Father, Who sent Me, draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day." The Father has to draw us, and the Father has to teach us!

John 14:6: "Jesus said to him, 'I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.'"

Just put all of this together. This is why we can say that the Bible is the living Word of God, even though it's printed on physical paper with ink or toner. But nevertheless, the letters are there. There is a spiritual connection between the words with the Spirit of God and our mind with the Spirit of God that has meaning and understanding that God is conveying to us that we couldn't understand unless that were so. There is no other book in the world that can do that! NONE!

That is a fantastic thing! They were baptized and received the Holy Spirit. Out of that whole throng that was there, 3,000 were baptized. So, you could say that these were the first of the firstfruits. Absolutely amazing! This is what God is doing with us and what we're going to do.

What we read right here was the beginning of the Church age. What we covered on Day 40 with the seven churches was the prophetic history of the Church down through time to the return of Christ.

Let's come to where the Church Age ends. I don't know if it's going to end on Pentecost or not. I have to give that some thought. If it began on Pentecost, will it end on Pentecost? The Church Age is a special time, and it ends with the martyrdom of the saints (Rev. 6).

There will be a few in a place of safety who will be protected. But the world has it all wrong with the rapture. They have the rapture, which is this: 'If we say this little prayer and we believe in Jesus, when Christ returns we'll be raptured away and we are going to avoid the Tribulation.' Note sermon series: The Rapture Hoax. God looks on the heart; that's what the important thing is.

There used to be an article in the old magazine Plain Truth called There is a Way of Escape and this was so hyped that even people in the Church of God, when they came to Sabbath services they had a special escape box, because they were thinking they were going to Petra, so it was their Petra box. They had a Bible in there and certain of their favorite things that they wanted to take in there, because they were going to go to a place of safety. They didn't want to miss out on it in case it happened on the Sabbath. That's as bad as the Baptists and their rapture. It never happened!

The Church Age ends with the martyrdom. Obviously, coming down through Rev. 6 we go into the beginning of the Great Tribulation. We know that the Great Tribulation from other prophecies lasts approximately three and a half years. Different events take place all the way through that. {Note sermon series: Daniel/Revelation}

When we get down to approximately two years of the Tribulation a fantastic even is going to take place. The Church Age ends in martyrdom, but that's not all of the work of God, because something else is going to take place.

As I pointed out yesterday, the Church Age ends the seven-week harvest, but there's one more day. But before that day happens there will be something that will take place that the whole world is going to have a warning and witness from God Himself.

After they have been martyred, then a startling thing is going to happen as the look up into space. Never happened before. I think it's interesting how many programs they have about meteors coming to the earth. Are there other people living out there in space? Are there other worlds? Are there aliens? UFOs? And all this sort of thing! People are going to be startled when this happens, and they're going to be so deluded by Satan, the beast and the false prophet, that even though some of them may know what's happening, they won't repent.

It's just like people today. How many people know that if they smoke they're going to get cancer or sickness. Yet, they still do! That's just one little thing.

Let's see what's going to happen. We're going to see many one-time events. Here's one of them:

Revelation 6:12: "And when He [Jesus] opened the sixth seal…" Let's understand that no prophecy is going to happen outside the timeframe that God has given, which is always based upon repentance!

If there is repentance, there can be an elongation of time as we have seen many times in the Bible. Just like with Ahab, Josiah and so forth. God is not locked into any timeframe that men have supposed is the timeframe of God. We all heard this. It goes clear back to the year 1000 when they thought that Jesus was going to come then. They had a lot of plagues, sickness, disease, war, famine and things back then. They said that the Lord was coming.

Then in modern days, the SDAs in 1844. There were even some out in the field standing on a rock with their hands lifted in the air saying, 'Lord, take me!' He didn't come! The SDAs refer to that as the 'big disappointment.' I guess! Can you imagine how disappointed you'd be if you were standing out there all day with your arms come saying, 'Lord Come! Lord Come!' and the sun sets and nothing happened? So, they changed it to 1845 and redid it.

Let's see what this is going to be, and again, this is going to be an one-time event. Ben Ambrose sent me a paper on Every Eye Shall See Him. How is every eye going to see Him? How long will they see Him?

Two years into the Tribulation, v 12: "And when He opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake…"

  • Could this be on the Day of Pentecost?
  • Was there not a prophecy of that?
  • Was it not included in Acts 2?

"…and the sun became black as the hair of sackcloth, and the moon became as blood… [tie in Acts 2] …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…" 12-14).

Have you ever tried to lay wallpaper? You lay out the wallpaper and get it where you want then you let go and it rolls back up. This is what is going to happen to the heavens. A great and fantastic thing is going to occur.

This is why the 'secret rapture' is so stupid. There is nothing secret about the second coming of Christ! There is nothing hidden about the second coming of Christ! There is every warning and everything that men need to know that this is Christ coming.

"…and every mountain and island was moved out of its place" (v 14). God is going to shake the earth (Isa. 13). It's going to roll back and forth like a drunken man. He's going to shake the heavens, shake the earth, shake the sea and the dry land, and then the hope of all nations will appear (Hag. 2)—that's Christ!

What we're learning out of this today is that all the things in the Word of God all connect together. It's jammed packed together is such a way that it makes a great and awesome picture for us to understand.

Now let's see what this is. If the world really truly believed that this was Jesus Christ, what do you suppose they would do? If they really believed it they would repent. So, they're not going to believe that this is Jesus Christ. They are going to be astounded as to what to do! They're going to call the experts, all the astronomers and they are going to say, 'What is this?'

Matthew 24:26: "Therefore, if they say to you… [concerning Christ] …'Come and see!….'"

It says that there will false Christs and false saviors. We have one now down in Florida who has the mark 666 on him. He's got thousands of followers. They all tattoo somewhere on themselves 666, and they believe that he's the incarnation of Christ. If they understood the Bible they would know that that is a satanic lie. It showed an interview of him and his eyes were blazing and really had some power behind him. But people believe all that stuff; they don't know anything about the Bible. They don't read the Bible.

"…'Come and see! He is in the wilderness'; do not go forth. 'Come and see! He is in the secret chambers'; do not believe it. For as the light of day…" (vs 26-27).

  • What is the light of day?
  • What did God set as the light of day?
  • The sun!

"…which comes forth from the east and shines as far as the west, so also shall the coming of the Son of man be" (v 27). That's what we're reading of in Rev. 6:12. The heavens roll back as a scroll and all of a sudden what do you see? A new sun!

How does it say the face of Christ looks (Rev. 1)? As the sun shining in full strength! What Ben Ambrose did was get in touch with a mathematician and they figured the angles out. How far out in the universe does this have to be for every eye to see it on earth?

Just supposition: If you're going to have something appear in the heavens that every eye is going to see, it's got to be in a certain location. The earth is turning, so that's why it looks like a new sun. It's out there!

How long will it be there? We don't know! Let's see the first thing that He does. This is going to affect everyone on the earth. It's going to catch them startled in the middle of their battles.

Revelation 6:15: "And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the powerful men, and every bondman, and every free man… [everyone on earth] …hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains… [everything is in upheaval] …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'… [even though they know this is Christ they're not going to believe it] …because the great day of His wrath has come, and who has the power to stand?'" (vs 15-17).

Just like God does everywhere in the Bible, just before some great event is going to happen He gives an opportunity of repentance. This is what we have here in Rev. 7.

I've gone through the account of King Zedekiah that Jeremiah told directly, 'Look, if you go surrender to King Nebuchadnezzar you'll go into captivity but you will live.' He didn't want to do it. The prophet Jeremiah talking to him face-to-face. You would think that with the armies out there surrounding Jerusalem that he would listen. No, he didn't listen! So he and his family and certain ones of his household tried to sneak out by night and they got down near Jericho and the armies of the Babylonians caught Nebuchadnezzar and they killed all of his children, his servants, gouged out his eyes and put chains on him and sent him to Babylon.

Likewise, God gives a space of repentance here. Before God does anything else He gives this space of repentance. Could this also be beginning on a Day of Pentecost? Take that 50th day, the harvest of God, His alone that He does through Christ. It's going to be a fantastic harvest.

Since there are other events yet to take place as shown in the book of Revelation, could this be on the next to the last Pentecost before the resurrection? Here's a tremendous event that happens:

Revelation 7:1: "And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, so that the wind might not blow on the earth, or on the sea, or on any tree"—a great hush, still!

Verse 2: "Then I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God…"—a special work of God!

None of us can be of the 144,000 as we'll see here. Why? Because we've already been sealed with the Spirit of God!

Why are the angels going to do this? There won't be any ministers out there! They've all been martyred, so how is God going to save these people?

"…and he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to damage the earth and the sea, saying, 'Do not damage the earth, or the sea, or the trees until we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads'" (vs 2-3)—conversion!

Here we have the 144,000 from where, beginning with whom? Verse 4: "And I heard the number of those who were sealed: one hundred forty-four thousand, sealed out of every tribe of the children of Israel." Showing that at the end-time God knows where the physical children of Israel are!

Where are most of them, if not all of them? Somewhere in captivity! They're not going to ship 200-million people out of the U.S. to send them away. There will be some sent away, but you can be in captivity in your own land if the enemy is there and has taken over, because they've taken the land captive. Out of this is going to be a miraculous thing of the children of Israel.

Verse 5: "From the tribe of Judah…"

Now let's see something important concerning the tribe of Judah. We're also going to see concerning the two witnesses. {note sermon: The Two Witnesses and Elijah}

Let's see the promise of God. When God says something and utters is, it is true and will be done exactly as God says it's going to be done.

Zechariah 12:7: "The LORD also shall save the tents of Judah first, so that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the people of Jerusalem may not be magnified above Judah."

Revelation 7:5: "From the tribe of Judah, twelve thousand were sealed; from the tribe of Reuben, twelve thousand were sealed…"—and all the tribes of Israel

Verse 8: "…from the tribe of Joseph, twelve thousand were sealed…" That will be for Ephraim and Dan is not listed because the prophecy in Gen. 49 says that Dan will wait for his salvation.

This is what is so fantastic and great about the Word of God. It all comes together properly. Just like it says in the Proverbs, 'It is God's delight to hide things, but the kings honor to discover it.' In other words, if we ask God to give us the understanding, He will give it to us if we do it correctly.

God also has this in the New Testament; Paul wrote 'to the Jew first, and then to the Gentile. Notice that there are going to be more Gentiles saved at this time than the children of Israel.

Verse 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…"

Then John gets the vision of what their salvation is going to entail. They're going to come and stand before God. You can't come before the Throne of God and the Throne of the Lamb unless you're saved.

"…was standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes and holding palms in their hands" (v 9). This means that they will be in the first resurrection as we put it all together!

Then there was great glory given to God. The living creatures worshipped God; v 11: "Then all the angels stood around the throne, and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, 'Amen. Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power and strength be to our God into the ages of eternity. Amen'" (vs 11-12).

This is going to be a tremendous event. This Day of Pentecost pictures a fantastic and marvelous thing for us, and awesome thing for the world in the events that are going to take place.

Verse 13: "And one of the elders answered and said to me, 'These who are clothed with white robes, who are they, and where did they come from?' Then I said to him, 'Sir, you know.' And he said to me, 'They are the ones who have come out of the Great Tribulation; and they have washed their robes, and have made their robes white in the blood of the Lamb'" (vs 13-14).

Always remember this: God gives a space of repentance always! He did here and He's saving them.

There are going to be other things that are going to take place. There are going to be other events that take place after this that blends into the things with the Feast of Trumpets.

Matt. 24—we will see that this will blend into the events that take place in Rev. 8-10, and we will pick it up at Rev. 11 and come to the resurrection. We will see how this ties in with Rev. 6, Acts 2, and Joel 2 & 3.

Matthew 24:29: "But immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven…" (vs 29-30)

That's going to remain constant and appear. The regular sun is going to be darkened. But the sign of the Son of man coming will still be there. Since we're going to meet Christ in the air at the resurrection, this is going to have to be coming closer and closer to the earth all during the time from when it first appeared.

"…and then 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…. [it's going to be an awesome event] …And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet…" (vs 30-31)—the last trump!

The thing to understand is that every Holy Days the trumpets are blown. The Feast of Trumpets in the Hebrew means a day of horn blasting all day long for the memorial of blowing of trumpets! But here is the sound of atrumpet. We're going to see that at the last trumpet the dead are going to be raised and we will when that is in just a minute.

"…and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other" (v 31).

This is going to be such a fantastic thing that the world is going to see all the dead in Christ raised and going up into the air to meet Christ in the air. We will see that that has to be on the Sea of Glass where you're going to stand. Even God, when He travels, has his cherubim and He has a sea of glass. Let's see when that is going to occur.

We have two sequences that overlap:

  • from the next to the last Pentecost to the last Pentecost—1 year

and overlapping:

  • from the next to the last Trumpets, to the last Trumpets

and the events that fulfilled with that

Let's talk about and read about the two witnesses. I think that the description that we find in Zech. 3 & 4 clearly show that the two witnesses will be:

  • the priest of the coming temple to be built in Jerusalem

Remember this because it is true, Jews will never listen to anyone from the Church of God—period! They consider all of us Gentiles, even though many of us may be from the ten tribes of Israel. They will listen to another Jew. So that's why God is going to select the high priest of the coming temple and:

  • the governor of Judea

One man that I think could fulfill the bill on that, more than any other, is Benjamin Netanyahu. I don't know if he's going to be the one. If he's not, forgive me, but he will be a man like him.

Let's see what's going to happen here. These are going to be two special men who will be imbued with the power of God like two men never have been in the history of the world.
We have two men being with Moses and Aaron. Who did they confront? Pharaoh, and all the evil of Egypt! Now we have the two witnesses who are going to confront the world, and the beast and the false prophet directly! That's why they're given this power.

Revelation 11:3: "And I will give power to My two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.

If you want to be one of the two witnesses you'd better get your sackcloth fitted right now, and you better be prepared to wear it 1260 days. You better be prepared to be so converted that every syllable you utter God backs it up. I don't think it applies to any of us!

Verse 4: "These are the two olive trees, and the two lampstands that stand before the God of the earth. And if anyone attempts to harm them, fire will go out of their mouths and devour their enemies. For if anyone attempts to harm them, he must be killed in this manner" (vs 4-5).

What do you see in the movies today? You see them mimicking that by special effects! But this is literally going to happen! Notice their authority:

Verse 6: "These have authority to shut heaven so that no rain may fall in the days of their prophecy; and they have authority over the waters, to turn them into blood, and to smite the earth with every plague, as often as they will." Magnified powers that Moses and Aaron had!

Verse 7: "And when they have completed their testimony, the beast who ascends out of the abyss will make war against them, and will overcome them, and will kill them…. [the last to martyrs; their going to be so happy about this]: …And their bodies will lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified" (vs 7-8).

Go back and see how God dealt with Sodom and Gomorrah, fire and brimstone from heaven! That's how God is going to deal with a lot of them on the earth. How did God deal with Egypt? Every plague: locust, flies, murrain; the whole thing.

They're going to be so glad when the two witnesses are dead, v 9: "Then those of the peoples and tribes and languages and nations shall see their bodies three and a half days… [to make sure they're dead] …for they will not allow their bodies to be put into tombs. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, and will make merry, and will send gifts to one another, because these two prophets had tormented those who dwell on the earth"(vs 9-10).
Think about all of these events happening all at once, all synchronized together and coming down to this time. God always let's the wicked think they're going to win. That's why Pharaoh and his armies when they got to the Red Sea said, 'Whoa! It's dry, let's go!' That was their death sentence.

So, with the two witnesses being killed, they're going to think they've finally done it. God has another story to tell!

Verse 11: "Then after the three and a half days, the spirit of life from God entered into them and they stood on their feet…" The first two resurrected that fulfills the prophecy that Jesus said, 'the last shall be first'!

"…and great fear fell upon those who were watching them. And they heard a great voice from heaven, say, 'Come up here!' And they ascended into heaven in a cloud; and their enemies saw them rise" (vs 11-12). What's going to be in the cloud?

Verse 13: "And in that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell; and seven thousand men were killed in the earthquake. And the rest were filled with fear, and gave glory to the God of heaven. The second woe is past. Behold, the third woe is coming immediately. Then the seventh angel sounded his trumpet… [the last trump] …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.'" (vs 13-15).

Verse 18: "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."

Now let's see something about the clouds. 1-Thessalonians 4:15: "For this we say to you by the Word of the Lord… [absolutely guaranteed] …that we who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall in no wise precede those who have fallen asleep… [precede those in the resurrection] …because the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven… [as a shining sun coming closer and closer] …with a shout of command, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first…" (vs 15-16).

Who is going to gather them? You're not going to have wings like is pictured in most Catholic and Protestant things! Angels will gather them!The dead will rise first.

  • I wonder what that's going to be like?
  • I wonder where God is going to start?
  • I wonder how it's going to be viewed by the world?
  • Can you imagine if God said to start with New Zealand?

That's the first place where Pentecost begins! For the whole day portion of Pentecost—24 hours—as it goes around the earth the angels are bringing the elect of God up to the Sea of Glass! The whole world is going to see it.

  • Why not let them see it?
  • Why not let them see the work of God to demonstrate to them that God has the power to raise the dead?

That would give them an opportunity to repent if they would! But we will see with the seven last plagues that they won't.

Verse 17: "Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds…"

We will be 'changed in an instant, in the twinkling of an eye from flesh to spirit' (1-Cor. 15). God is going to use the flesh and change it to spirit just like He did with Christ.

"…for the meeting with the Lord in the air; and so shall we always be with the Lord" (v 17). That doesn't mean that we're going to be in heaven!

Wherever the Lord is, that's where we're going to be. If His Kingdom is going to be on the Earth, that's where we're going to be. We're going to reign as kings and priests on the Earth.

Let's see another version of the harvest. What is so fantastic about the Sabbath, the Passover, the Holy Days—the Feasts of God—is that they are all one big picture that God tells us.

Revelation 14:14: "And I looked, and behold, a white cloud…" How many times have read about the clouds in the Scriptures? Matt. 24, 1-Thess. 4, Rev. 6; 11.

"…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…. [the harvest] …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)—the righteous!

Let's put this all together where we're going to meet Christ. I know that some people have a hard time understanding this:

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"—because God is not done yet!

Verse 2: "And I saw a sea of glass mingled with fire…" Wherever God is there's a sea of glass (Rev.. 4 & 5, God's Throne sits on a sea of glass. You read about where Moses and the elders went up on Mt. Sinai and Moses went up to see God and they looked up and there was a sea of glass. That's where we're going to be. So, here's this great sea of glass. I don't know how big it has to be to hold all the resurrected saints. But can you imagine the people on the earth looking up there and seeing this and trying to figure out what's going to happen next? They're going to be in for a big surprise!

I imagine that they're going to bring all their weapons. It says that they're going to gather all the armies, and it says they're going to unite and begin attacking this thing.

"…and those who had gotten the victory over the beast…" (v 2).

When was the beast first revealed? In the Garden of Eden as a serpent! Every other manifestation of Satan is various forms of beasts in prophecy.

"…and over his image…" (v 2). Go back to Dan. 3 and what was it that Nebuchadnezzar—a type of the coming beast—did? He made a great image for himself! Did they overcome the image of the beast by not bowing down? Of course, and even overcame the fiery furnace!

"…and over his mark…" (v 2). That coming today with the modern things. They need to identify everyone. They need to know who everyone is and where they are.

"…and over the number of his name, standing on the Sea of Glass, having the lyres of God" (v 2). Where are they? In heaven, in the clouds!

Every time I travel I go into heaven along with everybody else on the plane. We come back to the earth. At the same time I'm flying, there are probably all over the world millions of people flying in planes who are in the heaven above the earth.

Here's the Sea of Glass, v 3: "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.'"

It's going to be a marvelous thing. There are going to be a lot of things happen on that Sea of Glass. I just want to mention of these here in closing. God is going to prepare us to rule the world!

  • we are going to know what we are going to do
  • we are going to understand what is going on
  • there is going to be a great ceremony taking place right after we all get there:
    • presentation of the saints to God the Father
    • we're all going to get a new name
    • we're all going to receive our reward; every man according to his works

Don't think that whatever it is—great or small—that you're going to be cheated. Jesus said that John the Baptist was the greatest of all the prophets of God, yet, he didn't do a single miracle. But the least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than John the Baptist. So, don't think you're going to be slighted; no one will be slighted!

    • we have to have our assignments if we're going to rule over nations and cities
    • there will be the marriage of the Lamb, probably done by God the Father

This is going to be an awesome event!

Meanwhile, while all of these good things are going on up on the Sea of Glass, the world is down here fighting each other and wondering what they're going to do.

    • the marriage supper of the Lamb; a great banquet in heaven
    • we will see the vengeance of God

All the resurrected saints are going to see fulfilled before their very eyes the promise of God that He would bring vengeance upon Satan and the enemy. We'll all observe it! Can you imagine that? That's going to be something.

The rest of the events that take place after that, occur between Pentecost and Trumpets!

Scriptural References:

  • Exodus 19:3-6
  • 1 Peter 2:4-5
  • Ephesians 2:17-22
  • Acts 2:1-7, 11-24, 32-39
  • John 6:44
  • John 14:6
  • Revelation 6:12-14
  • Matthew 24:26-27
  • Revelation 6:15-17
  • Revelation 7:1-5
  • Zechariah 12:7
  • Revelation 7:5, 8-9, 11-14
  • Matthew 24:29-31
  • Revelation 11:3-15, 18
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17
  • Revelation 14:14-15
  • Revelation 15:1-3

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • 1 Corinthians 3
  • Acts 1
  • Revelation 13:8
  • Isaiah 13
  • Haggai 2
  • Revelation 1
  • Genesis 49
  • Joel 2; 3
  • Zechariah 3; 4
  • Revelation 8-10
  • 1 Corinthians 15
  • Revelation 4; 5

Also referenced:
Sermons:

  • From the Red Sea to Mt. Sinai
  • The Two Witnesses and Elijah

Sermon Series:

  • The Rapture Hoax
  • Daniel/Revelation

FRC:bo
Transcribed: 5/19/19

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