Fred Coulter - October 21, 2000 

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And greetings, brethren.  This is the Last Great Day for the year 2000.  And I know every year it’s a wonderful feast.  And I’m sure you’ve had a wonderful feast, and I’m sure that it’s like everything else, it goes too quickly and it’s over with.  And in a way it’s just right and God has the exact proper length of time so that we won’t wear out and that we can learn as much as we can.  And the thing about the Feast ending in such a way is this, is that you’ll miss fellowshipping with the brethren.  And that is especially so when we understand that many of us are scattered and some of us don’t even have a fellowship group to attend.  And we’ll try and do the best we can.  Just pray about it and ask God to raise up more people and always remember this: if you’re alone, someone has to be first.  And what we’ve been able to do with God’s help and God’s inspiration down through the years, the knowledge that God has given us has just been marvelous and fantastic, brethren

And so now we come to the time where we read the scriptures in Leviticus 23 concerning the Last Great Day.  So let’s go ahead and to Leviticus 23.  And I think it’s really profound and interesting that God has put all the holy days together there in Leviticus 23 so that only those who really desire the truth, only those who really believe God, only those who really truly love Him will understand that we are to keep these days today.  Especially when you consider the way that the world is going, and the way that even some of the Churches of God are going.  And it’s sad to see the things go that way and what has happened to the Church.  But brethren, God is still there.  God is right there with Christ at His right hand and He is here to show us, to teach us, to lead us, and Christ is the head of the Church.  And so let’s always keep that in mind.

Now let’s begin here in Leviticus 23:33 again.  “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying…” So these are instructions for all the children of Israel.  These are not just instructions for the priests alone.  “…The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD.”  Now we’ve already had that.  “On the first day shall be a holy convocation [which we had]: ye shall do no servile work therein.  Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire…” (Lev. 23:33-36).  Now we don’t make one every day of the Feast of Tabernacles, the reason being is because those sacrifices were given then.  And some were on the first day and they would eat the first day, second day, third day.  Some would offer on the second day, and they would eat on the second day, and the third day, and the fourth day.  And some would offer on the third day and they would eat on the third day, and the fourth day, and the fifth day, so forth all the way down through the feast.

Now it says, “…on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you…” And this is the eighth day.  And as we will see number eight is the number of new beginnings.  Now that is true according to God’s word.  Now don’t be disturbed if some people come along, who are false prophets, and they steal some of the information concerning numbers in the Bible and cause you confusion.  They’re just still the same false prophets though they have that point of truth.  “…And ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein” (vs. 36).  Now servile work is the kind of work that you get paid for.  Or that you do in the normal course of your way of living.  And so whatever is necessary for keeping the Feast, that’s what we can do.  And that is what makes it so important concerning the holy days.

Now, verse 37, “These are the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD, a burnt offering, and a [meal] meat offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, every thing upon his day: besides the sabbaths of the LORD…”  Now let’s understand something here very important.  All of the holy days are called sabbaths.  And so if you believe in the seventh day Sabbath, then you also have to believe in the rest of the Sabbaths because those belong to God just like the seventh day Sabbath.  “…And beside your gifts, and beside all your vows, and beside all your freewill offerings, which ye give unto the LORD.  Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath [there it is called a sabbath directly], and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath [there it is, today is an annual sabbath]” (vs. 37-39).

“And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days” (vs. 40).  Now this has been a really rejoicing feast for us.  And I want you to be uplifted and inspired so that you can face the things when you go back home.  And the feast being over, the Last Great Day being over, and you go home and have to face the world, which is run by Satan the devil, have to face all the trials and difficulties that you may go through, and just remember the greatness of God and the purpose of His plan, and what He is doing.  And also, as we are going to be taking up an offering today, let that be expressed in your offering. That you love God, that you serve God, that you worship Him.

Now verse 41, “And ye shall keep it a feast unto the LORD seven days in the year.  It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month. Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths” (vs. 41-42).  Now what they do in Jerusalem is this even to this day.  And I’ve seen pictures of the temple area, booths and dwellings that they make there.  Most of the homes in what we call Israel today, or Palestine as would be more properly called because it’s not Israel, because only when God is there can it be called Israel again.  We need to understand that.  An Israeli means, Israel without God, when you truly understand the meaning of the word.

But never the less when they have their Feast of Tabernacles they set up these little booths.  And they’re like tents.  And then they decorate the front of it and on the inside of it with all of these boughs.  And then what happens is those who come and travel to Jerusalem are able to stay in the rooms of the people who now have the temporary dwelling out on the top of their flat-top house.  And so it makes a good feast that way.  Now today, it’s perfectly all right as we know to go ahead and rent a motel room or a hotel room or to rent a house and stay there because it’s a temporary dwelling.  And when you really come to understand it all, even our homes are temporary brethren.  Because our hearts, as far as our thoughts and our minds and what we are going to do are toward God the Father and Jesus Christ at His right hand, which is in heaven where we look for Christ to return and to bring the Kingdom.  And so when we give the offering here let’s just keep that in mind.

We’ve covered concerning the offering many, many times, and we know brethren, that this is all a part of our worship and service of God on the holy day, and so you give according to as you’ve proposed in your heart, and you give with rejoicing before God to serve Him in love for all the good things that He has done, and the things that come in the way of offerings and tithes are all used to go back and serve the brethren.  And so just keep that in mind.  So at this time we’ll take a pause and we’ll go ahead and take up the offering.


Now if you caught me speaking a little bit as the pause went on and you heard me say just in time.  Well it was just in time, because there was an airplane flying over and we didn’t want to get that on the tape.  [Laughter]  So we have all these things we need to fight when we do it.  But anyway brethren, this is a great and a marvelous day, and a special holy day for God.  And it’s very interesting that the Bible says, as we covered before, Christ said, “I’m the beginning and the ending, the first and the last.”  And the Last Great Day will be the greatest day because there are so many things that are going to take place on this day, and this knowledge is the knowledge that is hidden from the world.  They don’t know it.  They don’t understand it.  They don’t recognize it.  They don’t realize God’s plan because they don’t keep His holy days.

Now let’s just take a review of all the holy days beginning with the Passover, which we know is not a holy day but it is a commanded convocation.  Now I’m going to break it down according to Israel, and the Church, and the millennium.  Now, I’m going to go quite rapidly on this so don’t worry necessarily about taking notes on it.  You can if you are a good speed writer, but just listen to it and just see how that God’s plan is revealed step by step by step, first to Israel, then to the Church, and then to all the people during the millennium.

Now the Passover for Israel pictured the sparing of the firstborn of the children of Israel.  That means that God is Savior, He saved them.  And He destroyed all the firstborn, killed them, of the Egyptians both man and beast.  This also shows that God will fight for us.  So this shows that Christ is our Savior.

Now for the Church the Passover is that Jesus is the Passover Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.  And we look to Christ for forgiveness, for His mercy, for His kindness, or His love, for His grace.  It also pictures the institution of the New Covenant on the night of the 14th.  Jesus took the bread and broke it and said, “Take eat, this is My body, which is broken for you.”  And likewise He took the cup of the wine and He gave it to them and said, “All of you drink of it for this is My blood in the New Covenant.”  And we are to do this as often as we do until Christ returns.  And likewise with the footwashing.  And the footwashing shows that we have part with Christ, and it shows also that it renews our baptism.  So the whole Passover for us is really a tremendous time because of renewing of the Covenant and accepting the body and the blood of Christ to cover our sins, and to renew the Covenant every year.

Now in the millennium it will also picture the New Covenant during the millennium, or we could call this the Millennium Covenant that God is going to make with the children of Israel and the rest of the world.  And it’s going to show that only through Christ do they have forgiveness of sin.  And I’m sure some of the things that apply to the Church, such as a renewing of the covenant, renewing of their baptism, accepting the truth and love of God to overcome their sins.  That will all be part of it for all the people during the millennium.

Now the Days of Unleavened Bread.  Of course you know we have two holy days in this.  That’s interesting.  It’s the only feast where we have two holy days.  Now the Feast of Tabernacles is seven days, one feast.  And there is one holy day, which is the first day.  And the eighth day is a special separate feast.  So we have seven plus one.  And when we come to the Passover, which is one day, which by the way also is an unleavened bread day.  Then we have plus seven days, so we have a total of eight.

Now for Israel the Feast of Unleavened Bread pictures the deliverance from the bondage of Egypt.  It also pictures the leaving of Egypt with the night much to be remembered.  And the last day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread they crossed the Red Sea.  And it also shows in Exodus 13 that they are to keep this feast so that the commandments and laws of God would always be before them.  And so likewise some of these things carry over for us.

For the Church the Days of Unleavened Bread picture that we are delivered from the bondage of sin and Satan the devil.  This also shows that we have been given a new nature, which is putting out the sin, receiving the Holy Spirit of God.  That pictures the unleavened bread that we eat.  And it is that now we live in grace and we have access to God the Father.  We have justification from our sins.  And also we have keeping the commandments in the spirit of the law now, and we also our hearts and our minds changed by the Spirit of God being converted and having the laws and commandments of God written in our hearts and in our minds now.  And also that we are going to overcome and get rid of human nature.  So that’s quite a bit for the Church.

Now for the millennium.  We will have some of the same things with it, which is this: physical life is temporary, and that human nature is filled with vanity.  And that’s why they keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread, to overcome the vanity that they have as we studied that part of it with the book of Ecclesiastes.  Now it shows also that Christ only can forgive their sins.  Salvation only is through Jesus Christ.  And there is also a great gulf fixed between those who are spiritual, those who are in the first resurrection and serve as kings and priests and the bride of Christ, between the flesh of the human beings then and the spirit beings who will be ruling an controlling it.  And during the millennium it’s going to be where there is not going to be Satan at all.  There is going to be also a change even in human nature cause Satan won’t be there to tempt them.

Now then let’s come to the Feast of Pentecost.  Now here’s the meaning for Israel.  For Israel it’s a receiving of the Ten Commandment at Mt. Sinai the very first Pentecost that the children of Israel kept after they left Egypt.  It also pictures when they entered into the land that they would reap of the harvest and they would have the harvest of the firstfruits.  Now the harvest of the firstfruits ties in with the wave sheaf offering that they did on the first day of the week after the regular Sabbath during Unleavened Bread.  That pictured the beginning of the acceptance of God of the harvest and for the Church that pictures Christ ascending to be the first of the firstfruits accepted by God the Father for us for the offering of sin.

Now for the Church.  Pentecost has greater meaning for the Church.  Receiving of the Holy Spirit, as we find there in Acts 2.  The beginning of the Church.  It pictures the spiritual harvest of the firstfruits by the first resurrection, and we are the Church of the Firstborn.  It also pictures the marriage of Christ and the bride.  It also pictures the saving of the 144,000 and the great innumerable multitude in Revelation 7, which happens on the day of Pentecost.

Now then, during the millennium the firstfruits in the first resurrection will always be first.  And they will always have a special and different relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ than the rest of the human beings who come into the Kingdom of God through the operation of the millennium.  And it will also picture, I am sure that it will be a remembrance of what each one of them received the Holy Spirit whenever they were baptized.

Now let’s come down to the Feast of Trumpets.  Now the Feast of Trumpets is a very interesting feast and one of the most important things it does, it shows that God is King.  God is warrior.  He will fight for us.  And also it is the day which is the beginning of the calculated Hebrew calendar.

And let me just say right here brethren, please do not let anyone lead you astray with their own invention with their own calendar.  God gave to the Levites the method in operation of calculating the calendar.  It is valid going clear back to the 5th and 6th century B.C., and all of those things follow right through down on through our time.  And please understand this, nowhere did God give any authority to any other man to give the calendar, other than through the Levites.  So when we come down to the time of Hillel the second in the 300’s A.D., please understand this, as a Levite he made it known to all the world how that the holy days can be calculated with the method given to the Levites and so in fact it has been perpetually proclaimed by the proper Levitical authorities from that time unto this.  And don’t let anyone mislead you or deceive you on this.  So the Feast of Trumpet pictures the calculated Hebrew calendar for us.

Now also for the Church it pictures the first coming of Christ and the second coming of Christ.  And it pictures the beginning of the destruction of Babylon the Great.  And it is also the day in which God is going to take vengeance upon the Beast and the false prophet, destroy their armies, and cast them into the lake of fire.  Now it also is the installation of Christ as King, the beginning of the Kingdom of God on earth, and the beginning of our reign as kings and priests with Christ.

Now for the millennium it’s going to always picture the proper calendar.  And of course there is probably going to be a restoration of all things and at that time in the restoration of all things during the millennium, I am sure that God is going to give us a 360 day calendar and a 30 day month, and 12 equal months so we won’t have to fight all the problems that we do today, which by the way brethren is a result of sin.  It’s also going to be a continuous remembrance for them during the millennium of Christ’s return, that Christ is King.  And also a continuous remembrance to them that the kings and priests of God reign and rule on the earth.

Now the Day of Atonement for Israel.  It pictured a special day when all of their sins were atoned for.  And with the two goats, one for the Lord and one for Azazel showing that in order to get rid of sin you have got to remove the author of sin.  Now the children of Israel didn’t quite fully understand that but nevertheless it was there.  And for them it showed that as a nation and a people that they could be at one with God through the covenant that God established with them at Mt. Sinai, and that would be then in the letter of the law.

Now for the Church.  It pictures the removal of Satan the devil and binding him in the abyss.  It pictures us being at one with God through having received the Holy Spirit.  And to be at one with God shows then that we can have the mind of Christ.  And that’s all pictured by the day of Atonement.  Plus there is something very important for the world and that is the Day of Atonement pictures when God, after removing Satan the devil, has the sacrifice of Christ then made available to the whole world.

Now for the millennium, the world will be living in a state of at-one-ment with God, because Christ will be on the earth, the saints will be ruling, and they will be at one with God.  And as we have covered for the meaning of the feast during the Feast of Tabernacles, and so forth, we’ll be teaching them.  And also there’s going to be a special thing that will be for the millennium, which will be also for the Day of Atonement, which is that Satan is bound, no longer influencing the world.  And it will show that the flesh must inherit eternal life, and there is no permanence in the flesh.

Now the Feast of Tabernacles for Israel pictured, number one, living in the land and dwelling in booths while they were on their way from Egypt to the Promised Land.  It was the great ingathering of the physical harvest of all the crops that they had.  And it also shows that God dwelling with them dwelt in a tabernacle.  And we also saw, as we did on the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles, that God put His presence in the temple on the first holy day of the Feast of Tabernacles.

For the Church it shows that Christ dwelt on earth in the flesh, and John 1:14 says, “And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us”, and the word there is “tabernacled”.   And He did, He dwelt among us temporarily.  It is also a time where it is picturing for the Church that Christ is dwelling in us by the power of His Holy Spirit.  And also it shows for the Church there in 2 Corinthians 5, that our bodies then are temporary tabernacles for the housing of God’s Holy Spirit within us that we may grow in character and grow to have the mind of Christ.  Now it also pictures for the Church when we will live with God.  When we will be dwelling with God.  Now that’s a tremendous meaning.  And it also pictures Christ and God the Father living and dwelling in New Jerusalem and we are dwelling there with them.  And there will be no more temple. Now we’ll see that a little bit later on.

For the millennium, for the people on the earth, they will know that they are dwelling with the sons and daughters of God, who are also dwelling with them as their teachers and leaders, and priests and kings.  And also pictures when we will be dwelling with men.  Now, universal salvation will be given to all who repent and come to desire it.  It’s not going to be given to everyone, but the vast majority during that time will choose salvation.  It shows for all the people during the millennium that this physical life is temporary, and it is going to be the great spiritual harvest for all the nations.

Now the Last Great Day.  Now I don’t think Israel understood too much about the Last Great Day because they did not understand about the first resurrection, and they didn’t understand about the second resurrection.  But for Israel it pictures their day of salvation because God did not give and grant salvation to the children of Israel when He brought them into the Promised Land, or when He called them out of Egypt, and so forth.

Now for the Church.  It pictures a time of the second resurrection, God’s final judgment, and we will judge.  And one of the first things we are going to do on the Last Great Day when Satan is cast into the lake of fire, we are going to judge the angels.  Paul said, “Know you not that we shall judge angels.”  That’s when we will judge them, on the Last Great Day.  And then it also shows for all of the sinners, the lake of fire because they will be judged, and cast into the lake of fire.  And then the whole earth will be burned up.

Now for the millennium, which will actually be the day after the millennium, if we could put it that way.  This brethren, will be the greatest harvest of all which we will see.  And it will undo all sins.  God is going to make right, or justify all sins.  And at the end of it, end of the meaning of the Last Great Day there will be a new heaven and a new earth, a new Jerusalem, and then God will reveal His plan for all mankind, now born into the Kingdom of God, now all spirit beings.  And what are we going to do for all eternity?  And please understand this, and just think on this.  If God made this world so marvelous, and wonderful, and beautiful, and fantastic, and how much it’s going to be improved all during the millennium, don’t you think and know that God is busy working and building and planning for the fulfillment of the Last Great Day when New Jerusalem comes down, when the whole universe then will be opened up to us?  Yes, He will.  So this is going to be really a tremendous thing.

So just think how this comes down step-by-step all the way through.  And in bringing out these things in even just a summary, we are talking about things that the world does not know and the world does not understand, and cannot understand because they won’t yield and submit to God.

Now let’s come to John 7, and we will see that Jesus kept the Last Great Day.  Now one thing that’s interesting concerning the gospel of John is that it’s centered all around the holy days.  Now many people don’t even catch that or even know that.  And John is trying to tell us something very important.  Now we are to follow Christ’s example, aren’t we?  We are to do as He did, aren’t we?  We are to keep the days that Jesus kept.  Yes.

Now here in John 7:37.  Now it’s important that we understand the timing of this because this was a special ceremony.  This was called the ceremony of water.  And it was done right as the sun was setting ending the last day of the feast, and beginning the Last Great Day of the feast, which is today.  So it carried over into the eighth day.

Now let’s pick it up here in verse 37, “In the last day, that great day of the feast [this is today], Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink.”  And yet this verse has never been fulfilled.  This is a prophecy of what’s going to happen during the Last Great Day, and it is also for those who God calls that comes to Him will receive the Holy Spirit, come and drink.  “He that believeth on Me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water” (John 7:37-38).  And brethren that’s also a prophecy for us too.  That when we are in the Kingdom of God and we are teaching the people who are resurrected in the second resurrection for the Last Great Day.  Yes, that God’s Holy Spirit is going to be flowing out to all of them, and it’s going to be a great and a marvelous harvest.

Now verse 39, “(But this spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive: for the Holy [Spirit] Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)”  Again, another point that is true.  God did not give the Holy Spirit to them back then under the Old Covenant because it was not yet given.  We find in 1 Peter 1 that it was given to the prophets and to the kings, but not to the people in general.  And now during the Last Great Day, in order to undo everything that has been done in this world by the way of Satan the devil and human beings.  Then there has to be the Holy Spirit of God to do it.  And it’s going to be the greatest time of the Holy Spirit of God, even greater than the millennium.  That’s why this is called the Last Great Day.  And we are going to have a profound part in it.  And God has called you to do this.  And God has called you so that you are going to take the place of all of these people that are running the world today.  Now I want you to think about that.  And I want you to remember that.  And I want you to understand that God has called us to teach us, to educate us, to prepare us for these things.  And brethren, the knowledge of the Last Great Day is such a marvelous and fantastic thing, because it answers the question about how is God going to save all people.

Now let’s go to 2 Peter 3, and let’s read that here.  I remember one man that I talked to the very first time.  He said, “Now I want you to answer me one thing.  You say no one is saved now except those that God calls.  Well then, what about here in 2 Peter 3?  Now what does this mean?”  Now let’s read it, verse 9, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”  And he said, “Now when I look out and I see this world I see that it’s Satan’s world.  Now how is God going to do this?”

Obviously then, if God hasn’t done this then Satan is more powerful than God.  And many people believe that. Because of all the things going on in the world, that’s certainly not of God, is it?  Well, you see, God does not think as a man.  God does not do things as a man does.  God has His plan and His purpose, and He is going to do it in His way, and His time, and that’s what this Last Great Day pictures.

Now let’s go to Matthew 13, and I want you to understand how precious this knowledge is.  I want you to realize what a great thing that it has been, as we started out with the Feast of Trumpets, that God has a purpose that He’s working out on this earth.  And brethren, God’s purpose is being worked out on this earth and He has called you first to know, to understand, to realize.  And that began with the apostles and carries right on down to this day.  And we have the whole word of God, and we have the knowledge of God, and we have the holy days of God.  And that’s why, because it’s so profound in understanding that God’s purpose and how He lays it out step by step, that one of the first things that Satan wants to do is to move you away from the holy days.  To move you away from the right and proper Passover.  To move you away from the Sabbath.  To move you away to his way and to bring you back into darkness.

Now let’s understand how profound this is here in Matthew 13.  And let’s pick it up here in verse 9.  He says, “Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.”  Now here is what the people didn’t understand because He spoke to them in parables.  “And the disciples came, and said unto Him, why speakest  Thou unto them in parables?  He answered and said unto them, Because it is given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given” (Matt. 13:9-11).  So brethren do you understand that the knowledge you have is what God has given you?  And the understanding that you have comes from His word through His Holy Spirit so that you can know the things of God.  Now that’s a tremendous thing.  That is an absolute marvelous blessing.  And it’s one that we have to continually grow in.  One that we have to continually exercise.

Now notice verse 12, “For whosoever hath, to him shall be given…” and God wants to give us more.  God wants to give us greater understanding.  God wants to give us greater faith, greater hope, greater love to fill us, as we will see, with the fullness of God.  That’s a tremendous calling.  “…And he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.”  And in the end it will be nothing because they will be turned to ashes and dust.  “Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.  And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of [Isaiah] Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive…” (vs. 12-14).

And people can have their Bibles, they can study their Bibles…  Now I talked to a woman here this summer, who one of the most important things for her was her Wednesday night Bible study.  And I said, “Well, oh, what church do you go to?”  “Well,” she said, “we’re fundamentalists.”

“Oh,” and I said, “that means you keep the seventh-day Sabbath?”

“Oh, no.”

I said, “Well, you’re really not a fundamentalist or a scripturalist unless you do.”

“Oh, well I don’t think God will hold me to that.  We keep Sunday.”

And I looked her right in the eye and I said, “Do you think that God is going to hold people responsible for murder, and adultery, and lying, and thievery, and idolatry, and taking God’s name in vain, and having other gods, and you don’t think that God is going to hold you responsible for the fourth commandment to remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy?”

And you talk about…it was something.  She just bristled up just like that.  Brethren, I want you to understand how great it is that you have the knowledge of God through the holy days.

Let’s continue on here.  “For this people’s heart is waxed gross…” Oh yes, they love to use the name of God.  Oh yes, they love to tell God what to do and think they are righteous, as we’ve seen with what we covered with the mystery of lawlessness.  Oh yes, yes.  “…And their ears are dull of hearing…” Just like this woman.  She didn’t hear.  She had no ears for hearing.  She already had her eyes closed and here ears shut but just so she could look on the things that she wanted.  “…And their eyes they have closed…” Now it’s kind of a joint operation.  If you close your eyes and close your heart and mind, God will also close them just like Pharaoh hardened his heart and the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart.  So it’s a dual operation here, same thing.  “…Lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them” (vs. 15).  Why if God wanted all of them healed, now why didn’t He do it here?  Because in God’s plan, now is not the day of salvation for everyone.  Now is the day of salvation for His Church and those that God calls.  Not for the world.  The world will have its day in this Last Great Day, as we will see. So that’s why God did it, because God is able to undo it.  And He will undo it.

Now notice verse 16, “But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.”  And it’s very important that we always keep our eyes open and our ears clean so we can hear, so we can see.  And that is a spiritual operation through prayer, through study, through fasting, through yielding to God and loving God and maintaining that relationship continuously day by day, and week by week, and month by month, and year by year.

Now notice how profound this knowledge is that you have.  “For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them” (vs. 17).  That’s how wonderful and fantastic the holy days of God are brethren, because they reveal these things to us.

Now let’s continue on here.  Let’s come to Romans 11.  Now remember brethren, as we’re turning to the book of Romans, we are told by Christ in John 6 that none come to Christ except the Father draw him.  And none come to the Father except through Christ.  So it is a joint operation, and it is a joint thing that God is doing.  Ok, let’s come to Romans 11 because this gives us further understanding about what happened to Israel and about what is happened to the whole world here.

Now let’s pick it up here in verse 7, “What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for?”  No, Israel did not attain under the righteousness of God and salvation.  “…But the election hath obtained it…” And we are the election.  That is we have been called, we have been chosen, and few are chosen because many are called, so it actually ends up that even though many are called few are really called because few respond.  “…But the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded…” Now if God blinds them and yet He says He wants all to come to repentance, how is God going to solve this problem?  And the answer is in the Last Great Day.

“(According as it is written, God hath given then the spirit of slumber…”  So we see how God has done it and they have done it, both.  “…Eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.”  And so that is a prophecy continuing down unto now.  “And David said, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them: Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back always.  I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall:  God forbid...” (vs. 8-11).   In other words, has this happened to Israel, so that they are cast off forever and have no salvation? Paul says, “God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? (vs. 11-12) And their fullness will take place during the millennium, and during the Last Great Day. Both. How much their fullness?

So he says, “For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office…” (vs. 13) Now then he says here, “If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are of my flesh, and might save some of them...” (vs. 14) So, he was still interested in that, brethren. That’s really tremendous. “For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?” (vs. 15) Now that’s something.

Now, let’s continue on here to verse 21. “For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.” (vs 21) So you see, God’s judgment falls on all alike. “Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness…” (vs. 22) Did you catch that? If you continue. That’s why it’s constantly emphasized all through the New Testament. “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (Jn. 14:15) If you do the things that I say. If you believe me, Christ said. “…otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again. For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree? For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery…” (vs. 22-25) Which it is, which this Last Great Day pictures. And brethren, let me just say this. The details of what Paul gives here as an outline, we understand today and Paul did not understand it back in his day. And isn’t that a marvelous thing? That’s something.

Here’s what he knew about it. “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved…” (vs. 25-26)  And this Last Great Day answers when shall they be saved; how shall they be saved. And that’s a tremendous thing. “…as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.” (vs. 26-27) And that’s when God is going to remove it. Now we saw all that beginning with the millennium. All the way down through the millennium that’s going to happen to Israel and Judah. And all during the Last Great Day that’s going to happen to Israel and Judah that were cut off for their parts; that were turned over to the hardness of their hearts; that were cut off because they refused to see and refused to hear. So this is a great and marvelous thing that God is doing.

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Now, let’s continue on here with verse 27. “For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.” (Rom. 11:27) So when is He going to do it? Now we’ll see and it’s a great and wonderful thing. “As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election,” because of God’s promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob “they are beloved for the father's sakes.” (vs. 28) And the father here you’ll notice then is plural, meaning Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” (vs. 29) In other words, God isn’t going to repent of what He is doing as well as to us. The gifts of God and His calling are without repentance. You can’t change your mind on it. “For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.” (vs. 30-32) And we will see when in just a minute. “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.” (vs. 33-36) And brethren, that’s a tremendous thing. Paul died with this knowledge, but he didn’t have it complete because John was the one who wrote for us the keys to understanding this.

Now, let’s come back to Revelation the twentieth chapter. And let’s continue on with what John was inspired to write here. And we’ll put it together with the other scriptures, so that we will know exactly what’s taking place here.

Now let’s pick it up beginning in verse 4. We’ll review just a little bit. “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” (Rev. 20:4) That’s the whole millennium. Verse 5. “But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.” (vs. 5) That’s a key and important thing. Now let’s understand also what else it’s telling us here concerning the rest of the dead when they are raised. And that is found beginning in verse 6. “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power…” Now this is telling us, as we will see verified with other scriptures, that those in the resurrection at the end of the millennium, which is the second resurrection, the second death has power. Now, if the second death has power that means that they have to be raised to a fleshly existence, because spirit cannot die. So they have to be physical human beings as we will see and we’ll it see verified here in just a little bit.

Now, we’ve gone through the rest of the scriptures and we have come down here to, let’s come down to verse 11. And then let’s understand something here very important. “And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from Whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was not place found for them.  And I saw the dead [that is the rest of the dead], small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” (Rev. 20:11-12).  Now this tells us an awful lot here brethren.

Let’s see if we can understand this now.  First of all we are dealing with people then who have had their eyes closed, their ears stopped, and their hearts hardened and God did it.  Now in that then there has to be an understanding concerning sin, because not all of those who are raised will be raised for an opportunity for salvation because there are two phases to the second resurrection, as we will see.  The first phase will be for those who have sinned but have not committed the unpardonable sin, therefore their lives are worthy to be raised in the second resurrection for an opportunity for salvation, which God did not give them during their first life.  And as we will see concerning the wicked, they will be raised to be cast into the lake of fire because there will be no forgiveness of their unpardonable sins.

Now let’s look at two things to understand this first of all.  Let’s come to Romans 2 and let’s understand concerning those who have done some of the things according to the laws of God in their lifetime but they were never called.  And if God did not call them and they have not committed the unpardonable sin, then God is going to give them an opportunity for salvation as the rest of the dead who are raised after Satan is cast back into the lake of fire.  And remember, as I said yesterday, all of those who come up in the second resurrection will not have to live their lives again under Satan the devil.  As I’ve said before, once is plenty enough, don’t you think?  And you just look at your life and you look at the world and you can say yes, amen, that is true.

Now let’s pick it up here in Romans 2:14.  “For when the Gentiles, which have not the law [God never gave them the law], do by nature the things contained in the law [so even though they are sinners of Gentiles, they were not sinners in sinning the sin unto death], these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: which shew the work of the law written in their hearts…” Now that’s a very interesting phrase, isn’t it?  And it’s the only place in the whole New Testament where in the Greek it is “the works of the law”, showing that it has to do with basically the Ten Commandments of God and it does not have to do with works of law, which then were those things which the Jews did, those temple things which were done, and works of law which other religions have in their own way.  So this is the works of the law, “…written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel” (Rom. 2:14-16).  Now how is that going to be?  Ok, we’ll see.

Let’s come to Matthew 12 and let’s see that they will be raised.  Let’s see that this fits right in with the rest of the dead living after the thousand years.  This also tells us about the unpardonable sin which we covered yesterday, but let’s understand it a little bit more.  Let’s come here to verse 31.  “Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy [Spirit] Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.”  Why?  Because the Holy Spirit comes from God the Father, and when you blaspheme what God the Father is doing there is no forgiveness because you have blasphemed the highest authority.  God the Father who reigns supreme and sovereign in the whole universe.  There can’t be any forgiveness of that.

Now notice, “And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy [Spirit] Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come” (vs. 32).  And the Greek is “the coming world”, and the coming world is the Kingdom of God.  “But the rest of the dead lived not until the thousand years are finished” (Rev. 20:5).  So this is telling us that there are two parts to it, as we will see.

Now then He told the scribes and Pharisees who accused Him of casting out demons and healing the sick by the power of Beelzebub, He says to them, “Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.  O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things?  For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.  A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.  But I say not you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereon in the day of judgment” (vs. 33-36).  Now for us that Day of Judgment is now, cause Peter says, “Now is judgment on the house of God.”  It’s on us brethren.  God is judging you day-by-day, week-by-week, month-by-month, year-by-year.  That’s why we have to live under the grace of God, and we walk by faith, and we grow in the love of God, and grow in the relationship and fellowship with God.  And that’s why when we repent our sins and our iniquities are removed from us and forgotten.  And that’s profound and very important for us to maintain this relationship with Jesus Christ and God the Father.

Now for people in the world who are going to be raised in the second resurrection, they have not yet been judged on any of this.  Now if they have not committed a sin unto death, that is eternal death, the unpardonable sin, then they will be raised back to physical life and we’ll see that here in just a minute.

“Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from Thee.  But He answered and said unto them, an evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: for as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (vs. 38-40).  And brethren, that’s a profound thing and absolutely true.       

Now verse 41, “The men of Nineveh…” Now let’s understand the time setting here.  “The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation…” Now they were separated by nearly 1000 years in time.  And because it says, “…they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.”  Now this is telling us that the men of Nineveh did not sin sin unto death.  They will be raised.  They will be given a second physical life.  Now notice, “The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation…” Now here we are many hundreds of years removed again.  “…And shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here” (vs. 41-42).  And so this shows that they are going to be raised.

Now then, since there is the book of life for us today, of eternal life, then there has to be a part in the book of life where God records those people who are going to be worthy of the resurrection for an opportunity for salvation.  That’s why the books were opened.  And then the book of life was opened, and we will see what’s going to happen when the book of life is opened for them.  It says they’re going to be judged according to their works.  Now then let’s understand something.  Since all are sinners and the wages of sin is death, if God would judge them solely on their first physical existence they would be condemned to death, condemned to the lake of fire.  There would be no opportunity for salvation because they were not called, they were never given an opportunity for repentance, God did not lead them to repentance, and as a matter of fact, He closed their eyes, and He closed their ears, and He hardened their hearts.

Now let’s come back to Ezekiel 37, and here is the other part of the answer.  And this is how we put the scriptures together in a proper way to understand them.  And Ezekiel 37 tells us an awful lot.  Now keep in mind that Paul wrote, “so all Israel shall be saved.”  When?  Ezekiel 37 answers it alongside with Revelation 20.  At the end of the millennium the rest of the dead shall live again.

Now we find that right here in Ezekiel 37.  This is the valley of dry bones.  And Ezekiel saw this whole valley of dry bones and God caused him to walk around in it.  God said to Ezekiel, “Son of man, can these bones live?”  And he said, “Lord you know, you know.”  Now if you’ve ever seen a human skeleton or even a picture of it say on television, or in a photo, or in a book, or something like that, you ask the question, Can these bones live?  So then God told him… let’s pick it up in verse 4, “Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.  Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: and I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD” (Ezek. 37:4-6).

Now let’s understand what this is telling us.  If there are bones there, that means they already lived once, correct?  Otherwise there wouldn’t be any bones, right?  Now they’re going to live.  And what kind of life are they going to have.  Flesh, breath, sinew, and skin.  A physical existence, correct?  Yes.  Can flesh die?  Yes.  That’s why in the second resurrection the second death can have power over them if they don’t repent.  Now let’s continue on and see this and let’s understand, all through the scriptures it shows us this: to Israel first and then to the Gentiles, or all the rest of the nations.  So what happens here with the children of Israel happens also to the Gentiles, as we saw in Matthew 12, that the men of Nineveh, who were Gentiles, will rise in the judgment with this generation.  And the queen of Sheba shall rise with this generation.  So they will all be raised together.

Now let’s read it. “So I prophesied as I was commanded…” It doesn’t say that Ezekiel disbelieved God, but it shows that Ezekiel really didn’t understand what was going on here.  And so God had to tell him as it occurred.  “…And as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone.  And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them.  Then said He unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.  So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army” (vs. 7-10).  Now they have a second life, don’t they?  Because they were dead once, now they are alive.

Now let’s read it and get the proof of it.  Verse 11, “Then He said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel…” And didn’t Paul say, “so all Israel shall be saved.”  Yes, here’s the answer.  “…Behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.”  In other words they died because of their sins.  But they weren’t sins unto death to the lake of fire.  “Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O My people, I will open your graves…” Now you’re only put in the grave if you are dead.  Now if you’re put in the grave while you’re still alive, know for sure it won’t be long until you’re dead.  “…And cause you to come up out of your graves.  And bring you into the land of Israel.  And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up out of your graves, and shall put My spirit in you, and ye shall live…”.  Now that is the Spirit of God for salvation because they were already raised to the second physical life and they lived and they were talking and saying that they were cut off of their part.  In other words they had remembrance of their former life.  That’s what it’s telling us.  “And shall put My spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD (vs. 11-14).  So there we go.  That’s really something, isn’t it, to understand it.  That answers the question of Revelation 20, what is going to happen when the rest of the dead are raised at the end of the millennium.

Now then let’s understand what’s going to happen there with them.  Come to Isaiah 65.  Now we’ve covered this several times but let’s go back and let’s just review that again.  Because we’ve covered it and seen how it applies to the millennium.  Let’s see how it applies to the great white throne judgment, the second resurrection.  And for these people when they come up, it’s going to be a new heaven and a new earth, isn’t it?  Yes it will be.  “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.  But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create; for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.”  And just understand the joy that’s going to take place then.  That is going to be something.  All of these dead resurrected to life.  And of course one of the greatest sins that has to be undone is to raise all of those children that have been aborted, because you see the only difference between newly conceived life and a full-fledged human being is the maturation in the womb, and growing to be a physical life.  Now that’s something.

Now as I’ve said before and I’ll say this again, that I believe that God is going to resurrect all of them, because if not then Satan will have defeated God in His purpose for those human beings.  Now what’s He going to do with all of them.  Well, let’s read here.  “There shall be no more thence an infant of days [that is which will not live out it’s life]…”  And of course at this time during the great white throne judgment, you cannot have any more babies come into production.  And that’s why all of these babies who have died of abortion or pre-mature death, or children who have died early in life will be raised back to life and there will be plenty of adults to take care of them.  There will be plenty to give them a full life.  No doubt about it.  So the question is: how is God going to resurrect these infants which were aborted.  Well I think it’s very simple.  Resurrect them to what would be the equivalent of a full-term baby.  In other words one that would be the equivalent of being born on that day.  And I think that God is going to give them back to their mothers.  What a thing that is going to be. What an absolute healing that is going to be.

You talk undoing every evil.  You talk about women who have died in child-birth.  Babies that have died in child-birth.  You talk about going down through all the history of the world and all those who have been killed in wars.  All of those who have been slaughtered, all of the innocent victims who have been killed, all of those who have died from the plagues and sickness and disease.  And just think of the Black Plague that hit Europe.  Think of those that were disintegrated at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  Think of all of those who have been killed in the wars in whatever nation and whatever time of history.  God is going to resurrect them and give them life.  And all the babies will live, and live to be 100 years old.  Of course now at this time then they won’t die.  They will be changed if they accept eternal life.  And if they live this 100 years and receive the salvation of God then they will be changed in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye.

Now the sinner who then does not repent, then he is going to die accursed.  And that accursing is going to be the second death from which there is no resurrection.  And we’ll see that here in just a little bit.  Ok, then they’re going to live a normal life, they are going to have 100 years which to be judged according to their works.  Now let’s go back to Revelation 20 and let’s pick up where we left off and then we will look then at the second part of the second resurrection, which will be the judgment of the wicked.

Now let’s read again verse 12.  “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.”  Now this means according to the works that they have during the time that they have a second life in the flesh.  Now some, almost all Sunday-keepers get real mad at this when they hear this the first time, because they say, “Well God is giving them a second chance for salvation.”  No, that’s not true.  It is a first opportunity for salvation, but a second physical life because God never called them in their first life.  See, so please always understand that.  The reason that Sunday-keepers don’t believe this is because they believe they are going to heaven.  And you better be saved now, or you’re going to ever burning hell.  They don’t understand the scriptures. Now, God is no respecter of persons, as we have seen, and they have this opportunity and most of them are going to take advantage of it.

Now then here is the continuation of this.  “And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire.  This is the second death.  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast in to the lake of fire” (Rev. 20:13-15).  That is the second death.  And then what’s going to happen?  The whole earth is going to then be consumed, just like Peter said in 2 Peter 3, that the heavens and the earth will melt in fervent heat and all of the wicked will be burned up.  That is their judgment.  And God has given His judgment on it.  If they are not found written in the book of life it’s going to be to the lake of fire with weeping and gnashing of teeth.  And they will be burned up.  And they will become dust under the feet of the righteous.

Now it’s necessary that that happen, that the whole earth be consumed to prepare the way for now the final new heaven and the final new earth for all of those who have received salvation.  And let’s pick it up here in Revelation 21.  And Revelation 21 tells us the finality of the plan of God.  Revelation 22 brings us into the understanding of how we’re going to live with God and dwell with God forever and ever.

Now let’s pick it up here in Revelation 21:1, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth [totally new]: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.”  Meaning that all who live here now are spirit beings, because only flesh and blood human beings need a sea to keep the temperature on the earth moderate.  Temperature won’t affect spirit beings.

“And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”  As a bride, not the bride.  “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them…”  Now this is men made perfect.  Men now living forever as spirit beings.  “…And they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God.  And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.  And He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new.  And He said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful” (Rev. 21:1-6).  That’s why we have them brethren, so we can know the plan of God.  And God has opened our minds, and opened our hearts and given us the understanding of His word.  And this is a tremendous thing for us to realize brethren.

“And He said unto me, It is done.  I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.  I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.  He that overcometh shall inherit all things…” And all things is equivalent to the inheritance of Jesus Christ, who rules over all things. That’s the equivalent of the universe.  “…And I will be His God, and he shall be My son.  But the fearful [and the fearful means those who do not have the courage of their conviction to stand for the truth], and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (vs. 6-8).  And this is given here as a warning so that we will not fall into those things.

“And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying , Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.”  Now he’s not going to show exactly the bride.  But he is going to show where the bride will live, which is in new Jerusalem as well as the apostles, as well as all the twelve sons of Jacob, and Abraham, and Isaac, will all dwell in new Jerusalem.  “And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God…” (vs. 9-10).  Can you imagine what that was like to see this in vision?

“Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like jasper stone, clear as crystal; and had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: on the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb” (vs. 11-14).  So that’s a fantastic thing, brethren.  And that is showing how great that the city is going to be.

“And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.  And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs [which we would say 1500 miles square].  The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal” (vs. 15-16).  Amazing city, composed of spirit, but not as spirit beings because you see spirit, God makes things of spirit.  And let’s see what it is here.

Verse 18, “And the building of the wall was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.”  Now I can’t feature pure gold as clear glass.  But nevertheless, I want to be there to see it, and I know you want to be there to see it.  “And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones” (vs. 18-19).  And then it lists every one of them.  That’s why…now I want you to notice, tie this in with 1 Corinthians 3, that we build on the foundation of Jesus Christ, gold, silver, precious stone.  And look all of that is used here in the holy city.

Now let’s come down here to verse 21.  “And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was on one pearl…” Can you imagine a pearl that big for a gate?  “…And the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.”  Now that must have been an awesome sight.  And when he wrote this I imagine he had a difficult time really comprehending what it really was.  You know, just like we started out, we see through a glass darkly.  Here the darkness is lifted a little bit for him to see a little bit more.  Now notice, “And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it” (vs. 21-22).  And that’s the whole story beginning going clear back to Adam and Eve and the garden of Eden that God wanted to dwell with His people, and it’s taken this whole program coming down now to the ultimate fulfillment of it with the spirit sons and daughters now ready to move into and live in new Jerusalem, and be there with God the Father and with Jesus Christ.  And they bring the light, and they bring the truth, and we are to dwell with them brethren.  That is something, that is exciting, and only those in the first resurrection and the bride of Christ will be living in new Jerusalem.  The rest of those who are saved are going to be the nations who are saved, and they will live on the rest of the earth, but not in new Jerusalem.  They can come to it but they won’t live there.  That’s why Christ said that, “I will write upon you the name of My Father, and the name of new Jerusalem, which comes down from out of heaven.  And I will write upon him My new name.” So we can dwell here.  and that’s what Christ said, when he said “I go to prepare a place for you.”  And this place is in new Jerusalem.  And He’s going to give us spiritual garments, spiritual clothes, a spiritual place to live.  Now that’s going to be magnificent brethren.

Let’s read on.  “And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.  And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it [not live in it]: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it” (vs. 23-24).  and who will be the kings of the earth?  We will be.  Ruling over those nations which have been saved.  And the glory and honour means all the spiritual substance…  Now I don’t know what kind of light we’re going to be living, in the sense that what are we going to be producing, what are we going go be making.  How are we going to be active and productive through all eternity and the entirety of the universe?  That’s the unanswered question.  But here it gives us just a little inkling of it.

Now notice, “And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.  And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.  And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (vs. 25-27).  And all of the rest, as we have seen, whosoever was not found in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.  This meaning then, all of those who enter into the new heaven and new earth and new Jerusalem will have the perfect spiritual character.  None of these things will ever be done.  Satan will have been removed forever to inherit the blackness of the darkness forever, and ever.  And that will be something for us to always understand.  That we will never rise up against God.  That we will never go against God.  But we will live in perfect harmony and perfect love, and perfect unity, and we will have a whole eternity to grow.  Think of that brethren.  What a marvelous thing that God is doing.

Now chapter 22.  “And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb…” Now this is showing what we will be doing during the millennium.  This shows that there is always a maintenance of eternal life and receiving of the Spirit of God through all eternity.  “In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month…” In other words month-by-month, year-by-year, all through eternity we are going to constantly be partaking of the tree of life so that we will constantly grow in the knowledge and the understanding of God.  Constantly have all the things that we need to maintain eternal life.  “…And the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations” (Rev. 22:1-2).  The Greek there is therapeuon, which then is the continuous maintenance of the nations.

“And there shall be no more curse [because there will be no more sin]: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and His servants shall serve Him: and they shall see His face…”  Isn’t that a marvelous thing?  I wonder what it’s going to be like when we first see Jesus Christ and God the Father face to face.  And this means this depicts our relationship forever, that it will be forever that He is our Father, that we will come to Him and see Him face to face. And Christ face to face.  No more estranged relationship, no more cutting off, but direct with God the Father and Jesus Christ.  “And there shall be no more night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.  And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to shew unto His servants the things which must shortly be done” (vs. 3-6).   Now this brings us back to the very first part of the book of Revelation, correct?  Yes. So there we have the beginning and the ending.  And let’s see how profound this is, brethren.

Let’s come down here to verse 12.  Jesus says, “Behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.  Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.  For [excluded] without…” Again to let us know, no more sin. “…[Excluded] are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.  I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches.  I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.  And the Spirit and the bride say, Come.  And let him that heareth say, Come.  And let him that is athirst come.  And whosoever will let him take the water of life freely” (vs. 12-17).  And this is the universal salvation that will be given to all during the millennium and the great white throne judgment.

Now let’s come back to Ephesians 3 and let’s finish here brethren, so that we understand the greatness of God’s plan.  The tremendous thing that God is doing.  And that God has planned this, and this is His purpose, and this is what He has given us to understand, the greatest and most fantastic knowledge in the world, which cannot be purchased with money, which cannot be understood by the use of the mind, which cannot be understood by reading the great writings of men.  But can only be understood from the word of God and the power of His Spirit and the opening of your mind.  Brethren, understand the great riches that God has for you, the great life that God has opened for you to take and to receive, and to live, and to be with God the Father and Jesus Christ forever.

Now let’s come back here to Ephesians 3:11, and brethren this is the whole purpose of the gospel.  This is the whole reason why we live and breathe, and eat, and sleep, and draw breath, and grow and overcome.  “According to the eternal purpose…” And we’ve seen it, all through the holy days beginning with the Passover on down to the Last Great Day.  “…Which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: in whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him” (Eph. 3:11-12).  And I want you to resolve, even right now today, as we are going through this that you and when this feast is over, and the Last Great Day is done and you go back home, and when the next Sabbath comes that you will resolve to grow, to change, to overcome, to draw close to God, to really let God’s Spirit stir you up to develop that relationship.  To grow in loving God with all your heart and mind and soul and being, that you can be filled with all of these things that God’s purpose in your life will be fulfilled in this tremendous and awesome way.  You can have that boldness, you can have that confidence.

“Wherefore…”, Paul said in his condition while he was in prison.  “…I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.”  So he looked upon them entirely differently, didn’t he? And I want you to look upon the trials and tests and difficulties that you will experience in this coming year, that it’s for your good, it’s for your glory, it’s for your eternal life, and help God to help you understand the purpose in them.  “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is name, that He would grant you…” And this is my prayer for you brethren, this is Paul’s prayer for you, this is Christ’s prayer for you.  “…That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory [right from the very power of God], to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man…” (vs. 13-16).  That Christ dwells in you, that you have the heart of David and the mind of Christ to be strengthened.  Brethren that is so great.

“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,” Built upon that love of God, built upon that with all your heart, and mind, and soul, and being.  That you “May be able to comprehend…” And brethren it is my prayer every year that we understand more of God’s way so we can comprehend because only God can give it to us to know, that you may know, that you may comprehend, that you may understand.  Notice, “…With all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height…”, that is of God’s plan, of what God is doing with you.  “And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge…” That means it passes all human knowledge.  There is nothing on this earth that it can even compare to the love of Christ and love of God the Father.  Now notice, “…that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God”(vs. 17-19).  To be that spirit being, to be that son and daughter of God.  To be filled with strength and power and radiance and glory, and to be in new Jerusalem, to love God, to love Christ, to see them face to face, to talk to them personally, to understand your part and your plan in it.  That you be filled with all the fullness of God.

Now here is a promise, verse 20.  “Now unto Him that [that has the power] is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think…”  That’s how great God’s plan is for you.  That’s how marvelous it is brethren.  “…According to the power that worketh in us, unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end.  Amen”  (vs. 20-21).  That brethren, is the meaning of the Last Great Day.

God bless you, have a save trip home, stay close to God, love Him in truth, and I hope to see you sometime this year as I travel.