(The Last Great Day)

Fred R. Coulter—September 30, 2010

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Greetings, brethren! Welcome to the Last Great Day! What a great day this is, because this is a day that is spoken of, perhaps the very least of all the Feast days in the Bible. Yet, it has one of the greatest meanings.

When we understand about this day we will be able to see God's answer to all the questions and problems of human life, death and salvation that the world's religions—even 'Christians' supposedly—and the philosophers of old could never understand. This information is so profound and so meaningful, but we also have to realize that we have to dig for it.

The Last Great Day is mentioned so few times in the Bible, directly. But when we understand those direct references, then we can put together all the rest of the pieces of the Bible just like it's supposed to be: 'line upon line; here a little, there a little; precept upon precept' until we build the whole case and understanding of it.

Let's begin here in Lev. 23 and we will see this is quite a thing that God said concerning the Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day—they are locked together, just like the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Isn't it interesting that we have seven Holy Days, but eight Feasts? The Passover is a Feast, but not a Holy Day. Then in Unleavened Bread we have two Holy Days, then Pentecost, Trumpets, Atonement and Feast of Tabernacles—the first day is a Holy Day and the eighth day is a Holy Day. Eight is a significant number in the Bible because it means a new beginning! We'll see how that fits into the meaning of this day.

Leviticus 23:34: "…The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles…"

We already had that, that's where we began. Then it talks about concerning the eighth day;

Verse 36: "…On the eighth day shall be a Holy convocation to you…" Doesn't tell us much!

  • What is the 'eighth day'?
  • Why is that a Holy convocation?

Verse 37: "These are the Feasts of the LORD…"

These are the ones that the world does not keep, that the world hates, attacked by Rome as 'Judaizing.' So, being such wonderful people that the pagan satanists are, they decided to have another Jesus and another Christianity, so they took all of the pagan days, blessed them with 'Christian' names, renamed them and condemned the Feasts and Holy Days of God! Yet, these are the ones that answer the questions that they know nothing about.

It's kind of like this: If you have a room full of gold, you exchange it for a bag full of dust and walk away thinking 'Boy, I really got the better of deal.' The Word of God is what tells us the meaning of this day!

Verse 37: "These are the Feasts of the LORD which you shall proclaim to be Holy convocations to offer an offering made by fire to the LORD, a burnt offering and a grain offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, everything on its day."

Go to Num. 28-29 and it lists out all the sacrifices that they had at the temple. It was really quite a thing. We'll see a couple places where they kept the Last Great Day. Very rarely did they keep it.

Verse 38: "Besides the Sabbaths of the LORD, and besides your gifts, and besides all your vows, and besides all your freewill offerings which you give to the LORD."

So, we do take up offerings. On this Holy Day we will take up the offering. With this offering, let's be thankful to God, and—as we're told in every one of the offerings—we are to give 'according to the blessing of the Lord God as He has given us.' Even in times of trouble and difficulty, we must remember God! Let's always understand that there is nothing that we haven't received from God! Everything!

  • life
  • breath
  • food
  • clothing
  • place to live
  • place to meet
  • brethren to assemble with

All of this comes from God! Yes, we have physical things that we use and we need and we do. But all of that comes from God, too. The very purpose of it is so that we can:

  • learnof God's way
  • growin grace and knowledge
  • developthe character of God
  • prepare to participate as kings and priests in the Kingdom of God

That is a great and fantastic calling! And as Paul wrote in the book of Hebrews: It is a superior resurrection!

So, all of these things that we do, let's keep this in mind. As we go through the dark days after the Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day, we're going to need:

  • that spiritual strength
  • that mental strength
  • that purpose fixed in our minds continuously

So that we don't get discouraged and be taken down like the rest of the world. We need to be here to help those in the world that God is going to call and bring to us, so that we can help them!

(pause for the offering)

Now, let's see in the Old Testament, when the Last Great Day was at its greatest fulfillment; that was during the days of Solomon. It was quite an event, because it actually started out with the Feast of Trumpets. We will see what happened. We will see all the events that came along with it, how these things occurred.

As we've already covered in 2-Chron. 5—we'll just review it a little bit—was the first day of the dedication of the temple, which was and had to be because of the account here, on the Feast of Trumpets. Let's see what happened.

They had everyone assembled, it was all planned out: the singers were in their place; the orchestra with the trumpeters were in their places; the Levites were in their places; the Ark was carried into the Holy of Holies, and a great and tremendous thing took place.

2-Chronicles 5:12: "And the Levitical singers—all of them of Asaph, of Heman, of Jeduthun, with their sons and their brethren, being clothed in white linen, and having cymbals and with harps and lyres—stood at the east end of the altar, and with them a hundred and twenty priests… [all dressed in their white linen] …sounding with silver trumpets."

Quite an announcement! The Ark is in the temple! The temple now will be blessed with the presence of God, which the Jews call the Shekinah.

Verse 13: "It came to pass, as the trumpeters and the singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD; and when they lifted up their voice with the silver trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the LORD, saying, 'For He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever,' that the house was filled with a cloud, even the House of the LORD, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD had filled the House of God!" (vs 12-14).

Now, imagine if you were there watching all of this and saw this happen! What kind of impression would that make on your mind? You would think that it would be so profound; that you would always be faithful, always be true. But it didn't work out that way! So then we have the prayer of Solomon (2-Chron. 6). I want you to read all of 2-Chron. 6.

Let's see, again, what happened when Solomon made an end of praying. He built a high scaffolding, so that when he prayed and he got down on his knees and raised up his hands to heaven and prayed this prayer—the dedication prayer—for God to sanctify His Temple. Solomon built it, but the very plans he was given was given by God to his father David to build it. Notice what happened when he made an end of praying. Here's another spectacular event that if you were there you would see.

2-Chronicles 7:1: "And when Solomon had made an end of praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices. And the glory of the LORD filled the house…. [happened again the second time] …And the priests could not enter into the house of the LORD because the glory of the LORD had filled the LORD'S house. And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the LORD upon the house, they bowed their faces to the ground on the pavement, and worshiped and praised the LORD, saying, 'For He is good, for His mercy endures forever'" (vs 1-3).

Fantastic! What a tremendous experience! Then it shows all the things that they did, all the sacrifices that they had, all of the meal offerings, all of the grain offerings, all of the wine offerings. It was a time of joy and happiness to start out the Feast of Tabernacles; in this case the Feast of Trumpets. When the dedication of Feast ended in 7 days, then they had a break for 8-10—a break so they could keep the Day of Atonement. Then after the Day of Atonement, we have 11-15, and the 15th day was when this service took place to have the Feast of Tabernacles start.

Verse 8: "And at the same time Solomon kept the Feast seven days, and all Israel with him, a very great congregation, from the entering in of Hamath to the river of Egypt…. [the Feast of Tabernacles] …And in the eighth day they made a solemn assembly…" (vs 8-9).

Doesn't tell us much about the meaning of it. How are we going to figure the meaning of it?

"…for they kept the dedication of the altar seven days, and the Feast seven days…. [as well as the 8th day] …And on the twenty-third day of the seventh month… [which is the day after the Feast of Tabernacles, the Last Great Day] …he sent the people away into their tents, glad and merry in heart for the goodness that the LORD had shown to David, and to Solomon, and to Israel His people" (vs 9-10). That was quite a thing! What a way to dedicate it!

Can you imagine what it's going to be like? Let's just project forward a little bit when Christ establishes His Tabernacle—it won't be a temple like a temple; better than a temple—where Jesus will live as King on the earth in Jerusalem, and we will be there! We saw that earlier in the Feast (Isa. 4). Think about what it's going to be like when that is dedicated. That's quite something!

After that the Lord appeared to Solomon again, v 11: "Thus Solomon finished the house of the LORD and the king's house, and he prospered exceedingly in all that came into Solomon's heart to accomplish in the house of the LORD and in his own house. And the LORD appeared to Solomon by night and said to him, 'I have heard your prayer…'" (vs 11-12).

Think about this: We have already seen what Solomon did when he got old. Human nature does not like to remember. Think about it for a minute, that's why God said remember the Sabbath; but people want to forget it as soon as they're told about it. Look at this; this is the second time that God appeared to Solomon.

"…'I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place to Myself for a house of sacrifice" (v 12)

Then He gives the promise and the answer to his prayer, showing that they can always look to the temple and God's presence there; and the people of Israel, in time of trouble and sin, could repent and God would hear their prayer.

Now, let's look at another place where we have the Feast of Tabernacles and another day associated with it very closely. Haggai 2 talks about the time of how God spoke to the children of Israel when they were rebuilding the second temple. There was a time when they got lack in rebuilding the second temple and God had to inspire them and stir up the spirit of them and stir up the spirit of Joshua the son of Joshozadak the high priest, and Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel. Stir up their Spirit to get the people and stir up the Spirit to do what God wanted them to do.

Haggai 1:15: "In the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month, in the second year of Darius the king."

That's when he stirred them up and said, 'Go work on the temple. Stop doing your own business. Stop doing your own thing. You do the temple first and then do yours.' Well, that's pretty much what we need to do in our lives today, isn't it? Yes, we need to do the spiritual things first! WHEN we do the spiritual things first:

  • prayer
  • study
  • yielding to God
  • developing
  • growing in character

THEN God is with us! Notice what He said here:

Haggai 2:1: "In the seventh month, in the twenty-first day of the month…"

What day is that according to the Calculated Hebrew Calendar, the sacred calendar of God? The 21st day is the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles, just before the Last Great Day.

So, He told him that the house he was going to build is not going to be compared to the one that Solomon had built 'which I destroyed.' It'll be small.

Verse 4: "'Yet, now be strong, O Zerubbabel,' says the LORD. 'And be strong, O Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest; and be strong all you people of the land,' says the LORD, 'and work; for I am with you,' says the LORD of hosts."

After the Last Great Day they were to get out there and work! That's what we are to do, too, brethren. We're to do the work that God wants us to do in our individual lives, to do in our collective lives, and let God do the work within us, because that's the greatest work of God! What we do in preaching the Gospel and feeding the flock, that's the work of the ministry.

Verse 5: "According to the word that I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt, so My Spirit remains among you. Do not fear."

That's different! The Spirit of God is in us as a begettal from God the Father.

Verse 6: "For thus says the LORD of hosts, 'Once again—it is yet a little while—I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land. And I will shake all the nations; and the desire of all nations shall come; and I will fill this house with glory,' says the LORD of hosts" (vs 6-7).

That's projecting clear on down to the time when Christ returns and we're going to be their with Him. So, here's a time right at the end of the Feast of Tabernacles, just before the Last Great Day, God gave the word 'work': Do what I desire.

Now, let's see again that there was something they had to do in correcting sin. The children of Israel, when they came out of Babylon, they were mostly the Jews and the Levites and the Benjaminites. When they got back there, again, they were lax, even after the temple was built; even after the ministry of Haggai the prophet. So they got lax.

What happened? When Ezra the priest came with the Book of the Law and he read in it from morning till night. They kept the Feast of Trumpets; they keep the Feast of Tabernacles; and on the Last Great Day it just mentions it just once; it shows what they did.

Nehemiah 8:18: "Also day-by-day, from the first day until the last day, he read in the Book of the Law of God…."

That's what we need to do with our sermons, study the Word of God: Old Testament/New Testament.

…And they kept the Feast seven days, and on the eighth was an assembly, according to the ordinance" (v 18). This doesn't tell us very much of the meaning of the day!

Let's see what Jesus said, and John 7 gives us a beginning clue and understanding concerning the meaning of the Last Great Day. But did you know—just like we learned with the Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles—we need the book of Revelation to give us the understanding of this day and what it means. Then we can put it together with the rest of the Scriptures, which is what we're going to do just like Nehemiah did when they kept the Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day.

John 7:37—here was quite a ceremony that was part of the Last Great Day, and it occurred just right after sunset as the seventh day was ending and the eighth day was beginning. It was called the day when they poured the water around the base of the altar. Water is a type of the Holy Spirit of God!

John 7:37: "Now in the last day, the great day of the Feast, Jesus stood and called out, saying, 'If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.'"

That's quite a statement, anyone! But how many did? Not only is Jesus explaining a little about the Last Great Day, but He is explaining that there will be salvation for any number of people—anyone—and we'll see who that includes.

Verse 38: "The one who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.' But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, which those who believed in Him would soon receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given because Jesus was not yet glorified" (vs 38-39).

So here it gives us just a little hint. It has to do with salvation. It has to do with the Holy Spirit of God. When was the Holy Spirit given in power? On the Feast of Pentecost! Not on the Last Great Day!

There has to be a fulfillment of receiving the Holy Spirit as pictured by the Last Great Day.

  • What is that going to be?
  • How is that going to be accomplished?

Let's look at some other Scriptures and see some of the desires of God. Let's see what Paul wrote, and yet we're going to see something things that look like a contradiction, but it won't be. Here is the desire of God our Savior who is Christ:

1-Timothy 2:4 "Who desires all men to be saved

  • What does 'all' mean? Each and every one!
  • How can that be today?

Yet, the Word of God is true and not one word is going to fail!

"…and to come to the knowledge of the Truth" (v 4). That's what God desires! When that happens there has to be repentance!

Let's look at another Scripture that tells us what God wants to happen. The question is not whether God can do it, because He will; not whether that Scripture is true, because it is! But how do the Scriptures explain this so we can understand it?

2-Peter 3:9: "The Lord is not delaying the promise of His coming, as some in their own minds reckon delay…"

It may be a lot further than we figured, because it's not by a time that a man can set, because everything that a man does, Jesus said, 'They don't know.' It has to be by the defined events that we find in the Scripture to tell us how close we are to the end-time.

"…rather, He is long-suffering toward us, not desiring that any should perish… [He wants all saved] …but that all should come to repentance" (v 9).

  • How's that going to happen?
  • How is God going to make that work?

Well, let's continue on and see!

There would be some people who would argue that the Bible shows that that's not going to happen. At this time, that is true, but we're going to see that there is yet, another time. As it says in 2-Cor. 4, 'Now is a day of salvation'—not the day. Which then implies and we will see will be answered, there is yet another day of salvation in which these seemingly almost impossible verses will be fulfilled!

Let's see how what Jesus said looks like an apparent contradiction of what He stated here and of what Peter wrote and what Paul wrote. This is quite a thing for us to understand. We've gone over it before, but let's really grasp it in what it is saying. God desires that all men be saved and all to come to repentance!

Remember, there's free moral agency in it so everyone has to choose, and the choice that everyone makes is what God is going to judge us on. God's desire then also has to do with our choices as human beings. So Matt. 13 really becomes quite a situation. A lot of people have thought—especially in Protestantville and in Catholicismville out there—that God is eagerly trying to save everyone and get their souls purged so they can go to heaven. That's just so much 'Christianized' pagan nonsense. God has a better way to do it.

Yet, you read this in Matt. 13:10, and it looks like a direct contradiction to the will of God:

Matthew 13:10: "And His disciples came to Him and asked, 'Why do You speak to them in parables?' And He answered and said to them, 'Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but to them it has not been given'" (vs 10-11).

If it hasn't been given to them and it's been given to us, how are they going to be saved. We can say the same thing today. It's been given to us to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but not to the world. Look at the world! What does God say about the world? Satan the devil has them deceived!

If you would look at it kind of like some sort of athletic contest, the devil is winning! If we could draw an analogy with baseball, remember, it's never over till it's over, and it's never finished until there is the last out. How many times has a baseball game been won in the last half of the ninth inning? Under extreme odds and circumstances? It even compounds it and makes it worse!

Verse 12: "'For whoever has understanding, to him more shall be given, and he shall have an abundance; but whoever does not have understanding, even what he has shall be taken away from him."

  • How's he going to come to the knowledge of the Truth?
  • How's he going to come to repentance?

Verse 13: "For this reason I speak to them in parables, because seeing, they see not; and hearing, they hear not; neither do they understand…. [How are they going to be saved?] …And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, which says, 'In hearing you shall hear, and in no way understand; and in seeing you shall see, and in no way perceive'" (vs 13-14).

  • How are they going to come to the knowledge of the Truth?
  • How are they going to come to the knowledge of salvation?
  • How are they going to have an opportunity for salvation?
  • How is God going to call them?

Verse 15: "For the heart of this people has grown fat, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed…"

They chose not to respond. Are they all condemned to death?

"…lest they should see with their eyes, and should hear with their ears, and should understand with their hearts, and should be converted, and I should heal them" (v 15).

  • Why doesn't Jesus want everyone converted now?
  • Don't you think the world would be a better place if that were so?

He closed their eyes. He didn't give them the understanding; He just gave it to the few.

  • How's God going to solve this problem?
  • How's He going to fulfill those verses?

They can't see because they're blinded by Satan the devil!

  • Do you think it's fair to judge people who've never been given an opportunity for salvation?
  • Who have never understood?
  • Who have had false Christianity or been in pagan religions?

or lived down through time and they suffered

  • war?
  • disease?
  • famine?
  • all kinds of things?
  • die and never know about Jesus Christ?

That's the vast majority of people up until the time that Jesus came! From the time of Jesus down to now, it is called what? A little flock; few that find it! How's God going to solve that?

Let's begin to answer the question. Just to quote a Scripture we all know: 'All have sinned and come short of the glory of God,' therefore, all need salvation!

Another Scripture we all know: 'Many are called, but few are chosen!' Why are few chosen? Because few repent!

  • What's going to happen to those who may hear this message, as this parable is talking about, and don't understand it?
  • Are they lost forever?
  • Is God fair to give us a chance and not them a chance?
  • Is God righteous to open our minds and give us His Holy Spirit, but to close and blind the minds of others, and even use Satan the devil to do it?

So all are under sin!

1-John 5:16: "If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin that is not unto death, he shall ask…" and God will answer!

There are sins that are not unto death, and that death is talking about the second death (which we'll answer that a little later). If he sinned a sin unto death, John said don't pray for him. So, there are differences in sin. If you sin with knowledge you are culpable. If you sin with the Holy Spirit and reject it, you have committed the unpardonable sin.

  • What about the people who didn't know?
  • What about all those who suffered horrible things?

Dolores told me of an incident that she heard of just this last week before the taping. There was a couple out at the zoo and they had their little baby and the father held the little baby up so they could get a picture of the baby and the zoo behind them. And as he held the baby up a branch fell, hit the baby on the head and killed it.

  • What's God going to do with that?
  • How many other horrible deaths have people suffered and knew nothing?
  • What about all of these disasters and wars and earthquakes and tsunamis and things would take place?
  • What about the innocents who never sinned? Those who were aborted, the stillborn, little children like that family trying to have a good time at the zoo and a branch fell on the baby's head and killed it!
  • What about those people out here that have reasonably decent lives and are trying to live in a way that is quite good, but God never called them?
  • How's God going to solve that problem?

Before we get into that, let's look at what the New Testament defines as an opportunity for salvation. Many of these Scriptures you know. Here's an opportunity for salvation. The calling goes out; you must answer. If you don't answer you keep going on your way. If you answer, you repent, you are baptized, you receive the Holy Spirit and you live God's way, that is an opportunity for salvation!

We also know that living within the grace of God, that we have direct access with God the Father and Jesus Christ in heaven above. So, as John wrote in 1-John 1, 'If we sin we confess our sins,' directly to God through Jesus Christ and they are forgiven, because He is the 'propitiation' of our sins. But John also said, 'Yes, and for the sins of the whole world.' But the answer is, it has not yet been applied to them!

What about all those people who died before the first coming of Christ? What about all the children of Israel that lived without the Holy Spirit of God, under a covenant to live in the letter of the Law, who never received salvation? Yet, they were God's people! We'll answer those questions.


Let's see the fulfillment of God's great plan, how He is going to solve this problem. Let's understand that it really shows something very important, too, which is this: God says, 'My thoughts are not your thoughts, and My ways are not your ways.'

In spite of all of this, God is going to fulfill His promise and undo all the works of the devil, annul them! For all of those who are willing, they will receive salvation. All of those who are not, we will see will no longer exist.

Let's look at this and let's see the parameters that God gives, and also how Jesus indicated about the coming age. That's important to realize.

Matthew 12:31: "Because of this, I say to you, every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven to men except the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit; that shall not be forgiven to men."

What if you already lived and died and you haven't blasphemed the Holy Spirit? Yet, you've lived a sinful life! Maybe it's been really sinful. Maybe it's been like a past civilization, you've lived nothing but in sin. It's that way today, too! There are some people who try to do good. We'll answer that question a little bit later, and then we'll find out when this is going to take place.

Verse 32: "And whoever speaks a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit… [because that comes from God the Father] …it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this age nor in the coming age."

What does that mean? Neither in this age—going clear back to Adam—but in the coming age. We know the Feast of Tabernacles, but there's still one more day: the Last Great Day. That little 'ole day attached to the end of it. Seemingly the least Feast of all of those of the Feasts of God. However, as we will see, this is going to turn out to be the greatest, because God takes the least and makes that the greatest. That's what He's going to do with this day!

They wanted to see a sign (v 38). Verse 39: "And He answered and said to them, 'A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of Jonah the prophet. For just as Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights, in like manner the Son of man shall be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights. The men of Nineveh shall stand up…" (vs 39-41) Resurrected!

They repented, but were they offered eternal life? No! They didn't receive eternal life, they just received reprieve from judgment from God.

"...stand up in the judgment… [What does that mean? ] …with… [at the same time as] …this generation…" (v 41).

Here we have generation separated by hundreds of years. What will they do?

"…and shall condemn it, because they repented at the proclamation of Jonah; and behold, a greater than Jonah is here. The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation… [another generation, not at the same time] …and shall condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, a greater than Solomon is here'" (vs 41-42).

Now, how is God going to do that? Let's look at a verse in Rom. 2 that's really quite an important verse when we understand it and put it together. This is talking about Gentiles or those of other nations who never had the Law of God, or heard the Word of God. How does God look down at those people who, even though they never received the Law of God, yet, did many things contained in the Law of God. Is God going to condemn them forever in sin:

  • because Satan has blinded their minds and they couldn't understand?
  • because Jesus had not yet come?
  • because they never had the Word of God?
  • because they died in some tragedy:
  • as infants?
  • in war?
  • Flood?
  • Famine?
  • pestilence
  • disease?

God let all of these things come upon mankind, because we don't have anything that didn't come from God one way or the other!

Yes, He used Satan the devil as an instrumentality, also. But God is the One Who brought the judgment of the Flood.

  • Did all those people who died in the Flood commit the unpardonable sin? Well, if the Holy Spirit was never offered, perhaps only a few committed the unpardonable sin!
  • How about all of those who have died in whatever circumstances?

We all know, in our own family tree, we all know the history of things that have gone on in our family; we can read the history books and see what has gone on in the world; we can see the cruelty of man-to-man. Of course, man thinks he has the ability to solve the problem—when the truth is only God can solve that problem—and he [man] doesn't have any ability to solve it at all. So we have the clue back there: 'We're given in this age or in the coming age.'

Romans 2:14: "For when the Gentiles, which do not have the Law, practice by nature the things contained in the Law, these who do not have the Law are a law unto themselves."

Every Law of God is applicable to all human beings at all times. How does God view that then? They're not of Israel! They weren't called of God. Yet, they lived decent lives and they didn't commit the unpardonable sin.

Verse 15: "Who show the work of the Law… [the true Law of God] …written in their own hearts, their consciences bearing witness, and their reasonings also, as they accuse or defend one another)."

How's God going to solve this? They're trying to do good!

I was taken aback one time when all the Church wars and the things were going on. I remember that I met some Japanese who went to a Buddhist temple over in Watsonville. You know something, they were kinder and nicer to me than some of the brethren in the hierarchy! Isn't that amazing? Yes! And I could not help but think of this verse: 'a law unto themselves.' When is God going to recognize this?

Verse 16: "In a day when God…"

As we started out, today is a day of salvation. We have seen in Matt. 12 that there is a resurrection yet to take place, when then men of Nineveh and those of the queen of the south will stand in the judgment and condemn the Jews who had Jesus come to them, had the Law, had the Truth, in a day! We're going to see that this Last Great Day is that day!

"…when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my Gospel" (v 16). That's an amazing set of verses: 14-16.

Now let's see what we have in Rev. 20. We've been there many times. How many times have we kept the Last Great Day in our lives? Well, I'm going on 50 years; this will be 50 years for me. I get excited about the Last Great Day every year; even then I have preached about it every year; even though I've written about it. It is such a fantastic and exciting thing that is going to take place. We know when Christ returns the dead in Christ shall rise

  • meet Him in the air
  • be on the Sea of Glass
  • come down from the Sea of Glass
  • Satan is bound and put away
  • the Millennium takes place
  • we rule and reign with Christ a thousand years

Satan is loosed at the end of the thousand years to get rid of all the incorrigible sinners who reject the way of God when it's right smack in front of them and everyone around them knows all about it. So, those people will have no excuse. They are killed with the fire of God that comes down out of heaven to destroy them, and then Satan is cast back into the Lake of Fire to prepare for the next phase of God's plan, and the last phase for humanity.

Rev, 20:4 talks about the first resurrection, but notice this parenthetical statement right smack in the middle of v 5. Why is this parenthetical statement put right there? Because the first thing that comes to mind is:

  • What about those who were not called?
  • What about those who were not in the first resurrection?
  • What's going to happen to them?

The Scriptures say that 'all God desires come to repentance,' but they have to choose it! God desires all men to be saved, but they have to choose it! What happens to all of those that God never called, nor were given an opportunity to choose? It's answered right here:

Revelation 20:5: "(But the rest of the dead…"—those who are not in the first resurrection!

Let's understand that when it talks about the first resurrection, that shows that there's an additional resurrection, by the very fact that it's called 'the first.' If the resurrection at the return of Christ were the only resurrection it would be called the resurrection. In some places it's referred to in that way—the resurrection of the 'just and the unjust,' Jesus said. There will be those who will be raised to a resurrection of judgment and some to condemnation. But Jesus promised that all who are in the grave shall hear His voice! They shall come forth.

Here is the answer, v 5: "(But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were completed.)"

The rest of the dead is everyone who has ever lived and died:

  • who never had an opportunity
  • who never knew about Christ
  • who never committed the unpardonable sin

Those who are good and sincere people who, even without the Law of God, had the works of the Law of God written in their heart, because they saw that that was the right thing to do. You've heard a lot of people say, 'It's the right thing to do.' When they say that, they're really basing it upon a principle that's in the Bible. God isn't going to forget those people! They didn't live their lives in vain! We say in Matt. 12 they're going to be resurrected.

Now, let's see this great and tremendous, and one of the most wonderful chapters in the Bible. It shows right here—Ezek. 37—and we'll answer the questions as we go along with it: the valley of dry bones! They made even a folk song of it: 'dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones' Probably a lot of you know the whole tune, taken from Ezek. 37.

This is an unusual chapter because it talks about those who have been dead who have then been brought to life. What did it say in Rev. 20? That the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years are finished! Since they're going to live again, are they just going to be given blanket eternal life; raised and changed to spirit beings immediately? If that were so, then why did we go through all that we go through:

  • to suffer
  • to grow
  • to change
  • to overcome
  • to build the character of God
  • to fight Satan the devil
  • to fight the world
  • to live by the Truth
  • to stand by the Truth
  • to love God
  • to believe God
  • to look to His hope of the first resurrection

If all of these people are resurrected immediately, given eternal life, what a change that would be! God doesn't operate that way.

That's why, as we read this, they are resurrected to a second physical life for a first opportunity for salvation, because God desires:

  • that all, who choose to do so, repent
  • that all who choose salvation can be saved

But since God has decreed that it must be—and we can see it by this here—that this kind of growing and overcoming must be done while we're fleshly human beings. All the rest of the dead who never had an opportunity for salvation are going to be given their first opportunity, but it will be their second physical life!

Just like if we analyze why did Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead? So he could be in the first resurrection! If he died not having received the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit had not yet been given; then he would have to wait for what we call the second resurrection. But Jesus wanted him to be in the first resurrection, so He brought him back to life so he could receive salvation. Lazarus was a type of what we're going to read here.

Ezekiel 37:1: "The hand of the LORD was on me, and brought me by the Spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of a valley, and it was full of bones."

Where do bones come from? From something that has lived, in this case, people!

Verse 2: ""And He made me walk among them all around…. [Ezekiel walked through the bones] …And behold, very many were in the open valley. And lo, they were very dry…. [they'd been dead a long time] …And He said to me, 'Son of man, can these bones live?' And I answered, 'O Lord GOD, You know'…. [Can they live? They're all dry, white, broken, disintegrated!] …Again He said to me, 'Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, "O dry bones, hear the Word of the LORD"'" (vs 1-4).

God can raise them from dead. They had physical life once, and that physical life, from the instant of conception, is who you are and who every human being is. The only difference between a newly impregnated life in the womb of a mother and a full-grown human being is development. This is why, I believe, God is going to resurrect all those who were aborted, stillborn and so forth. God can do it. He can raise up these dry bones. If everything that you are as a human being is locked in by the spirit of man at conception, then it's no problem to resurrect you because you've already been created, in a sense that what you are has already been set at the instant of conception.

Therefore, it wouldn't be any great problem for God to resurrect all of those babies who have suffered those things to resurrect them equivalent to full-term.

Verse 5: "Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones, 'Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you… [fleshly human beings need breath] …and you shall live. And I will lay sinews on you, and will bring up flesh on you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live…. [then something else takes place]: …And you shall know that I am the LORD'" (vs 5-6).

They didn't know God before, although they heard of Him, they didn't know about God.

Verse 7: "So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a noise. And behold, a shaking! And the bones came together, a bone to its bone. And as I watched, behold the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them above…." (vs 7-8). Here are all these corpses, re-created corpses lying out there:

"…But there was no breath in them. And He said to me, 'Prophesy to the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, "Thus says the Lord GOD, 'Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain that they may live'"'" (vs 8-9).

A second physical life: flesh, sinew, blood, skin, now breath. They already lived once, so whatever they were is recorded in their DNA, and on the spirit of man that God gave them. So, God just uses the spirit of man with the whole code of that human being. Viola! Re-created!

Verse 10: "So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army…. [What a shock! What a surprise! What a fantastic thing that that is!] …And He said to me, 'Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel….'" (vs 10-11).

Remember the principle in the Bible: To the Jew or the Israelite first, then the Gentile.' And we saw back in Rom. 2 that God is also going to take care of them in a 'day of judgment,' which is pictured by this Last Great Day. Notice that they thought everything was lost:

"…Behold, they say, 'Our bones are dried and our hope is lost; we ourselves are completely cut off.' Therefore, prophesy and say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold, O My people, I will open your graves… [they were dead once] …and cause you to come up out of your graves and will bring you into the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the LORD when I have opened your graves… [and He says it four times] …O My people, and have brought you up out of your graves. And I shall put My Spirit in you…"'" (vs 11-14).

Because they didn't have the Spirit of God in them and they were not converted in their first life; so here is their opportunity for it. What did Jesus say in John 7, on that Last Great Day? 'That all who come to Me, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.' This He spoke of the Holy Spirit. He gave it to His disciples on the day of Pentecost.

Here these people who never had an opportunity, never understood the Word of God, never were called of God, lived and died, now they're given a chance. Even though the house of Israel should have known God, they didn't know God for spiritual salvation.

Verse 13: "'And you shall know that I am the LORD when I have opened your graves, O My people, and have brought you up out of your graves. And I shall put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. And you shall know that I the LORD have spoken it and have done it,' says the LORD" (vs 13-14).

Quite a fantastic thing! Yes, indeed! That's quite something!

Rev. 20 also talks about 'the rest of the dead' a little further on than what we read earlier. Before they're resurrected, what does God do? He casts Satan the devil into the Lake of Fire! Why? Because they already lived one life under Satan the devil! That's quite sufficient, really!

Some people say, 'How can they have salvation when the devil is not around there to try them and test them? Hey, they'll remember what they went through. They'll understand the difference. It'll be on the same basis that it was during the Millennium for the people then.

  • Was Satan removed? Yes!
  • Was there universal salvation granted to all men? Yes!

Well then, here's universal salvation granted to all those who would repent!

Revelation 20:11: "Then I saw a great white throne… [that's why this day is also referred to as a Great White Throne Judgment] …and the One Who was sitting on it, from Whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and no place was found for them."

There were so many! He just didn't know what to do with them all—billions and billions of people! By time the Millennium is over, hey, the earth is going to be all prepared to receive billions of people. That's going to be something! This is going to be the greatest and most fantastic event in the history of mankind for the salvation of those who lived and died and never had an opportunity for salvation. Isn't that magnificent! You talk about:

  • the grace of God
  • the love of God
  • the hope of God
  • the fulfillment of the plan of God

That's really something when you understand that! That's quite a thing!

Verse 12: "And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God; and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the Book of Life…."

What are the books that are opened to them? The understanding of the Word of God! By that time, I believe, we're going to have much more than the Bible that we have today. Won't we have a whole lot more? Yes, indeed! This is for our age.

What's it going to be for the Millennium? What's it going to be for this age? As Jesus said, 'In the coming age.' They'll have an opportunity for repentance, because they will remember their past sins, and they will remember their past lives, and they will repent when they see the goodness and greatness and magnificence of God to give them a second physical life for a first opportunity for salvation.

Don't you think that's going to bring a tremendous wave of repentance? Yes, it'll bring the blessing and forgiveness of God to them; an opportunity to receive the Spirit of God for salvation! Just like we saw of the Millennium, they will live a hundred years. They will have an opportunity to grow and to change and to overcome. They will be given the same opportunity as those in the Millennium. What a tremendous time this will be!

  • undo every sin
  • undo every disaster
  • undo every abortion
  • undo every terrible thing that has happened to human beings

Who, unfortunately, because of the way it turned out with Adam and Eve, God was not going to let Satan the devil and the sin that Adam and Eve did that was passed down to all human kind because of their sin, defeat His plan. God is going to change that!

And another book was opened: "…which is the Book of Life…." (v 12). This means that now they will have an opportunity to have their names written in the Book of Life for spiritual salvation!

I'm sure that God's keeping record of human being. Jesus said that even if a sparrow falls, God understands that—that their names were written somewhere in a book, which we can say is for the second resurrection. If our names are written in a book of Life for spiritual salvation, theirs must have been written there for the physical resurrection for an opportunity for salvation, then the Book of Eternal Life is opened for them and have their names written in it.

  • What a fantastic opportunity!
  • What a defeat of Satan the devil!
  • What an overwhelming thing!

This is going to be God's grandest thing! On the little 'ole day that's hardly mentioned in the Bible: the eighth day, the Last Great Day is truly great!

Now, there's one other thing that has to happen. What is God going to do with all of those who previously committed the unpardonable sin? The Bible shows they have to die twice, which means they have to be resurrected to a judgment, which sentencing is being cast into the Lake of Fire!

So, we go through the whole 100-year period, first phase of the resurrection is resurrected to physical life to receive an opportunity for salvation. We go through the whole 100-year period and if there are any who have rejected salvation at that point, they won't be changed from flesh to spirit; they'll remain flesh. Then the rest of the dead who have committed the unpardonable sin will be resurrected. They will all be cast into the Lake of Fire. That will end their lives completely.

Verse 13: "And the sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and the grave gave up the dead that were in them; and they were judged individually, according to their works. And death and the grave were cast into the Lake of Fire. This is the second death…. [God is going to make that judgment] …And if anyone was not found written in the Book of Life, he was cast into the Lake of Fire" (vs 13-15).

Now, we continue on with the Last Great Day, because God goes on beyond this. The finishing of this, the getting rid of all of those who have committed the unpardonable sin burned up in the Lake of Fire. The Lake of Fire consumes the whole earth and prepares it for the new heaven and new earth and New Jerusalem. After the fantastic thing of the second resurrection, now comes something even greater and much more wonderful and much more awesome! Now the plan of God for creating His Family is complete.

Revelation 21:1: "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away, and there was no more sea."

All evaporated because the Lake of Fire encompassed the whole earth to prepare it and make it new for the New Jerusalem.

Verse 2: "And I, John, saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice from heaven say, 'Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men…'" (vs 2-3). The spiritual tabernacle; the dwelling place!

We've gone all the way from the Garden of Eden:

  • to the tabernacle with the children of Israel
  • to the temple with the children of Israel
  • to our physical bodies in the New Covenant: God dwelling in us; Christ dwelling in us
  • to now dwelling literally, spiritually with God

"'…and He shall dwell with them, and they shall be His people… [perfectly, complete, righteous, spiritual people] …and God Himself shall be with them and be their God'" (v 3).

It's going to be a tremendous time! Everything will be healed! Everything will become joyous and happiness!

Verse 4: "And God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall not be any more death… [live forever, immortal beings living in New Jerusalem, seeing God the Father face-to-face] …or sorrow, or crying; neither shall there be any more pain, because the former things have passed away'"—all of that is gone!

We're going to look back at that time and say for what God has blessed us with now and how we're living now, 'It was worth it.'

Verse 5: "And He Who sits on the throne said, 'Behold, I make all things new.' Then He said to me, 'Write, for these words are true and faithful.'"

  • they're going to come to pass
  • they are going to happen

Verse 6: "And He said to me, 'It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the one who thirsts, I will give freely of the fountain of the water of life…. [tie in John 7:37] …The one who overcomes…'" (vs 6-8).

This is what we need to look forward to, brethren:

  • to overcoming
  • to growing
  • to changing

in spite of every circumstance and problem that we are confronted with!

  • God will provide a way out
  • God will give the help! God will give His Spirit
  • God will open the door
  • God will change circumstances
  • God will answer our prayers

Right now, today, so we can be there at this time that we're reading of in the book of Revelation!

Verse 7: "The one who overcomes shall inherit all things…"

We're co-heirs with Christ! We're going to inherit the universe! God made that for a purpose, and we're included in it!

"…and I will be his God, and he shall be My son…. [one last final warning for those who do the reading]: …But the cowardly, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars… [all those who will not repent] …shall have their part in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone; which is the second death'" (vs 7-8).

So, one of the angels came and said, 'John, I want to show you the Holy City. I want to describe it.' It's quite a tremendous description. It is sort of a spiritual perpetual history of the plan of God that has been fulfilled and now is going to open up for all eternity. New Jerusalem is going to be awesome; 1500 miles square—wide, high and tall!

We'll have our place there in New Jerusalem, because Jesus said, 'If I go I will come again and I shall prepare a place for you so that you may be where I am.' And where is Jesus going to be? In New Jerusalem! That is the place.

Whatever your 'place' is going to be it is going to be a beautiful, wonderful thing composed of spirit. Just like we are made of the dust of the earth now, everything we see around us is made of the dust of the earth, too. As spirit beings then, are there not things that are composed of spirit? Is not the Throne of God composed of spirit? Have to be in order to contain His glory! If it weren't composed of spirit, and it were composed of physical things, it would have disintegrated of His just being there. So all of this is talking about spiritual things.

Verse 22: "And I saw no temple in it; for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the Temple of it…. [direct access to God personally, spiritually, for all eternity] …And the city has no need of the sun, or of the moon…" (vs 22-23).

Doesn't say that it isn't there because later it talks about months, and you can't have a month without a moon to regulate the month. But it doesn't have the need of it:

"…that they should shine in it; because the glory of God enlightens it, and the light of it is the Lamb…. [notice what it's going to be on the rest of the earth]: …And the nations that are saved shall walk in its light; and the kings of the earth shall bring their glory and honor into it. And its gates shall never be shut by day; for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. And nothing that defiles shall ever enter into it, nor shall anyone who practices an abomination or devises a lie; but only those who are written in the Lamb's Book of Life" (vs 23-27). What a tremendous thing that's going to be!

Revelation 22:1; "Then he showed me a pure river of the Water of Life…

Remember John 7 where they poured the water around the altar. Now, here it is the Throne of God; pure Holy Spirit of God as water!

"…clear as crystal, flowing out from the throne of God and of the Lamb. And in the middle of the street, and on this side and that side of the river, was the tree of life, producing twelve manner of fruits, each month yielding its fruit; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations…. [the maintenance of the nations] …And there shall be no more curse…" (vs 1-3).

Isn't that something! Why will there be no more curse? Because everyone will be perfect spirit beings and there will be no more sin! You have to become a spirit being in order to achieve that.

"…and the Throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and His servants shall serve Him, and they shall see His face… [face-to-face] …and His name is in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; for they have no need of a lamp or the light of the sun, because the Lord God enlightens them; and they shall reign into the ages of eternity" (vs 3-5). In the vastness of the universe!

What a plan that is going to be! What thing that is going to be! Brethren, this is knowledge that the world does not know. They don't understand it.

Verse 6: "And he said to me, 'These words are faithful and true; and the Lord God of the Holy prophets sent His angel to show His servants the things that must shortly come to pass. Behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.'"

Revelation being the last book of the Bible then means the whole Bible. You need the whole Bible to understand the book of Revelation. So, the message from the angel was 'Don't worship me, John. You worship God.

Verse 10: "And he said to me, 'Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book because the time is near."

Brethren, with all that's going on in the world and all the troubles and difficulties that are there, keep your mind on this, because the time is coming

Verse 11: "Let the one who is unrighteous be unrighteous still; and let the one who is filthy be filthy still; and let the one who is righteous be righteous still; and let the one who is Holy be Holy still. 'And behold, I am coming quickly…'" (vs 11-12).

On a scale of time by God's time-schedule, it's quickly! In our lifetime a lot of us are coming to the end of the trail. So it will be quickly. All the saints who have died in the faith have:

  • a crown of life waiting for them
  • a new name waiting for them
  • a spiritual body
  • a spiritual mind
  • joy and happiness forever

All of the wretchedness of the human flesh and the aging and the shriveling and the dying and the disease, all gone!

"…and My reward is with Me, to render to each one according as his work shall be" (v 12). Our works are important, but they have to be spiritual works, motivated by the Spirit of God, led by the Spirit of God!

Verse 13: "I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last. Blessed are those who keep His commandments, that they may have the right to eat of the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city" (vs 13-14). What a glorious thing that is going to be!

Left out? All of these; v 15: "But excluded are dogs, and sorcerers, and fornicators, and murderers, and idolaters, and everyone who loves and devises a lie."

That's for all of those who commit the unpardonable sin. They won't be there. We won't have to worry about fighting sin. We won't have to worry about overcoming sin. We will be called the overcomers!

Verse 16: "'I, Jesus, sent My angel to testify these things to you in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright and morning star.' And the Spirit and the bride say, 'Come.' And let the one who hears say, 'Come.' And let the one who thirsts come; and let the one who desires partake of the water of life freely" (vs 16-17).

It's coming! Brethren, it's coming! we're a part of it; God has called you to it!

Verse 18: "For I jointly testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book, that if anyone adds to these things, God shall add to him the plagues that are written in this book. And if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the book of Life, and from the Holy City, and from the things that are written in this book. He Who testifies these things says, 'Surely, I am coming quickly.' Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus…." (vs 18-21).

When he was about hundred years old and ready to die and had been given this tremendous vision and understanding to write it down and to impart all of this knowledge to us!

So, brethren, God loves us! God has called us! We may have some difficult times ahead of us—guaranteed, we will! But keep this in mind and when we get through to the end we will say, 'It was worth all of it.'

Thank you for being here at the Feast, and I hope that it has been profitable to you. Until Passover time the festival season for this year has come to an end.

Scriptural References:

  • Leviticus 23:34, 36-37
  • 2 Chronicles 5:12-14
  • 2 Chronicles 7:1-3, 8-12
  • Haggai 1:15
  • Haggai 2:1, 4-7
  • Nehemiah 8:18
  • John 7:37-39
  • 1 Timothy 2:4
  • 2 Peter 3:9
  • Matthew 13:10-15
  • 1 John 5:16
  • Matthew 12:31-32, 39-42
  • Romans 2:14-16
  • Revelation 20:5
  • Ezekiel 37:1-14
  • Revelation 20:11-15
  • Revelation 21:1-8, 22-27
  • Revelation 22:1-6, 10-21

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Numbers 28; 29
  • 2 Chronicles 6
  • Isaiah 4
  • 2 Corinthians 4
  • 1 John 1
  • Matthew 12:38
  • Revelation 20:4

Transcribed: 7-16-10
Reformatted: bo—9/2021