More on Pentecost and
The Return of Christ and the First Resurrection

Fred R. Coulter—June 28, 2008

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  • Now last time we ended up in Luke 21, and if you compare Matt. 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21, you will see that Luke 21 is quite a bit different than Matt. 24 and Mark 13 [transcriber's correction]; so let's come here to Luke 21—we ended off in v 20, so let's pick it up here in v 20, pg. 1,048 in the new Bible.

    Luke 21:20—now this ties right in with Zechariah 12, we'll go back there in just a minute. "But when you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, then know that her desolation has drawn near." But isn't it interesting, because you see, what we are watching happen on the world scene are all of the stages and the players being gradually put into position for the grand finale. And right now what is the big debate concerning Jerusalem and the Jews? Ahmadinejad: 'We will blow them off the face of the earth.' Well, I think if you read the book of Esther, the last time Persia tried that with Haman the Agagite, it sort of the reversed on him didn't it? Well, their "desolation is drawing near." And there were two fulfillments of this. One during the generation which led up to the destruction of Jerusalem. But the key that we read there in Matt. 24 is this: "When you see ALL these things take place." Now "all" means that of some of the elements are not there then it's not ready—the end hasn't come yet.

    So this was the thing that the, as you will read in the commentary concerning the New Testament in the New Testament or in the Bible either one, that the apostles, during most of their ministry, thought that Jesus was going to return in their lifetime. And they kept seeing all of these events take place, but then God had to intervene around the beginning part of the 60s: 61, 62, 63—somewhere around there—so that they would understand that it wasn't going to happen in their lifetime. So when you read the New Testament you see the difference in the approach of the writings of the apostles. So when they saw the Roman armies surrounding Jerusalem, and there had not been a "man of sin, the son of perdition in the Holy Place," they knew there had to be another time for the destruction of Jerusalem—and they didn't know when it would be. That's why in both Matt. 24 and Mark 13 there's a parenthetical statement that is added there by John and the elders who helped canonize the New Testament and finalize it that says: "Let the one who reads understand." Because it says, "When you see the abomination of desolation stand in the Holy Place let the one who reads understand."

    Now, that was put there because they saw Jerusalem destroyed and there was no "man of sin, the son of perdition standing in the Holy Place" saying he's God. Since they didn't know when it would take place—let's go back there to Matthew 24 and let's look at that. And even in red-letter edition Bibles…Matthew 24:15: "Therefore, when you see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (the one who reads, let him understand), Then let those who are in Judea flee into the mountains" (vs 15-16)—etc. And what actually  happened was this: When Titus finally conquered and entered into Jerusalem, he came in and stood on the highest point of the Temple Mount and Fort Antonio right next to it; and he stood on the top wall of Fort Antonio and looked down and saw the temple and he said, 'We could not have done this unless God were on our side.' Now, that doesn't sound like an antichrist. He didn't proclaim himself to be God.

    So, you fast-forward from 70 AD to about 98 AD—another 28 years when they began finishing the New Testament and adding to it the book of Revelation and editing all the New Testament. Because if there's any one thing that Codex-W shows—if Codex-W really has the beginning compellations of the Gospels. And there are some textual problems that they have the original ones without some of the addition of the Egyptian version. So it may not be all that it's really cranked up to be, but nevertheless it does show that it was written at a far earlier date than they understood. So just like Ezra and the great synagogue finished canonizing the Old Testament, so John and probably Andrew and Mark, because he was probably still alive, and Philip—the four of them—finished off the New Testament. So that's why you have this statement here in Matt. 24 inserted there in parentheses so that everyone who reads the New Testament will be alerted that this did not happen during the days of the apostles. And yet, there are some people who say—they are called "Pretists"—which say that everything that was given by Jesus concerning the end-times happened and was finished by 70 AD, including the resurrection. Of course, that's blatantly false. That is the key that starts the three and a half year tribulation.

    That's why it says in Luke 21: "When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, know that its desolation is near." And let's come back here to Zechariah, the twelfth chapter. We've gone there before but since we're going through and putting this together in a step-by-step way so we can have a broader understanding concerning Pentecost, the return of Christ, etc., let's go back and read the prophecy concerning Jerusalem. And it fits exactly today; and it is happening precisely the way that the Bible brings out.

    Zechariah 12:2—now this sounds almost like the nightly news. What I want you to do is see how much of these prophecies now are being fulfilled in such a way that it is almost like listening to and watching the nightly news. ""Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people all around… [Where is the greatest trouble in the world? The Middle East and the tinder box is Jerusalem, the Jews, the Palestinians, the rest of the Arabs, etc.] …when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day I will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people. All who burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the nations of the earth be gathered together against it'" (vs 2-3).

    What is this telling us? Now think of this concerning prophecy: All the efforts of men are not going to change the Word of God. If God says it's going to be, it's going to be! Now the only way we're going to understand as to approximately when it will be—because, as we'll see, no man knows the day or the hour, and so forth—is by the proper keeping of the Sabbath and Holy Days and a personal relationship with God; and studying and searching the Scriptures daily. Then God will grant us the knowledge of it because He promised, through Daniel, that at the end-time none of the wicked will understand, but 'the wise shall understand.' And who is the wise one? The one who build's his house upon the Rock. Isn't that correct? Yes!

    So that's why we are able to understand it now. Just think of this: You go back less than a hundred years, before WWI, there is no way that you would have any understanding of these verses. Now, WWI the British defeated the Turks and the Turkish Empire collapsed. So watch for Turkey to rise again—it will. And they had the British mandate for Palestine. And they kept that mandate until shortly after the U.N. declared that the Jews could become the nation of Israel in Palestine. So until that occurred—1948. And how many wars have we had since then? Three major wars over Jerusalem—right? So there it is: "…though all the nations of the earth be gathered together against it." All the nations of the earth. So that's something!

    "'In that day,' says the LORD, 'I will strike every horse with terror, and his rider with madness. And I will open My eyes upon the house of Judah, and will strike every horse of the people with blindness. And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, "The people of Jerusalem shall be my strength in the LORD of hosts their God." In that day I will make the governors of Judah like a hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire among the sheaves. And they shall devour all the people all around, on the right hand and on the left hand. And Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her place, even in Jerusalem'" (vs 4-6). So that's projecting forward when the battle of Jerusalem is over.

    Now, let's go forward here. Let's come back to Luke 21:22: "For these are the days of vengeance, so that all things… [Now we need to understand when it says 'all things' the Bible means ALL things.] …that have been written… [Which means you have to know the Old Testament, correct? Yes!] …may be accomplished. But woe to those who are with child and those who are giving suck in those days! For there shall be great distress upon the land and wrath upon this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations… [So we have here an inner mixture of the final destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD and again at the end-time.] …and Jerusalem shall be trodden down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. And there shall be signs in the sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress and anxiety among the nations, the seas roaring with rolling surges…" (vs 22-25). Those are called today 'tsunamis' are they not? We have all the earthquakes, God shakes the heavens, the earth. That means He's going to shake. When He says 'the heavens' that includes the whole solar system. And I think…

    Let me just interject here: It's so interesting how men think in their own arrogance. Let's take an atheist. Remember Newsome, the famous atheist a few years ago. And he was interviewed by Sean Hannity and he told Sean Hannity, after they talked about atheisim and so forth, he said, 'I'm a religious person.' Correction: his name was Nudow—thank you. Newsome is the crazy mayor of San Francisco. Nudow the atheist—yeah from Sacramento, just up the street—up the road here from where we're meeting. And he told Hannity, 'Well, I'm a moral person. But I don't believe in God.' Well, the truth is, He does believe in God, because if he accepts any one of the commandments of God as a standard of morality for his behavior, he is obeying God while at the same time he thinks he's rejecting Him. Isn't that something?! "…wrath upon this people…times of the Gentiles…"

    Now, v 26: "Men dying of heart attacks from fear and dread of the things that are coming on the whole world…" See, the whole world's going to be affected by this. There's no such thing as a 'secret rapture.' It isn't going to take place. That is a tremendous deception, cleverly put together by men who have taken from one of the interpreters of the Bible—I forget who it was—said that there would be a 'secret rapture.' And only those who have the Spirit of God will hear the voice of Christ and they would be wafted off into heaven and all of those who are attending these lovely, lovely Protestant churches, and believed in Jesus, would be raptured away and avoid the tribulation. Well, everyone wants to escape. But it doesn't say it here in Luke 21 quite that way, does it?

    Now, if fleeing to the mountains is the rapture, that's entirely different than being wafted off to heaven, correct? Yes, indeed! For it says, "…coming on the whole world; for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with great power and glory" (vs 26-27).

    Now, we'll look at some other Scriptures concerning that…and then we will come back and finish up beginning in v 28 of Luke 21. Now, let's come to Mark 13 for just a minute, and we're going to see that every one of these things is going to take place just like Jesus said. And you have the absolute guarantee of it. You see the guarantee, you walk on the guarantee—it's right here.

    Mark 13:28 (pg. 1,012): "But learn the parable of the fig tree…" Now this is very instructive for this year; because rather than having global warming, we're actually having global cooling. And it's happening just like we discussed, right? When they get all hep, the congress had doubled the mandated amount of ethanol. And I said: What are you going to do when there's a drought? Well, I should have said: or a flood? Because with global cooling, right now minimum ten percent of the corn crop is gone. So hang on! If you think you're paying a lot for food now, just wait, just wait! I was wrong when I said: what are you going to do when $5/gallon hits? Let's double that! What are you going to do when $10/gallon hits? All right: "…When its branches become tender, and it puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near."
    But if you have a cool summer, it's going to take longer. If you have a hot summer, it's going to transpire faster. So this tells that even when you see all of these things; and even when we know the basic framework of these—because we're to know the times and the seasons through the Holy Days—we still cannot pinpoint it exactly. Now one of the current rages that they have is this: It's the Mayan calendar and that their 5000-plus year calendar is supposed to tell us that the year of the destruction of the earth is 2012. And the reason that's going to take place is because the center of the galaxy and the sun and the planets of our solar system are all going to be in a perfect line, instead at an angle below or an angle above. So they say that's when the end of the world is going to be. Won't be in 2012. Now you're going to see a lot of things talking about it on television and so forth about the Mayan calendar.

    But let's read on here: "…you know that summer is near. In the same way also, when you see these things coming to pass, know that it is near, even at the doors. Truly I say to you, this generation shall in no way pass away until all these things have taken place" (vs 28-30).

    Question: How long is a generation? Looking at the Bible, because the generation of Israelites that were destroyed traveling in the desert, they all died. Those that were over 20 died before they went into the "promised land." So everybody figures that is that a generation is 40 years. Well, if you will take and add up the number of years in Matthew, the first chapter, which has then fourteen generations, the fourteen generations, the fourteen generations; you add up those years in each of the three sets of fourteen, and divide them by fourteen and you will come out with a generation that is less than 30 years in one instance; over 65 years in another instance; and I forget what the third one was because it's been a long time since I did that. The question came in my mind when I read this: How long is a generation? Everyone gives a simple answer: 40 years. Well, not quite!

    This generation has to do with the end-time generation. And so this was the thing that also was parallel with the destruction of the temple in 70 AD. That generation of the apostles did not pass away until Jerusalem was destroyed. And Christ hadn't returned. So now, after that, they knew it would be later.

    Now, v 31: "The heaven and the earth shall pass away but My words shall never pass away… [Are they still here? Yes! You're standing on it. So remember this: Anytime you begin to doubt the Word of God, whether it is true or not; whether it be prophecies; whether it be promises; whether it be anything concerning the Word of God, you're on the earth, you're breathing the air of heaven, God is providing you with life and sustaining you, and so this tells you: none of the words of God will pass away, period.] …But concerning that day and the hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son… [At the time He was on the earth, He did not know. And as we look at the events that we read about there in Revelation, when the heavens are shaken and the third of the sun is darkened and a third of the moon is darkened, and the stars fall from heaven, all calculation of time is going to be out of whack! So only God knows when it's going to be.] …but the Father only…. [After Jesus ascended to heaven I am sure that then God told Him when it would be.] (So He says): …Take heed, be watching and praying. For you do not know when the time is coming" (vs 31-33). Very interesting.

    Now let's come back here to the book of Revelation again. Now, we've already covered the timing of some of these things, so I'm not going to go back over the timing except just to mention it. Revelation 6:12 (pg. 1,232)—now I know we have read these verses before, but I want us to get the full impact of it because I believe that if we read the Bible correctly we are going to see that this is the first instance that God shakes the heavens and the earth. And this, as I said before, is a signal event announcing the beginning of the return of Jesus Christ and God's intervention on earth.

    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…. [Now there's currently an ad, which you will see on most of the major channels today, by Capital One where they have this big screen of the earth and here is a big meteor coming to the earth and here's this captain or general or whatever he is and he has all the power. And here's this poor little monitor guy looking at his monitor and seeing this thing coming to the earth, and just at the right minute the general pushes the button and explodes the meteor. And then they ask the question: What is in your wallet? But how many movies and programs have to do with invasion from outer space; have to do with meteors coming to the earth; have to do with great heavenly signs? A lot of them. So this end-time generation is being programmed that these things are going to happen.

    Now, I know someone is going to ask me: Do you believe in UFOs? And my answer is: Yes, indeed! What are they? Some may be advanced designs that men have already devised. Some may be righteous angels carrying out the work of God. Some may be demons to fool people and deceive them. Some may be just satanic visions and apparitions. And some may be just natural phenomena that you don't understand. But, there's going to be no question. This is not going to be a UFO when this occurs. The whole world's going to know it.

    Verse 14: "Then the heaven departed like a scroll that is being rolled up…" And as I've mentioned before, when we read the book of Revelation, we need to understand it's talking about the whole world, all nations, all people, and the people of God. It is not some local event somewhere—though it is centered in the Middle East. What is it going to be like for the heavens to be 'rolled up like a scroll'? Well, the closest thing I can come to is if you have window shade and you go to roll it up and it slips out of your hand and it flops up and goes flap, flap, flap, flap, flap! Just multiply that by billions of times—this is what it's going to be. Every eye is going to see it! That's what Jesus said, "Every eye shall see and all the tribes of the earth shall mourn." That's what He said in the first chapter of Revelation. Now this is another understanding we add to that.

    "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… [Well Right when that happens they're going to be doing this. After everything calms down, what are they going to do? They're going to come out and they're going to say, 'Let's get organized.' That's what they're going to do.] (So their first reaction is): …And they said to the mountains and to the rocks, "Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him Who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb Because the great day of His wrath has come, and who has the power to stand?" (vs 15-17). Now that's their first reaction.

    Their second reaction is: Well, now we have an opportunity to come against our enemy and overcome them, because they're all kind of stunned because of this. And as we've covered with the 144,000, right after that happens there's no wind—it's dead silence! And those who truly repent, the 144,000 and great innumerable multitude, are sealed. We've already covered that, so we don't need to go through that again.

    Now, let's come to Matthew 24 and let's again examine and see how this is going to be. Once the heavens depart as a scroll what happens? Let's fill it together here with Matthew 24:29 (pg. 987)—now, we've already covered this previously, how the last three and a half years is divided down into two years and little more and a year and a half and little less. So the tribulation here does not mean the end of the three and a half years. This is the end of the tribulation against Israel (Hos. 5:21; 6:1-3).

    Matthew 24:29: "But immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken…. [That agrees precisely with Rev. 6—correct? Yes! It's talking about the same event.] …And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven… [Now we'll see what that sign of the Son of man is.] …and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming upon the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." (vs 29-30).

    Now what we need to understand is, is that the last year and a half—plus or minus, probably minus—because it says 'after two days He will raise us up' and after two days the tribulation will be over against Israel and in the third day He'll raise us up. So when that appears in heaven what takes place? Does it just go away? Is it just a phenomena that the heavens open and then closes and everything else returns to normal? Or are we talking about something greater—far beyond the imaginations of men that is really listed out here in the Bible, if we properly put it together. There is the sign of the Son of man that they are going to see.

    Question: How long are they going to see this sign before they see Christ coming in the clouds with great power and glory? Well, let's think about this for a minute. The heavens open up. Are there any clouds way out there in space? No, the clouds are over the earth. So when it talks about the clouds, that's when Jesus is closer to the earth. But when this first takes place, the heavens roll back as a scroll, here's what's going to happen:

    Verse 27 [transcriber's correction]: "For as the light of day, which comes forth from the east and shines as far as the west, so also shall the coming of the Son of man be." Now, when the heavens roll back as a scroll, if we read this correctly, there's going to be a brilliant flash of light, which will be seen whether it's day or night on the earth. It's going to fill the whole horizon from the east to the west and the north and the south—because it says every eye is going to see it. Then what's going to happen? When it says 'shinning' the Greek word there is 'astron' from which we get the English word asteroid. So then it's going to shine like an asteroid coming toward the earth. Now, it's not all of sudden going to fall to the earth, because too many things have to happen.

    So the sign of the Son of man appears in the heavens after the heavens are departed like a scroll and it stays there for all the world to see. Now they will have two choices: either repent or fight against Christ. Either believe that this is the beginning of the coming of Jesus Christ or that this is an invasion by aliens from outer space. Now those who have the Spirit of God—144,000 and great innumerable multitude, as we covered before—will be protected from all of the things that transpire on the earth beginning in Rev. 8; from that time forward. They will know it's the Coming of Christ. The world will believe that it is the antichrist. Why? Why will they believe that it is the antichrist, though at first they may admit that it is Christ? Because the Beast and the False Prophet are going to tell the people that this is an invasion from outer space. Now it's going to be out there far enough, it will be there, they will see it, the earth will continue to turn on its axis—and then the events of Rev. 8 all the way through—which I'll cover on the Feast of Trumpets—are going to take place. So this is a tremendous witness for approximately 16-18 months.

    Now so that you can get a clear picture of what I'm talking about, we will send the Daniel/ Revelation chart and also the two sermons that explain it. So the world is going to have absolutely no excuse! But, the world is going to be controlled by the Beast and the False Prophet. They are going to have enemies against the kings of the north and the east. So when this takes place, they will take this as a perfect opportunity to invade in the north and the east, and as Rev. 8 says: that they are going to have the power to make men virtually immobile for five months—with the power of "scorpions" (first part of Rev. 9).

    Now they will recover from this and then we have the first massive invasion from the east—so they will come. So you have the next to the last Pentecost and you have one year—Boom! So the last Pentecost, which then will be the first resurrection. Then you have the next to the last Trumpets to the last Trumpets—and so on the chart you will see how they parallel themselves for a while, because Pentecost comes first, then Trumpets, and then the last Pentecost comes, the resurrection takes place and then you have down to the next Trumpets.

    Okay, you probably don't get it by just hearing it, so we'll send you the chart so you can look at it—so you can understand it. And the chart is based on the framework of the calculated Hebrew calendar and the Holy Days.

    (go to the next track)

    Matthew 24: 30: "And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven…" So verses 29 and 30 add to our knowledge of Rev. 6:12 to the end of the chapter. So the sign of the Son of man, when it appears in heaven, it's not going to go away. People may become complacent and have their minds turned against it by the Beast and the False Prophet. And because the Beast will be able to do great, tremendous things: proclaim himself to be god on earth. Obviously, if he's god on earth, this has to be the antichrist. Then you will have the False Prophet—which does appear that it will be the office of the Pope—saying he is the manifestation of god on the earth. And how many times have we been telling you about the invasion from outer space? So they will turn to their business at hand and say, 'Well, it's still way out there in the heavens. So if we can take care of our enemies first'—like it says there in Dan. 12 that things out of the north and east shall trouble him and he shall go away and make fury. That's the first half of Rev. 9. Then the retaliation of the kings of the East coming—and that's part of the army of 200-million, because you see, you can't get an army of 200-million in one geographical space on earth. Look at the nation. We have 330-million in the nation. Are they in one small geographical area? No! So that army of 200-million is going to be broken down into different armies going all the way back to the Far East. They will start coming. And at the same time that this battle is going on between the forces of the West and the forces of the East all centered there in Jerusalem and going north and going east, the sign of the Son of man is coming closer, closer, closer, closer, closer until it reaches the clouds.

    And when it reaches the clouds it's about time for the first resurrection to take place, because they're going to see Him coming in the clouds. So it has to be from the time the heavens open up until they see Him in the clouds is from the next to the last Pentecost to the last Pentecost. And then if the resurrection takes place as pictured by Pentecost, then it when it gets into the clouds—when it comes into the clouds—what will undoubtedly take place? It's going to change form. What will that form be? A vast sea of glass over Jerusalem.

    So let's read it here. We have all of that contained in v 30: "And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven; and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming upon the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. [Next]: And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet; and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other" (vs 30-31).

    Now, let's look at some other Scriptures which talk about the resurrection again. And we know—we'll get to Rev. 15 again in a minute—but it does talk about the Sea of Glass; and it does say that they're standing on the Sea of Glass. Now also, those on the earth are going to see this formation of the Sea of Glass in the clouds, and they're going to say: 'Ohhh! Now if we can gather all our armies together and get all of our weapons here we can shoot it out of the sky.' But before that takes place, the resurrection occurs.

    Now the question becomes: Will the rest of the people on earth be able to see the saints being resurrected wherever the people are on the earth and the angels are coming and they see the saints being carried up to the Sea of Glass. Why should they not be able to see it? What a great witness for them, and also a great deception for them—correct? A great witness that they will see the resurrection taking place. A great deception because they will believe that these are aliens from outer-space who are coming to "body-snatch" people. Have you ever heard of that before? Hadn't that been depicted in movies? Yes! Which also tells us what? Satan understands and knows the plan of God so he's preparing—especially this generation—for that event.

    Now let's come here to 1-Thessalonians 4:13 (pg 1,202). Lots of times we read these Scriptures and we don't take the time to go through and explain them or think about them, and we think that these events come kaleidoscoping together—just zip, zip, zip, zip one after the other without realizing that there's a space of time. And why does the sign of the Son of man appear in heaven and they can visualize it and it's coming closer and closer and closer to the earth, and then it all of a sudden transforms into a sea of glass over the area of Jerusalem? To give as many people as possible an opportunity to repent if they would!That's why you have the 144,000 and the great innumerable multitude. How many will that be? We don't know, because it says God isn't going to number them. Why doesn't God know how many it will be? Because repentance is an individual choice that everyone has to make—and who knows who will repent.

    1 Thessalonians 4:13: "But I do not wish you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep… [We've read this over and over again—and at every funeral memorial service we read it, don't we?] …that you be not grieved, even as others, who have no hope. 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…. [Question: How do they get from the grave to being with Christ? And then when did they come to the earth? So we'll try an answer that.] …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… [Matt. 24 and Mark 13 says that the angels of God will take them. Where? Where are they going to go? All right, let's read it]: …Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds… [not outer-space. And where the clouds are is referred to as 'heaven'—is it not? Yes!] …for the meeting with the Lord in the air; and so shall we always be with the Lord" (vs 13-17). That doesn't mean we're going to be in heaven always. We're going to be with Him always wherever He is. Because wherever the Lamb goes, we follow Him, correct? Yes!

    All right, let's come to Revelation 15—let's see where they are taken. Then we'll see what happens after they are there. 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. And I saw a sea of glass mingled with fire…" (vs 1-2). There's a sea of glass mentioned in Ex. 24; Rev. 4-5 (where the throne of God is). Will the throne of God the Father be on the Sea of Glass? We don't know. But it's not going to be too far from the Sea of Glass as we'll understand here in just a minute.

    Now, if God needs a sea of glass for His throne to sit on, why is it thought to be so strange that He will resurrect us and put us on a sea of glass; because there are many things that have to transpire. Let's see who's going to be on the Sea of Glass. It does say: "…on a sea of glass mingled with fire…" because it's made out of spirit, you can see it—and it is awesome indeed.

    "…and those who had gotten the victory over the beast… [Now where did we first meet the Beast? Where does the Bible first introduce us to the Beast. Genesis 3—the serpent.] …and over his image… [And Satan has always had idolatry—correct? Yes! So the image of the Beast while in Rev. 13 can refer directly to the image made like unto the Beast, the image of the Beast can also include all idolatry. So that's not just restricted to the end-time.] …and over his mark…" (v 2). Now this is part of the end-time—mark of the Beast. And let me tell you something: When you understand—especially in today's society—that if you cannot buy and sell you're not going to exist very long. Because there isn't one thing you have today that you don't get by buying what someone else sells to you. And you just try it sometime if you have a credit card that you use. Let's say you have a debit card. A lot of people have a debit card. I would not recommend a debit card because if you ever lose it your money's gone. But if you have a debit card and you think you have x-amount of dollars in there and you go down to buy something, you pass it through the reader, and it comes back 'no funds.' Sorry! You can't buy anything.

    Let's carry it one step further: What if your identity is hooked to it, because now it's either you have rejected to receive it in your right hand or in your forehead, they no longer accept any cash—no money; no gold or silver—they don't know what to do with it, they can't handle it. You can't buy or sell. So this whole economic system that Satan has is going to totally enslave the whole world. Now we have to have the victory over it by not getting into the system when it comes to putting it on the right hand or in the forehead. And I'll have some sermons on that in the future. I think one of them I'll have for the Feast of Tabernacles. It is called: Singularity is Near. And what men, under the inspiration of Satan and modern technology are working out, is for men to become like God—through modern technology. So what do we have? We go all the way back to where? Gen. 3! That's why the book of Revelation is the beginning and the ending, the first and the last.

    "…and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass… [where are they? On the Sea of Glass! So if it is in the Bible, which it is, why would some ministers accuse me of trying to preach something that is totally erroneous and preposterous? What does it say? It says, standing on the Sea of Glass.] …having the lyres of God…. [Now that's a special harp.] …And they were singing the song of Moses, the servant of God… [Now why would that be there? What does this tell us? This tells us that all of those who receive salvation for the first resurrection—you combine that with victory over the Beast—from Abel to the New Covenant will be there. That's one category. All of those had the Spirit of Christ (1-Peter 10).] …and the song of the Lamb…" (vs 2-3). That is all of those who receive salvation from the time of the first coming of Christ. Now, we're all going to be in agreement.

    Question: Did God confuse the languages of men at the Tower of Babel? Yes! Can God unconfused the languages in the same way, at the resurrection? Yes!

    • We're going to have a new body.
    • We're going to have a new mind.
    • We are going to be spirit beings.

    And with that, we're going to have a language, which all of us can understand, though it matters not at which age in the history of mankind and the plan of God that we received salvation. Now that's going to be necessary for many things. Because as I covered on Pentecost:

    • we're going to receive a new name,
    • we're going to be given our rewards,
    • we're going to be given our assignments—because how can we come back to the earth without knowing what we are going to do.
    • and the marriage of the Lamb is going to take place. It's going to take place on the Sea of Glass.

    We'll see that as we go along here. I mean, these are tremendous, exciting things that are going to take place. And can you think of a better place to watch all the events transpire than on the Sea of Glass?

    Now here's what we're going to do first: "…and the song of the Lamb, saying, 'Great and awesome are Your works, Lord God Almighty; righteous and true are Your ways, King of the saints'… [So we're going to praise God, first thing we're going to do. 'Oh God, thank You, we praise You.'] …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'" (vs 3-4). Now that is what they will be doing after Christ and the saints come back to the earth. And they will have to be forced to do that in some cases.

    Now then, it's not over yet. Remember, we don't come back to the earth—it says, 'we will ever be with Him'—and we don't come back to the earth until Rev. 19. I will save that for the Feast of Trumpets. But notice: Verse 5: "And after these things I looked, and behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened…. [Well now, that can't be too far from the Sea of Glass, can it?] …And the seven angels who had the seven last plagues came out of the temple; 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 5-8).

    Now we're going to see the vengeance of God. And we're going to see the seven last plagues poured out. Now this takes place…now we're into a time shortly after the first resurrection. And we will see, as you look at these plagues as they are poured out, there has got to be a period of time for them to be poured out. And as we will see, there's got to be a period of time to gather the armies to Armageddon. So that's why you have the first resurrection on Pentecost, and not returning to earth until Trumpets—because that is the period of time in which the seven last plagues are poured out. The first of the seven last plagues fairly quickly, and then the last two will take place after a period of time. We'll see that as we go through 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…. [Don't know what that is, but that's going to be something! Now, as we go through here we see that these are always God's weapons. He used the same ones back in Egypt with destroying Egypt and so forth when He brought the children of Israel out of Egypt.] …And the second angel went and poured out his vial into the sea; and it became blood, like that of a dead man; and every living soul in the sea died" (vs 1-3). That means every living thing. So God is going to start and rebuild the earth virtually from scratch—that's why it's called a new heaven and a new earth. It's not the final new heaven and new earth, because the final new heaven and earth are what? They're spiritual!

    Verse 4: "And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers, and into the fountains of waters; and they became blood…. [When you read Rev. 8, it was a third of the waters, a third of the sea, and so forth. Now this is complete.] …Then I heard the angel of the waters say, '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 that started with who? Abel. And I remember some atheist saying, 'Well, how can the blood cry out of the ground?' Very simple, God knows more than we do. And I think some of your forensic people, they don't hear the blood crying, but they can analyze it and know who it came from.] …and You have given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.' And I heard another voice from the altar say, 'Yes, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments'" (vs 4-7).

    Now, people in the world might read that and think, 'OOOO this is terrible! This is awful! How could a God who's a God of love do this?' Because the people He is doing it to hate Him, worship Satan, follow the Beast and the False Prophet and will not listen after all the things that have transpired up to this point. And did not repent as the 144,000 or the great innumerable multitude, so it is coming full blast upon them!

    "And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given to it to scorch men with fire. Then men were scorched with great heat; and they blasphemed the name of God… [They didn't repent. After all those things are done, you read back there the last verse in Rev. 9 they didn't repent of any of the evil they were doing. Same thing here, they didn't repent.] …Who has authority over these plagues, and did not repent to give Him glory. 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… [So here they have the pain of the mark of the Beast and now they have the darkness which causes pain.] …And blasphemed the God of heaven… ['This antichrist, we've got to stop him—look what he's doing!'] …because of their pains and their sores; yet they did not repent of their works" (vs 8-11).

    Now, a little space of reprieve. Just like Pharaoh and the Egyptians—right? A little space of reprieve and they think, 'Aha! We can do it.' Just like Pharaoh after all that happened, there were still enough armies; there were still enough chariots and horses, he says: 'Let's go get 'em!' Now here it's on a massive scale.

    "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…. [So this is the rest of the army of 200-million coming.] (v 13): …Then I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon.. [who is Satan] …and out of the mouth of the beast… [who is god manifested in the flesh according to the False Prophet—actually Satan possessed.] …and out of the mouth of the false prophet; For they are spirits of demons working miracles… [So they go out and say, 'Look! We still have the power! We still have the power! Probably this last thing that occurred was the last that they have—they can do no more to us.'] …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 12-14).

    It's going to take a time to get the armies there. You have the armies of the East right close; then you have the armies probably from North Africa and from Europe—they're all going to be gathered there.

    Now v 15 is an inset verse; because you read all of these things that are transpiring and you think: Ooooo, I don't want to be a part of that! No, you don't! So here's a warning: "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… [You can tie that right back in with Rev. 3 and the Laodiceans] …and they may not see his shame." That's just an inset verse or warning. Keep you life right!

    Verse 16: "And he gathered them together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon…. [This is the Battle of Armageddon. Doesn't take place, has not yet occurred, it will not take place until right at the very end, just before Christ and the saints come back to the earth.] …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.' And there were voices and thunders and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were on the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. And the great city was divided into three parts; and the cities of the nations fell; and Babylon the Great was remembered before God to give her the cup of the wine of the fury of His wrath…. [And you can read that, Rev. 17 & 18.] …And every island disappeared, and no mountains were found; And great hail, each stone the weight of a talent [180 lbs.], fell down from heaven upon men; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, for the plague was exceedingly great" (vs 16-21). They still didn't give up!

    Now, we'll pick up Revelation 19 on the Feast of Trumpets, as we get there, because that's when we all come back to the earth. Now, let's talk a little bit about the marriage supper of the Lamb, and the marriage of the Lamb. We'll go to Revelation 19 and read that part of it. I won't cover it very much on the Feast of Trumpets.

    Revelation 19:7: "'Let us be glad and shout with joy; and let us give glory to Him; for the marriage of the Lamb has come… [This is going to take place on the Sea of Glass] …and His wife has made herself ready.' And it was granted to her that she should be clothed in fine linen, pure and bright; for the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints. And he said to me, 'Write: Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb'…. [Now notice: They are called to the supper. This does not mean that they are necessarily the bride. We'll see that in just a minute.] …And he said to me, 'These are the true words of God'" (vs 7-9).

    Now let's come back to Matthew 22 and let's see a parable concerning a wedding supper; and then we will ask ourselves some questions: Are all the saints who are resurrected going to marry Christ? We will have to answer the question, NO! Who then will be the bride of Christ? We'll see if we can come to a fairly close answer concerning that.

    Matthew 22:1 (pg. 984): "And again Jesus answered and spoke to them in parables, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is compared to a man who was a king, who made a wedding feast for his son… [That's obviously God the Father and Jesus Christ.] …And sent his servants to call those who had been invited to the wedding feast; but they refused to come. Afterwards he sent out other servants, saying, "Say to those who have been invited, 'Behold, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and the fatted beasts are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding feast.'" But they paid no attention and went away, one to his farm, and another to his business. And the rest, after seizing his servants, insulted and killed them. Now when the king heard it, he became angry; and he sent his armies and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city…. [That's the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD—the Jews rejected and refused.] … Then he said to his servants, "The wedding feast indeed is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy; Therefore, go into the well-traveledhighways, and invite all that you find to the wedding feast"'" (vs 1-9). Now notice, they are not coming to be married; they are coming to the wedding feast. And it says, 'Blessed and Holy is everyone who has been invited to the wedding feast or the marriage feast of the Lamb.' Now since that takes place on the Sea of Glass, then that means that not everyone on the Sea of Glass is going to be part of the bride of Christ, though they have eternal life. But they will be there for the wedding feast.

    "'And after going out into the highways, those servants brought together everyone that they found, both good and evil; and the wedding feast was filled with guests. And when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not dressed in proper attire for the wedding feast… [Now, this is a parable]: …And he said to him, "Friend, how did you enter here without a garment fit for the wedding feast?" But he had no answer. Then the king said to the servants, "Bind his hands and feet, and take him away, and cast him into the outer darkness." There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen'" (vs 10-14). Chosen for what? The wedding feast.

    There are going to be many who are in the first resurrection—correct? But will they all be the bride? Or will most of them be the guests? And the bride constitutes saints of a different quality?

    Let's come to Revelation 14 and perhaps we can answer the question. And we've already sent you the sermons on The 144,000 and More On the 144,000. Now we've examined very carefully the 144,000 of Revelation 7 and they are from the children of Israel. That's who it says they are from. Now, the 144,000 of Rev. 14 are described differently, if you pay attention to it. So let's read it.

    Revelation 14:1: "And I looked, and I beheld the Lamb standing on Mount Sion… [That's another version of the Sea of Glass.] …and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father's name written on their foreheads…. [Let's read on. We will see this 144,000 is categorized a little differently than the other 144,000.] …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. 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" (vs 1-3). Now the earth includes people then of the 144,000 from all nations—not just restricted to Israel. So this is a second group of a 144,000 if we understand it correctly. Now notice how this describes them:

    Verse 4: "These are the ones who were not defiled with women… ['women' being false churches] …for they are virgins; they are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. They were purchased from among men… [not the children of Israel only] …as first fruits to God and to the Lamb; And no guile wasfound in their mouths; for they are blameless before the throne of God" (vs 4-5).

    Now let's analyze this a minute. Let's go back and look at the seven churches. We also have to include—we don't know how many will fall into this category, which were before the first coming of Christ. But let's ask the question: What constitutes a "spiritual virgin"? One that has always been faithful to Christ and has NOT gone away from the teaching of God the Father and Jesus Christ.

    So we look at Rev. 2, what's the first thing we have?

    • Church at Ephesus lost its first love. Did it lose its virginity then? Possibly, we don't know.
    • Church at Smyrna was faithful, nothing wrong with it; kept it's virginity even unto death—correct? yes! Even resisted the devil unto death.
    • Church at Pergamos: Can't say they're virgins. They had the Nicolaitanes; they assumed some of the teachings of the religions of Satan the devil; and God says, 'You repent or I'm going to destroy you.'
    • Church at Thyatira: Can you say that they are virgins? No! Because they 'committed fornication and adultery with that woman, Jezebel who calls herself a prophetess and causes her servants to eat things sacrificed to idols.'
    • Church in Sardis: It is so defiled that it is almost dead! So you can't say it's a virgin.
    • Church at Philadelphia: There is not one thing said against the church at Philadelphia—just like Smyrna.

    So you could say, 'Well, those who are like the Smyrnans retain their virginity; those who are like the Philadelphians retain their virginity—which means this: Once you accept and believe the Truth and are baptized and receive the Holy Spirit you do not EVER go against God! That doesn't mean you don't sin. That means you don't get involved in the religions of this world and the powers structures of this world and in becoming so lackadaisical and so forth.

    • And you can't say that the Laodiceans are virgins either because they are lukewarm and they don't have the garments. Right? Yes.

    So if that is the correct understanding—I'll ring my cowbell for everybody who thinks I should have rung it earlier—it's entirely possible. We can't say absolutely with dogmatism, but putting the Scriptures together, it's entirely possible that all the saints who are resurrected—out of all the saints—there are 144,000 that will be the bride of Christ. All the rest will be guests to the wedding supper of the Lamb. "Blessed are those who are called to the wedding supper of the Lamb." And it's not just the bride and Groom that eat the supper—it's all of the guests.

    Now everyone's going to be happy and satisfied, because everyone's going to receive eternal life. It just means that the bride of Christ is going to work directly with Christ through all eternity, which then includes—if it's limited to 144,000—the 144,000 beginning when? It doesn't tell us! Rev. 2 & 3 only give us an inkling of what we would say, the "virginist" attitude that one needs to have in order to qualify as virgins and marry Christ.

    So, we're running out of time. I don't think I need to give another sermon on this. If I do, we'll include that with Trumpets.

    Transcribed: 7-6-08

    Scriptural References:

    • Luke 21:20
    • Matthew 24:15-16
    • Zechariah 12:2-6
    • Luke 21:22-27
    • Mark 13:28-33
    • Revelation 6:12-17
    • Matthew 24:29-30, 27, 30-31
    • 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17
    • Revelation 15:1-8
    • Revelation 16:1-21
    • Revelation 19:7-9
    • Matthew 22:1-14
    • Revelation 14:1-5

    Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

    • Revelation 1, 8-9, 3-5
    • Hosea 5:21; 6:1-3
    • Daniel 12
    • Exodus 24
    • Genesis 3
    • 1 Peter 10

    Also referenced:

    Sermons: The 144,000
                   More on the 144,000