Fred R. Coulter—May 19, 2013

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Greetings, brethren! Welcome to the Feast of Pentecost, 2013. The Feast of Pentecost is a tremendous Feast and it pictures the first resurrection, and that's when we will be born again. We understand that Jesus Christ was the first of the firstfruits. When He was born of the virgin Mary He was called the firstborn. When He was resurrected from the dead He is called 'the firstborn (Rev. 1) from among the dead.'

The harvest of God begins with the wave sheaf offering, as we covered yesterday, and ends with the 50th day, which is the Day of Pentecost.

Let's review just a couple of things that we covered yesterday. We also understand that on this day it is also called the Feast of Weeks. We are to bring an offering to God, and especially on this day when you consider everything that God is doing for us. This is a tremendous day. This pictures, as we have seen, the giving of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2), which began the Church—spiritual Israel. It is the completion of God's plan for those in the first resurrection, those who are called now and reaches clear back to the time of the beginning.

So, all the saints will be resurrected, born again of the spirit at the first resurrection. That is the harvest of God.

Let's look at it another way; let's understand something else. In John 6 Jesus said that He would 'raise us up at the last day.' Some people have thought that is referring to the Last Great Day at the end of the Feast of Tabernacles. However, it's not!

Consider this: There are seven Holy Days plus the Passover. In conjunction with it, there is the sacred year that begins in the first month in the spring. There is the Calculated Hebrew Calendar and civil and kingship beginning of the year, which is the Feast of Trumpets.

If you count from Passover and Unleavened Bread, the last day is the Last Great Day of the Feast after the Feast of Tabernacles. However, if you count the number of Holy Days beginning with Trumpets, Pentecost is the last day. Count it through:

  • Trumpets
  • Atonement
  • Tabernacles
  • Last Great Day
  • First Day of Unleavened Bread
  • Last Day of Unleavened Bread
  • Pentecost

There you go, the last day. When Jesus makes certain statements, let's understand this: some of them can only be interpreted when we really understand, not only the Word of God, but the plan of God as laid out with His Holy Days. That's the structure. Remember, God does mighty things on His Holy Days. The greatest thing that is going to be will be the resurrection of the dead for all the faithful down through time!

Let's keep that in mind when we give an offering. We are to bring an offering to God and it lists out the offerings that were to be given by the priesthood. We'll go back and review that again, but just remember that the most important thing is that we be in that harvest of the first resurrection! The way that we are faithful and do the things that are right is if we are faithful to God in everything.

In addition to the regular tithes and offerings, God requires offerings. In Deut. 16 He tells us in the Feast of Weeks we are to bring an offering. We also know that that has nothing to do with the sacrifices that are given, but it should come from our substance (Prov. 3).

Deuteronomy 16:16: "Three times in a year shall all your males appear before the LORD your God in the place which He shall choose: in the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and in the Feast of Weeks, and in the Feast of Tabernacles. And they shall not appear before the LORD empty." That has to do with our

  • loving God
  • serving God
  • obeying God'
  • wanting to do the things the please Him

We also have the guarantee in the New Testament that

  • if we sow sparingly, we will reap sparingly
  • if we sow bountifully, we will reap bountifully.

God is able to make all grace abound toward us, so that regardless of our circumstances we will always have sufficiency in all things.

(pause for the offering)

Let's just look at a couple of things in Leviticus 23 to refresh our memory and to understand concerning the Feast of Pentecost and some of the symbolism that is there with the offerings.

We know this: the beginning of the count toward Pentecost is the Wave Sheaf Offering Day, and that pictured the acceptance of Jesus Christ after His resurrection on the weekly Sabbath during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Then we were to count seven weeks complete with the Sabbath. Then we were to come to the seventh Sabbath. Let's look at it right here and let's see what it says concerning that:

Leviticus 23:15[transcriber's correction]: "And you shall count to you beginning with the next day after the Sabbath, beginning with the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven Sabbaths shall be complete…. [49 days; that was yesterday.] … Even unto the day after the seventh Sabbath you shall number fifty days…." (vs 15-16).

Stop and think for just a minute. The only day that can come after a Sabbath is the first day of the week. That's why you cannot have a Monday Pentecost ever under any circumstances! Regardless if there those who claim that is so, then they have miscounted and they make the gravest error possible, which is this: Since the first day of the count pictures the wave sheaf offering and that was to be the day picturing the resurrection of Jesus Christ—and that has already happened—if they begin their count on the next day after that, they are excluding the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

What does that portend? I'll let you think on that for a little bit. Therefore, for those who kept that… And even one church said, 'We kept on Monday for 40 years and God bound it.' Well, did God bind Sunday-keeping? or Christmas-keeping? or New Years-keeping? No, He did not! What was the penalty for keeping it on Monday? They didn't understand that Pentecost was the day picturing the first resurrection!

It's a continuous count from day one to day fifty. There are the seven churches in Rev. 2 & 3, as we saw yesterday, and the offering that the priests were to bring had seven lambs also picturing the seven churches. Then it had a sin offering, a bullock offering and those are symbolic of Christ.

Now then, we saw yesterday also that the Kingdom of God was likened unto leaven. Here's a good use of leaven. You put leaven into the flour, into the dough, and you let it rise. What happens when it reaches the size that you want? You put it in the oven and bake it! That permanently changes the nature of the dough and it becomes bread. Isn't that interesting?

  • What happens when we're born again?
  • What happens to us at the resurrection?
  • We're changed!

Let's see the direct connection between what Paul makes between the resurrection of Jesus Christ and our future resurrection.

1-Corinthians 15 is devoted to the resurrection of Christ and our resurrection. Paul made it absolutely clear. There were some in the Church even in Paul's day that didn't have the knowledge of God. There were even those saying that the resurrection had passed, which means that was the beginning teaching of the immortality of the soul creeping into the Churches of God.

What does orthodox Christianity believe? Stop and look at what it is in the Bible and you will see that virtually nothing that is taught in orthodox Christianity has anything to do with the Truth or the New Testament or the Bible—but all traditions of men! Just like Jesus said, 'When you follow the traditions of men, full well you reject the commandments of God.' Likewise in 1-Cor. 15, because Christ has been raised from the dead we have our sins forgiven.

Paul says, 1-Corinthians 15:16: "For if the dead are not raised, neither has Christ been raised." That makes God, the God of Truth, a liar; however it's impossible for God to lie! So, you see what happens when men bring in their own ideas and start hanging them on the Scriptures? Yes, indeed!

Verse 17: "But if Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain; you are still in your sins, and those who have fallen asleep in Christ have then perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most miserable. But now Christ has been raised from the dead; He has become the first-fruit of those who have fallen asleep" (vs 17-20). {note: James 1:18—we are like the firstfruits of His creation.}

Stop and think about that a minute. For those who are called now and have the Spirit of God now, is God creating in us the spiritual character that we need? Yes!

  • We are created in Jesus Christ!
  • We're created in Truth!
  • We're created in Holiness!
  • We are the workmanship of God the Father in our lives—preparing us for the resurrection!

Here is the key: Christ is raised from the dead and presented to the Father to begin the count to Pentecost!

Verse 20 "But now Christ has been raised from the dead; He has become the firstfruit of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by man also camethe resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruit…" (vs 20-23). Actually:

  • the first of the firstfruits; the Premiere Sheaf of the wave offering
  • the first one raised from the dead
  • the first one born again from flesh to spirit

"…then, those who are Christ's at His coming" (v 23).

Let's see some things concerning the resurrection from the dead, 35: "Nevertheless, someone will say, 'How are the dead raised?…." Remember that 'nothing is impossible for God. I want you to think about your beginning as a physical human being. You were just a pinpoint of life. How is it that you became what you are today? By the power of God! By the change in chromosomes that God created and put into Adam and Eve and has been transmitted to all human beings from that time until this time.

How were the dead raised? You must first have the Holy Spirit of God!You must first be perfected in Christ! If you live out your life and die, then—as we saw yesterday—the spirit returns to God and is put right there at the altar awaiting the time of the resurrection. The spirit has no thought until it's put into a spirit mind and a spirit body, so when the resurrection takes place we'll be reconstituted from flesh to spirit. The parallel of that is the conception and birth of human life.

With what body do they come? Obviously, it's not our physical body. Paul called them fools. Notice how this fits in with the Feast of Pentecost.

Verse 36: "Fool! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body that shall be; rather, it is bare grain—it may be of wheat, or one of the other grains; and God gives it a body according to His will, and to each of the seeds its own body" (vs 36-38). That's why we are begotten with the seed of God the Father, the Holy Spirit. That's why we have the Spirit of Christ, so that together we develop the mind of Christ and the character of God the Father going forward to the resurrection.

Verse 38: "And God gives it a body according to His will, and to each of the seeds its own body." We're all individual before God, but He is developing us into His spiritual children. The first resurrection on Pentecost will be the day of being born again. As Jesus said, 'Anyone who has been born again is like the wind—spirit—and you can go wherever you want to go, but you can't see it; it's like the wind.

Have you ever seen the wind? No! You have seen the affects of the wind by moving trees or whatever it may be. But you can't see the wind because it's invisible. Same way with the Spirit of God, it is invisible. But it does the work within us, and will do the work that God sends it to do, and will be accomplished and finished at the resurrection.

Paul draws a parallel and shows us, v 39: "Likewise, not all flesh is the same flesh. Rather, there is one flesh of men, and another flesh of beasts, and another of fish, and another of birds. And there are heavenly bodies, and earthly bodies; but the glory of the heavenly is different, and the glory of the earthly is different" (vs 39-40). Today we can understand that more than ever before.

Verse 41: "There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory." What did Daniel write? That those who are resurrected to the first resurrection will 'shine as the stars of heaven.' We will have glorious bodies. We'll see how Paul brings that out.

In some of these things we can understand very clearly. Other parts it is like 'looking through a glass darkly,' and our understanding is not complete.

Verse 42—everything that we have covered: "So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power" (vs 42-43). Stop and think about that. What God has called us to do is absolutely marvelous! Fantastic! To live forever as a glorified spirit being! Think of that!

If you haven't gone through the series that we have done, Why God Hates Religion, you can download it from the website (; you can e-mail us an order; or you can call the office and order it and we will send it to you. The truth is that every single religion of this world is a counterfeit of God's way as found in the Scriptures.

Verse 44: "It is sown a natural body [flesh] it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body." First comes the physical, then comes the spiritual. That's what Paul writes here concerning Adam:

Verse 45: "Accordingly, it is written, 'The first man, Adam, became a living soul; the last Adam became an ever-living Spirit.' However, the spiritual was not first, but the natural—then the spiritual" (vs 45-46). Let's understand something: New Age religion is probably not much more different than the Mormon explanation of how we came to be human beings, which is this: We existed as spirits in heaven before we came to the earth or were sent to the earth to become human beings.

Stop and think about that! Oprah Winfrey preaches the same thing: You are God within, and what you have to do—through your own goodness and your own works—is find the God within. When you do then you will be complete. No you won't! Unless you repent, are baptized and have the Spirit of God and attain to the first resurrection, you will never be complete! Those are all counterfeits!

Verse 46: "However, the spiritual was not first, but the natural—then the spiritual. The first man is of the earth—made of dust. The second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the one made of dust, so also areall those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly one, so also are all those who are heavenly" (vs 46-48).

Here is a promise, because a lot of people think 'I'll never make it.' Yes! You will! God is going to bring you there. God will make it happen. Yes, we have our part, but as Jesus said, He's not going to lose one that the Father has given Him. All who have fallen away are those who were not of God.

Verse 49: "And as we have borne the image of the one made of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly one."…. [Christ!] …Now, this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God, nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I show you a mystery… [or a secret hidden from the world; they don't understand this] …we shall not all fall asleep, but we shall all be changed, in an instant, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet…" (vs 49-52)—the seventh trumpet and that is blown on Pentecost, just like the trumpet at the mountain when God gave the Ten Commandments.

The Feast of Trumpets cannot be the day of the resurrection. That is a war feast. How do you know that they will have a memorial of the blowing of trumpets? How do you know when the first one begins? You can figure that out, but since they blow them periodically throughout the day on the Feast of Trumpets, when does the last trumpet sound? If it sounds at sunset, the day is over, so Trumpets cannot be the day of the resurrection.

"…for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall [ALL] be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruptibility, and this mortal must put on immortality…. [That can only come from God!] …Now, when this corruptible shall have put on incorruptibility, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: 'Death is swallowed up in victory.'" (vs 52-54). Yes, it will be!

Let's go forward where it talks about the resurrection, 1-Thess. 4. Here's another thing to understand with the Scriptures. In some cases it starts out with a proposition, then it explains the proposition after it has been stated. This is what Paul does here. This does not give any credence at all to souls going to heaven.

1-Thessalonians 4:14: "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, in exactly the same way also, those who have fallen asleep in Jesus will God bring with Him." How do we get from here to there so we can be with Christ so He will bring us all back?

Let's see; he explains it, v 15: "For this we say to you by the Word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall in no wise precede those who have fallen asleep, because the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds for the meeting with the Lord in the air; and so shall we always be with the Lord" (vs 15-17).

What does Jesus do? And the saints who have been resurrected, what do they do? As we will see, we all come back to the earth! We have important things to do.

Let's come to the book of Revelation and let's pick up where we left off yesterday—we finished with Rev. 3. When you read the book of Revelation, what you need to do is look at this way: From chapter 1 through chapter 11 is a continuous flow of time and major events from chapter one until the resurrection. After that, other events take place. Then you have different chapters that picture different things then it all catches up in time at Rev. 19.

Right after Rev. 3 and the Laodiceans we have the scene of the throne of God where everything at the end-time emanates. Jesus opens the seals; Jesus is the only One Who can do it. He opens them: one, two, three, four—the first four happen very quickly (Rev. 6).

I'm just going to review some of these things, because we have covered them before, in the past, but I want to emphasize something else today. Remember, there are seven weeks plus one day in the count toward Pentecost.

The seven churches, also pictured by the seven lambs (Lev. 23) are the seven weeks, prophetically, of the harvest of the Church. But there is yet one more day, one more harvest, and that's the harvest of God! We find when the sixth seal is opened this is when God dramatically reveals the return of Jesus Christ.

Right now, I don't know if you've been watching on the History Channel where they're talking about aliens invading the earth. They're wrong in what they are assuming the aliens to be, but they are correct in that aliens are going to invade the earth; that is Jesus Christ and the saints, because we are aliens to this world. They will think that the attack is going to begin, or starting, when the sixth seal of Rev. 6 is opened.

Revelation 6:12: "And when He opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as the hair of sackcloth, and the moon became as blood; and the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its untimely figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. Then the heaven departed like a scroll that is being rolled up…" (vs 12-14). This is going to be an astonishing event!

The world is not going to realize what is happening. There will be some who will say that this is Christ returning. But Satan will deceive them into thinking that these are aliens coming to take away the perfected Babylon the Great that Satan has perfected. That will be true, but we're not going to be the egg-headed aliens that are pictured by this world. Those are all satanic deceptions!

Let's see what happens when it's rolled back as a scroll. Just think of that; something that has never happened in the history of mankind, and neither has the resurrection of the dead for as many as there will be in the first resurrection ever happen again. This is setting the stage.

Verse 15: "And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the powerful men, and every bondman, and every free man hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains; and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, 'Fall on us…'" (vs 15-16). They change their mind a little later. After that they all gather things together and then the battle really begins.

"'…and hide us from the face of Him Who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, because the great day of His wrath has come, and who has the power to stand?'" (vs 16-17).

  • No one is going to turn back God!
  • No one is going to turn back Jesus Christ!

Revelation 7 has the prophecy of the 144,000 and the great innumerable multitude. This is going to happen about two years, beginning of the third year, of the last three and a half years. So, from just before Pentecost—that when the rolling back of the heavens should be—until the Feast of Trumpets, the whole world is going to be need that time to recover from these earthquakes.

In the meantime, God is going to do exactly as He did in sparing the children of Israel when they were in Egypt before He brought them out with the exodus to bring them to Himself as a people to Mt. Sinai. He is going to cutoff the plagues from the children of Israel and the great innumerable multitude. This represents the 50th day harvest of the Pentecost one year before the resurrection.

Those who are of the 144,000 and great innumerable multitude are those who are of the laborers of the vineyard who were hired at the 11th hour and also received a silver coin, which was a type of eternal life. Let's see what happens here and then we will make a comparison between the 144,000 of Rev. 7 and then the 144,000 of Rev. 14.

Revelation 7:1: "And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, so that the wind might not blow on the earth, or on the sea, or on any tree. Then I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God; and he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to damage the earth and the sea, saying, 'Do not damage the earth, or the sea, or the trees until we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads'" (vs 1-3).

What does it mean to be sealed? We've find in Eph. 1:13-14 that if we have the firstfruit of the spirit we have been sealed! Everyone who is now converted has been sealed with the Holy Spirit. These who are of the 144,000 have not been converted until they have been sealed.

It's important to understand, and here's another principle. This is why we need to know our Bibles forward and backward all the way through, type and antitype. Israel was 'the firstborn of the nations' as God called Israel. They were to bring the laws and commandments of God to the world. They failed! The Church, as we saw, is called the firstborn of the Church—Jesus being the first of the firstborn. We also have seen in the New Testament that the preaching was to go first to the Jews and the Israelites, then to the Gentiles.

Here on God's 50th day harvest that we see in Rev. 7, we see the same principles applied. We see God's promises carried out to the very letter. The sealing of them is accommodated by angels who bring the Holy Spirit of God to them, because there aren't any ministers left to baptize them. God does this personally. Think of this: As Jesus Christ's and God the Father's personal harvest of an untold number of people at the 11th hour who will be in the Kingdom of God.

Since they are doing this directly from the throne of God in heaven above, I myself suppose that it's going to be a greater number than have been converted from the time of Christ up to this point.

Verse 4: "And I heard the number of those who were sealed: one hundred forty-four thousand, sealed out of every tribe of the children of Israel."

  • Where do they come from?
  • Who are they as human beings?

They are descendants of the 12 tribes of Israel; the answer is right there. It can't be any of us today. We are part of the seven-week harvest. This is God's conversion and harvest and the next Pentecost.

Verse 5: "From the tribe of Judah, twelve thousand were sealed…" In Zech. 12 it says that God is going to 'save the tents of Judah first. Did that not also apply at the beginning of the Church on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2; to the Jew first, then to the Gentile. God has set the order. Someone has got to be first, but that doesn't exclude others.

Then it lists all of them from all of the 12 tribes. They're still physical human beings, they are Divinely converted by God, giving them the Holy Spirit under the selection that God has made through the power of this mighty angel to accomplish it.

Don't you think with all the events that are happening on the earth there will be people everywhere falling on their knees crying out to God:

  • asking for mercy
  • asking for forgiveness
  • asking for understanding
  • asking that God would spare them

Verse 9: "After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude, which no one was able to number… [We don't know how many there are, do we?] …out of every nation and tribe and people and language…" It shows that they are going to go into the Kingdom of God. This is a projection forward toward the resurrection. This shows that the 144,000 of Rev. 7 and the great innumerable multitude are going to be in the first resurrection. But remember, as we have read, the resurrection does not take place until the trumpet sounds—the last trumpet!

"…was standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes and holding palms in their hands; and they were calling out with a loud voice to Him Who sits on the throne and to the Lamb, saying, 'The salvation of our God has come.' Then all the angels stood around the throne, and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, 'Amen. Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power and strength be to our God into the ages of eternity. Amen.'" (vs 9-12).

Verse 13: "And one of the elders answered and said to me, 'These who are clothed with white robes, who are they, and where did they come from?' Then I said to him, 'Sir, you know.' And he said to me, 'They are the ones who have come out of the great tribulation; and they have washed their robes, and have made their robes white in the blood of the Lamb. For this reason, they are before the throne of God and serve Him day and night in His temple; and the One Who sits on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall not hunger any more, nor shall they thirst any more; neither shall the sun nor the heat fall upon them, because the Lamb Who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them, and will lead them to fountains of living waters; and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes'" (vs 13-17).

Let's just review what we have here with the 144,000 of Rev. 7. We are going to see that there are ten things that distinguish the 144,000 in Rev. 7 and the great innumerable multitude as compared to Rev. 14.

144,000—Revelation 7:

  • They're of the children of Israel
  • The great innumerable multitude
  • They came out of great tribulation
  • They have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb
  • They are before the throne of God
  • They serve Him day and night
  • God the Father will dwell among them
  • The Lamb will feed them
  • He will lead them to living waters
  • God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes

That's quite a thing—isn't it? Yes, indeed!

I'm not going to go through Rev. 8-10, but let's come ahead to Rev. 14, which is a very interesting chapter. This is not in direct sequence of time beginning from chapter one of the book of Revelation. There are several elements here that we need to understand.

Revelation 14:6: "And I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting Gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and language and people." This has to be at the time of the beginning of the Tribulation. We don't know how many times that this angel does it, but this is probably going to result in the repentance of the children of Israel and the great innumerable multitude in Rev. 7.

Here's their message, v 7: "…'Fear God, and give glory to Him, because the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him Who made the heaven, and Then another angel followed, saying, 'The great city Babylon is fallen, is fallen, because of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, which she has given all nations to drink.'" (vs 7-8). The end of Babylon the Great and that is detailed in Rev. 18.

Verse 9: "And a third angel followed them saying…" saying with a loud voice…" We have to understand that this must come before the enforcement of the mark of the beast. It would do absolutely no good for the third angel's message about the mark of the beast to be given after they've already enforced it. Otherwise, there would be people who would not have an opportunity to turn it down. This is a warning and it must be just before they're ready to enforce the mark of the beast.

"…'If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives the mark in his forehead or in his hand, he shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed undiluted in the cup of His wrath; and he shall be tormented in fire and brimstone in the sight of the Holy angels, and of the Lamb'" (vs 8-10). That must be given before its enforcement.

This follows right along with it and makes more sense, v 12: "Here is the patience of the saints; here are the ones who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven say to me, 'Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from this time forward….'" (vs 12-13).

If this happened at the end of the Tribulation there would be no commandment-keeping; there would be no more time forward. These are the ones who are martyred. These are the saints spoken of back in Rev. 6 with the fifth seal. They are martyred.

Verse 13: "And I heard a voice from heaven say to me, 'Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from this time forward Yes, says the Spirit, so that they may rest from their labors… [be put in the grave] …and their works follow them.'"

When we come back from the break we will analyze the 144,000 of Rev. 14.

Let's look at the 144,000 of Rev. 14, and we will see that they are entirely different, let's say group, than the 144,000 of Rev. 7. But first of all let's do just a little review.

1 Thessalonians 4:16: "Because the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first."

We also saw in 1-Cor. 15 that the dead will be raised at the last trumpet. We also know from the commands in the Old Testament that on every Holy Day a trumpet was to be blown, and on Pentecost—when God brought the children of Israel to take them as His people and give them His Ten Commandments and make the covenant with them—the trumpet sounded long and loud, but it was only one trumpet.
In the book of Revelation we find that there are seven trumpets (Rev. 8-11). We will read about that last trumpet in just a minute. Let's see what happens when the trumpet sounds:

"…and the dead in Christ shall rise first, then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds for the meeting with the Lord in the air; and so shall we always be with the Lord" (vs 16-17). Remember 1-Cor. 15 says that 'each one in his own order.'

So, the day of the resurrection being the Day of Pentecost—24 hours long in each location on the earth, but also remember that when you view it from heaven—from God's throne down to the earth—each day is 48 hours, because it takes 24 hours in any one location to go from sunset to sunset.

That's why in Australia they keep the Sabbath—because the Sabbath starts there in New Zealand and Australia first—on the day we call 'Friday' here. They begin what we would call 'Thursday night' here. Whatever time it is over there, when sunset comes on the seventh day of the week—or a Holy Day comes—and sunset arrives, that's when it begins. There are 24 time zones for the day and 24 times zones for the night; that is 48 hours.

I believe the resurrection is going to be seen by everyone on the earth, and it's going to be a tremendous thing! We will not all be raised at the same instant. The trumpet will sound and the dead will start being raised. As they are being raised in the different time zones around the world, then those who are alive and remain shall be caught up and meet Christ in the air. Where?

Let's come to Hebrew 12:22 and we have part of the answer: "But you… [as compared to Mt. Sinai with Moses and the children of Israel] …have come to Mount Sion… [in heaven above] …and to the city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem; and to an innumerable company of angels; to the joyous festival gathering; and to the Church of the Firstborn…" (vs 22-23). When the resurrection starts, the Church of Firstborn begins being taken to God.

Where will they be taken? To a Sea of Glass, which will be seen by the whole world! "…and to God, the Judge of all; and to the spirits of the just who have been perfected." (v 23).

Let's come back to Revelation 11 and let's see that this is the seventh trump, and out of seven trumpet plagues it's the last one. It cannot be any other trumpet.

Revelation 11:14: "The second woe is past. Behold, the third woe is coming immediately. Then the seventh angel sounded his trumpet…" (vs 14-15). There were seven trumpets, seven angels, and here's the seventh one sounding his trumpet. This is the last trumpet.

"…and there were great voices in heaven, saying, 'The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and His Christ, and He shall reign into the ages of eternity.' And the twenty-four elders, who sit before God on their thrones, fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying, 'We give You thanks, O Lord God almighty, Who is, and Who was, and Who is to come; for You have taken to Yourself Your great power, and have reigned. For the nations were angry, and Your wrath has come…'" (vs 15-18). The seven last plagues that come after the seventh trump.

"…and the time for the dead to be judged… [all of those who died in the faith will be resurrect—that's their judgment] …and to give reward to Your servants the prophets, and to the saints… [the prophets go back to the time of the Old Testament] …and to all those who fear Your name, the small and the great… [the great innumerable multitude] …and to destroy those who destroy the earth. And the temple of God in heaven was opened and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple; and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunders, and an earthquake and great hail." (vs 18-19). What an introduction to being raised from the dead.

Remember, each man in his own order. Let's be very careful when we read this so we'll read it and then go back and analyze it. And as you will have in your printout, you will have a comparison between the 144,000 and great innumerable multitude of Rev. 7 and the 144,000 of Rev. 14. We will see these are two distinct groups.

Revelation 14:1: "And I looked, and I beheld the Lamb standing on Mount Sion… [That's where we're going to go, Mt. Sion and the Sea of Glass right there together.] …and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father's name written on their foreheads. Then I heard a voice from heaven, like the sound of many waters, and like the sound of great thunder; and I heard the sound of lyre players playing their lyres" (vs 1-2)—special stringed instruments.

Verse 3: "And they were singing a new song before the throne, and before the four living creatures and the elders. And no one was able to learn the song except the hundred and forty-four thousand, who were redeemed from the earth. These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins; they are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. They were purchased from among men as firstfruits to God and to the Lamb; And no guile wasfound in their mouths; for they are blameless before the throne of God" (vs 3-5).

Let's analyze this a bit. Let's see the comparison between Rev. 7 and 14.

144,000—Revelation 14:

  1. They're standing on Mt. Sion
  2. They have the name of their Father written in their foreheads
  3. They sang a new song

That's entirely different than Rev. 7.

  1. They are not defiled with women

'Women' means false churches. Remember the great harlot Babylon the Great. They are virgins, meaning that once they were sealed with the Spirit of God they never went back into the religions of this world.

  1. They are virgins
  2. They follow the Lamb wherever He goes
  3. They were redeemed from among men

In addition to being redeemed from among men, they were redeemed from the earth. The 144,000 of Rev. 7 were redeemed from among the children of Israel.

  1. They are firstfruits unto God and the Lamb
  2. They have no guile in them
  • They are blameless before God and His throne

Who could this be? We might have kind of a sample of it from Rev. 2 & 3, having to do with the seven churches. Of the seven churches only two were without correction. One had lost its first love, the others were corrupted by the religious system of this world; so they lost their spiritual virginity so to speak when they did that. All of the religions of the world come from Babylon the Great.

Have Churches of God been afflicted with this? Yes, indeed! Have there been those who in doing this can repent of it and still be in the Kingdom of God? Yes! But they're no longer virgins. The only two of the seven churches that did not have spiritual problems resulting in committing fornication with other religions were:

  • The Church at Smyrna
  • The Church at Philadelphia

That's the closest we can come to answering the question who they are. They were redeemed from the earth, so that goes clear back to the time of Abel. That includes all the prophets, all the faithful prophets, and so forth. So, the 144,000 (Rev. 14) are in a special and different category than the 144,000 and the great innumerable multitude (Rev. 7).

Now comes the time of the resurrection. We know two things about the harvest:

  • The wheat harvest—we are likened to wheat or barley
  • Israel in Isa. 5 was a wholly good vine, which God planted in His vineyard.

They corrupted themselves and became a wholly corrupt vine.

We also know that Jesus said that there was the rich man who went back to receive a kingdom from the father, after he had planted a vineyard and built a wine vat and everything else and leased it out to a husbandman. He sent his servants to get the fruit in time of harvest. You know the story, what happened. That's likened to the vine of Israel.

When it comes to the Church, Jesus said that He was the vine and we are the branches. We are to produce fruit and we are to remain in the vine.

We find the comparison made to the ripe grapes of the good vine, Revelation 14:14: "And I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and one like the Son of man sitting on the cloud, having a golden crown on His head; and in His hand was a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him Who was sitting on the cloud, 'Thrust in your sickle and reap, because the time has come for You to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe'" (vs 14-15). We find there are two harvests:

  • the harvest of the Church
  • the harvest of the wicked—pictured by the battle of Armageddon {note Joel 2 & 3)

Verse 16: "And He Who was sitting on the cloud thrust forth His sickle upon the earth, and the earth was reaped. Then another angel, who also had a sharp sickle, came out of the temple that is in heaven" (vs 16-17). Here's the harvest of the wicked, and they are crushed by God

Verse 18: "And out from the altar came another angel, who had authority over fire; and he called with a loud cry to the one who had the sharp sickle, saying, 'Thrust in your sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the earth, because her grapes are fully ripe.' And the angel thrust his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast its fruit into the great winepress of the wrath of God" (vs 18-19). That is the harvest of the wicked at the time of the battle of Armageddon.

Verse 20: "And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and blood spewed out from the winepress as high as the horses' bridles, to the distance of a thousand six hundred furlongs."

Revelation 15 becomes a very important chapter. I've given sermons in the past and you can look this up in the book God's Plan for Mankind Revealed by His Sabbath and Holy Days, in the series of sermons leading up to Pentecost. With this, the Sea of Glass, we find that the Sea of Glass that was used by God in Exo. 24. When Moses went backup to receive everything from God and confirm the covenant, after they had already sprinkled the blood and so forth, 70 of the elders of the children of Israel went up part way. Aaron went up part way. Joshua went up part way. Moses went directly up to God.

When they were there on Mt. Sinai the 70 elders ate the festival dinner provided by God. They were witnesses that it was God Who had talked to Moses. They didn't see God; they saw the Sea of Glass, and they saw Moses go up there.

Carry that forward to Mt. Sion coming from heaven and now the Sea of Glass. Revelation 15:1: "Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and awesome: seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them the wrath of God is filled up." Notice that we're at the temple of God when we see this.

Here's the Sea of Glass, v 2. And I saw a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, standing on the Sea of Glass, having the lyres of God."

  • Where is the meeting going to be held when we're resurrected? In the clouds on the Sea of Glass!
  • Where will this Sea of Glass be? Since the plagues are going to be poured out on the armies gathering to Armageddon, and poured out on the earth, it is right over Jerusalem!

The reason that they're going to fight Christ is because they will believe that this is the invasion of aliens from outer space.

Notice who this includes; remember: the beast has always been here in Satan the devil! This goes clear back to the time of Abel; clear forward to the last of the saints that are resurrected, all together! This is a vast sea of glass, and we're going to see what's going to take place up there. We're going to see what a marvelous and wonderful time this is going to be.

Verse 3: "And they were singing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb… [there you have it, Old Testament/New Testament] …saying, 'Great and awesome are Your works, Lord God Almighty; righteous and true are Your ways, King of the saints. Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You only are Holy; and all the nations shall come and worship before You, for Your judgments have been revealed.' And after these things I looked, and behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened" (vs 3-5). Then out came the seven angels with the seven last plagues.

Now that we see what's going to happen here, let's find out some things from the book of Psalms that tells us some very interesting things.

Jesus Christ was the first of the firstfruits, and there was joy in heaven when He was resurrected. Let's see what took place when Jesus came—and remember there's a sea of glass where the throne of God is (Rev. 4 & 5)—to the Sea of Glass to be accepted of the Father on the Wave Sheaf Offering Day, and the angels were there and they were singing and there was music, and it was a glorious time! The sacrifice of God, through Jesus Christ as the Son of God, was perfected, and He was raised from the dead and now ascended into heaven to be received of God the Father. There had to be the Sea of Glass, because that's what it tells us in Rev. 4 & 5—a great sea of glass on which the throne of God sits.

Let's see what the angels said; just picture this, Psalm 24:7: "Lift up your heads, O you gates; and be lifted up, O you everlasting doors; that the King of Glory may come in." Who is the King of Glory? None other than Jesus Christ! He had to go through the gate of righteousness. We have to see that we likewise will go through the gate of righteousness.

Verse 8: "Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle." Had He just not overcome Satan the devil, all the demons, all the governments of this world, all the evil that people did to Him. His was a spiritual battle! He was mighty in it! That's why He's the first of the firstfruits.

Verse 9: "Lift up your heads, O you gates; lift them up, you everlasting doors; that the King of Glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, He is the King of Glory. Selah." (vs 9-10).

The same thing is going to happen with us, brethren. This is something! When we put this all together and understand what God has in store for us, and we realize the truth that Pentecost pictures the first resurrection, and that's when we're going to be changed:

  • from flesh to spirit
  • from corruption to incorruptibility
  • from mortal to immortality
  • from flesh into spirit

We're going to be accepted of God the Father, because in Heb. 2:13 Jesus will say—when we're all standing there on the Sea of Glass—'Behold, the children that God has given Me!' We are the children of the Father given to Jesus Christ!

Psalm 118:19: "Open to me the gates of righteousness; I will go through them, and I will praise the LORD. This is the gate of the LORD; the righteous shall enter through it…. [The same gate that Jesus went through.] …I will praise You, for You have answered me and have become my salvation. The Stone which the builders rejected has become the Head Stone of the corner. This is the LORD'S doing; it is marvelous in our eyes" (vs 19-23).

Notice v 24, and the Protestants use this to justify Sunday-keeping. This has to do with the day that we are accepted at the throne of God; as the resurrected sons and daughters now glorified spirit beings standing before the throne of God. We have entered in through that gate. Verse 24: "This is the day which the LORD has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

Isaiah 66 talks about the resurrection, and it talks about us being resurrected as a nation of priests and kings. This is fantastic, brethren! This is fantastic stuff for us to understand! This is talking about us!

Isaiah 66:6: "A sound of noise from the city, a sound from the temple, the sound of the LORD repaying His enemies…. [we're going to have part in repaying the enemies] …'Before she travailed, she gave birth; before her pain came, she delivered a man child…. [Christ] (then it talks about us): …Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things like these? Shall the earth… [we're buried in the earth awaiting the resurrection] …be made to bring forth in one day?…. [to be born again] …Or will a nation be born at once?…. [Yes! The spiritual nation of the resurrected saints!] …For as soon as Zion travailed, she also gave birth to her children. Will I bring to the birth, and not cause to be born?' says the LORD. 'Shall I cause them to be born, and shut the womb?' says your God" (vs 6-9). Of course not!

Verse 10: "'Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all who love her. Rejoice for joy with her, all who mourn for her… [then]: …[we will] be delighted with the fullness of her glory" (vs 10-11).'

When we're converted we have the circumcision of the heart—isn't that correct? Yes! As Paul wrote, 'He who is a Jew is one who is a Jew inwardly, and the circumcision is of the heart, not of the flesh.' He was including all the Gentiles with it. We know that Jesus came from the tribe of Judah—correct?

Isaiah 26:1: "In that day… [the day of the resurrection] …this song shall be sung in the land of Judah… [probably before the throne of God] …'We have a strong city; He sets up salvation as our walls and banks. Open the gates, so that the righteous nation shall enter in, one that is faithfully keeping Truth. You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You; because he trusts in You. Trust in the LORD forever; for God the LORD is the everlasting Rock'" (vs 1-4). That's probably part of the song that we're going to sing up there on the Sea of Glass.

What else is going to happen on the Sea of Glass? There are quite a few things that are going to happen on the Sea of Glass:

  • We're going to be presented to God the Father as His children!
  • The saints will receive their new name!

We've been promised that!

  • The saints will receive their rewards!
  • The saints will receive their assignments as kings and priests!
  • The marriage of the Lamb and His bride will take place!
  • The marriage supper will take place!
  • The saints will witness the seven last plagues poured out, the vengeance of God!

That starts the battle of Armageddon. We'll come back and look at the Scriptures and put them together and we will see the vengeance of God! That's what He has promised all the saints. The seventh plague will be the Battle of Armageddon.

  • We'll be gathered together into God's army and we will fight with Christ as we return to the earth with Jesus to establish the kingdom and government of God on earth!

That's a tremendous thing, brethren, that's going to happen, all right there on the Sea of Glass. God has everything prepared, everything ready to go. It's just the timing of when the harvest is ripe, and the timing according to the schedule of God's plan.

Now let's think again from the Pentecost of the resurrection until Trumpets is 4-1/2 months. That's the time, after the resurrection, that we will see Satan the devil, the beast and the false prophet will gather all nations together to fight at Armageddon.

Revelation 15:5: "And after these things I looked, and behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened. And the seven angels who had the seven last plagues came out of the temple…" (vs 5-6). That's going to be right there with the Sea of Glass, and that sea of glass is called Mt. Sion. God the Father will come down and accept us as His children. We will see Him! We'll be spirit beings! This will be a time of great joy, and also a time of great slaughter of the enemy.

"…they were clothed in linen, pure and bright, and girded about the chest with golden breastplates. And one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden vials, full of the wrath of God, Who lives into the ages of eternity. And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from His power; and no one was able to enter inside the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled" (vs 6-8).

Then they're all poured out here, Revelation 16:1: "Then I heard a loud voice from the temple say to the seven angels, 'Go and pour out the vials of the wrath of God onto the earth.' And the first angel went and poured out his vial onto the earth; and an evil and grievous sore fell upon the men who had the mark of the beast, and upon those who were worshiping his image" (vs 1-2). You will notice that the weapons of God are always the same. You can go back and read that in the book of Exodus. There are many things that we can get from Exodus that parallel what we find on a worldwide scale in the book of Revelation.

Verse 3: "And the second angel wentand poured out his vial into the sea; and it became blood… [They want blood; God gives them blood! They want death; God gives them death!] …like that of a dead man; and every living soul in the sea died." Man is not going to have one vestige of anything left that is going to carry over into the Millennium.

  • Every idol is going to be destroyed!
  • Every temple is going to be destroyed!
  • Every underground cavern under the cities and in the mountains where they secretly carry out their wicked deeds will be crushed and ground into nothing!

Verse 4: "And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers, and into the fountains of waters; and they became blood. Then I heard the angel of the waters say, 'You are righteous, O Lord…'" (vs 4-5). The way God looks at things and the angels look at things on the earth—human behavior—is entirely different than what men look at. Men look at that and say, 'How can a God of love possibly do this?'

  • they don't understand God
  • they don't understand His love
  • they don't understand His plan

But from God's point of view, the righteous angels says concerning pouring these things out, "…'You are righteous, O Lord Who are, and Who was, even the Holy One, in that You have executed this judgment. For they have poured out the blood of saints and of prophets, and You have given them blood to drink; for they are worthy'" (vs 5-6). Yes, God avenges the blood of His saints!

Verse 7. And I heard another voice from the altar say, 'Yes, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments.' And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given to it to scorch men with fire" (vs 7-8)—a sudden blast!

It says in one of the Prophets that the sun becomes seven times hotter—WHOSH! That heat scorches men and kills them—not all, some survive.

Verse 9: "Then men were scorched with great heat; and they blasphemed the name of God, Who has authority over these plagues, and did not repent to give Him glory…. [Some people just won't ever repent!] …And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the throne of the beast; and his kingdom became full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues because of the pain, and blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores; yet they did not repent of their works" (vs 9-11).

Now God is going to give them another opportunity to think that they can win. So, after these first five plagues come, there's going to be a little respite.

Verse 12: "And the sixth angel poured out his vial into the great River Euphrates; and its waters were dried up, so that the way of the kings from the rising of the sun might be prepared." Remember that army of 200-million stretching all the way back from the Holy Land clear back to all the nations of the east and the north—200-million! They have used all their weapons, now comes the grand deception:

Verse 13: "Then I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet; for they are spirits of demons working miracles, going forth to the kings of the earth, even of the whole world, to gather them together to the battle of that great day of the Almighty God" (vs 13-14). That's going to be something!

Always, as God does, He gives a chance of repentance! Whenever we read these things, I don't know about you, but a lot of these things almost take my breath away. They are so awesome and fearful coming upon the earth.

Verse 15: "Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is the one who is watching and is keeping his garments, so that he may not walk naked and they may not see his shame." Direct message to whom? The Laodiceans! Because we can read this and understand it, we better take heed!

Verse 16: "And he gathered them together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon. Then the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, 'IT IS FINISHED'" (vs 16-17).

After that there is great celebration of all the saints on the Sea of Glass, with God the Father, with Jesus Christ, will all the Holy angels that this whole satanic system is being destroyed. Now, after the marriage supper of the Lamb, after receiving all of the things we need to receive, we are ready. Do you think that God ever does anything without preparation? Of course not! He's been preparing us all through these years.

Now everything is going to translate into action as spirit beings, now resurrected from the dead, now fighting with Christ, and to fulfill what Jesus said: 'If My kingdom were of this world then would My servants fight!' We will be His servants, and yes, we will fight! So, we will see the battle start with the beginning of the seven last plagues, and after the seventh plague is poured out on Armageddon the armies will still be there, some more coming in from the east. We're going to come down with Christ and finish the job!

Revelation 19:11: "And I saw heaven open; and behold, a white horse; and He Who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He does judge and make war. And His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns; and He had a name written that no one knows except Him" (vs 11-12). He had many names, but this particular name that God the Father has given Him at this point no one knows.

Verse 13: "And He was clothed with a garment dipped in blood; and His name is The Word of God."

John 1:1: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God…"

Revelation 19:14: "And the armies in heaven were following Him…" That's us! This is one fight I want to be part of. This is one fight that all the saints can rejoice in; that we have the power and authority from Jesus Christ to come down and to put an end to the armies of this world! And under Christ to set up the Kingdom of God!

This comes down to the Feast of Trumpets, so we'll project forward concerning this. We'll come back to it on the day of the Feast of Trumpets.

Verse 16: "And on His garment and on His thigh He has a name written: King of kings and Lord of lords. Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, 'Come and gather yourselves together to the supper of the great God so that you may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of chief captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all, free and bond, and small and great.' And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies, gathered together to make war with Him Who sits on the horse, and with His army" (vs 16-19).

God has a special treat for the beast and the false prophet. It's called the Lake of Fire!

Well, I got a little bit ahead into the Feast of Trumpets, but that gives us a complete picture. We'll pick up the story again, from the Bible, concerning the Feast of Trumpets.

Scriptural References:

  • Deuteronomy 16:16
  • Leviticus 23:15-16
  • 1 Corinthians 15:16-23, 35-54
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17
  • Revelation 6:12-17
  • Revelation 7:1-17
  • Revelation 14:6-10, 12-13
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
  • Hebrews 12:22-23
  • Revelation 11:14-19
  • Revelation 14:14-20
  • Revelation 15:1-5
  • Psalm 24:7-10
  • Psalm 118:19-24
  • Isaiah 66:6-11
  • Isaiah 26:1-4
  • Revelation 15:5-8
  • Revelation 16:1-17
  • Revelation 19:11-13
  • John 1:1
  • Revelation 19:14, 16-19

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Revelation 1
  • Acts 2
  • John 6
  • Proverbs 3
  • Revelation 2; 3
  • James 1:18
  • Ephesians 1:13-14
  • Zechariah 12
  • Revelation 18; 8-11
  • Isaiah 5
  • Joel 2; 3
  • Exodus 24
  • Revelation 4; 5
  • Hebrews 2:13

Also referenced:

Sermon Series: Why God Hates Religion
Book: God's Plan for Mankind Revealed by His Sabbath and Holy Days by Fred R. Coulter

Transcribed: 4/29/13

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