(Day 49)

Blessed is that servant whom the LORD, when He comes, shall find so doing

Fred R. Coulter—June 8, 2019

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Greetings, brethren! Welcome to Day 49, the end of the seventh week in counting to Pentecost! Tomorrow is Pentecost, because after Day 49, Day 50 is Pentecost. The way that the Jubilee is counted is exactly the same way as it is for counting Pentecost.

Let's see the sequence of things that God has in Exo. 23, and they follow right along with the Sabbath and Holy Days and what we are to do. Remember that every single thing in the Law also has a prophetic meaning and an eternal meaning! Not just something temporary to be done away, but something that is spiritual, and the spiritual always supersedes the physical!

Exodus 23:12: "Six days you shall do your work, and on the seventh day you shall rest…" the seventh day has a spiritual blessing, and that is that God puts his presence in the day:

  • for learning
  • for comforting
  • for teaching
  • for our connecting with God every seventh day

"…so that your ox and your donkey may rest, and the son of your handmaid, and the stranger, may be rejuvenated" (v 12).

Verse 13 is something that people don't pay much attention to. When we go through the Scriptures, we need to look and see why God said this. This is a very interesting verse:

Verse 13: "And be watchful in all…not some, not more important than the other] …that I have said to you. And make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of your mouth. You shall keep a Feast unto Me three times in the year" (vs 13-14). Think about that!

God says to be watchful, or pay attention, to "…all that I have said to you…." and "…keep a Feast unto Me three times in the year."

Verse 15: "You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread…." We had that, and this year it was very interesting that the first Holy Day was on a Sabbath. Therefore, the first day after that is the first day of the count toward Pentecost. The seventh day of the Feast was on a Friday and the Sabbath was after that seventh day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread; don't get that mixed up. The last day of the Feast of Unleaven Bread was on the sixth day of the week. The Sabbath after the last day of Unleavened Bread ends the first full week of the count toward Pentecost. The next day begins the first day toward the second week. So, pay attention!

"…You shall eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded you, at the time appointed in the month of Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt. And no one shall appear before Me empty…. [think about that] …Also, the Feast of the Harvest of the Firstfruits of your labors… [we're going to look at the firstfruits, what that means and what we need to do] …which you have sown in the field. And the Feast of Ingathering, in the end of the year, when you have gathered in your labors out of the field. Three times in the year all your males shall appear before the Lord GOD. You shall not offer the blood of My sacrifice with leavened bread, neither shall the fat…" (vs 15-18).

Verse 19: "The first of the firstfruits of your land you shall bring into the house of the LORD your God…." Why is that so important? Not just the firstfruits, but the first of the firstfruits? This is the grain harvest! It talks about the wheat harvest in Exo. 34. So, you have the barley harvest and the wheat harvest.

Let's see the instruction that we need to follow in counting, and it starts immediately. Look at it this way:

  • we have the Passover for the forgiveness of our sins
  • we have Feast of Unleavened Bread so that we learn how to overcome sin and develop Godly character
  • the we have seven weeks going to the harvest
      • What the First of the firstfruits?
      • Why is that so important?

Leviticus 23:9: "And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying… [it's always God's Word] …'Speak to the children of Israel and say to them, "When you have come into the land which I give to you, and shall reap the harvest of it, then you shall bring the premier sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest"'"(vs 9-10).

What they had at the temple was a special place where they grew the barley and the wheat for the premier sheaf. Remember, this is a harvest of grain. Contrast that with Trumpets, which is a war harvest, or a war feast. That is the harvest of the wicked—Rev. 14—the grapes are then compressed and the blood flows up to a horses bridle.

Verse 11: "And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD to be accepted for you…." This is a type of Christ ascending to the Father in the week that the Passover occurred; the Passover, during Christ's crucifixion, was on the 4th day, the middle, of the week.

He as in the grave three days and three nights. He was resurrected from the dead at the end of the third day and the beginning of the next day. Then about nine in the morning He ascended to the Father as the First of the Firstfruits for all of mankind!

Think about how important this is and remember that this is a harvest. Then it says what you shall offer for it and so forth. It also says that you're not to eat any bread or grain until you enter into the land. So, whatever they did on Pentecost at that time, it was only manna.

Verse 15: "And you shall count…"—number. When you count that's different than adding and subtracting. Example: when you go to high school you're there four years: 9, 10, 11, 12. But if you subtracted 9 from 12 you would get 3. Counting is always different, and counting—nearly every time—is inclusive.

So, this day of the Wave Sheaf Offering, at the time that Christ was ascending to the Father about 9A.M. In the morning, is the Premier Sheaf! Then you are to count beginning with that day.

"…to you beginning with the next day after the Sabbath…" (v 15). The regular Sabbath during Unleavened Bread, not the first Holy Day as the Jews count it. All Holy Days are called 'Shabbats'; the Sabbath is called 'ha Shabbat' and has the definite article

 "…beginning with the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven Sabbaths shall be complete" (v 15). That means it's full week from the first day of the week to the seventh day of the week—seven full weeks! That's where we are today!

We'll talk a little bit about the offering that they were bring—the wave offering—in a little bit when we get into Matt. 13. As we saw in Exo. 23, there's a parallel between the firstborn and the firstfruits.

Let's remember that Jesus was called the firstborn twice:

  • the Firstborn of Mary when He was born as a physical baby
  • the Firstborn from among the dead (Rev. 1)

Let's see how important it was that Jesus was raised from the dead and ascended to the Father on the Wave Sheaf Offering Day. That is important! If it did not happen that way then no one is going to be saved, because that's how God said He's going to do it.

Notice how emphatic Paul is. This helps identify what we're talking about. The resurrection takes place first and then the ascension. Then we know He came down and spent 40 days with the apostles before ascending for the final time.

1-Corinthians 15:11: "Now then, whetherI or they, so we preach, and so you have believed. But if Christ is being preached, that He rose from the dead, how is it that some among you are saying that there is no resurrection of the dead?" (vs 11-12).

One of the first heresies that was coming into the Church was that Christ was the only One resurrected, but everybody else goes to heaven—the immortality of the soul!

Verse 13: "For if there is no resurrection from the dead, neither has Christ been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain, and your faith is also in vain. And we are also found to be false witnesses of God…" (vs 13-15).

Look at how many false witnesses there are out there of God saying that people are going to go to heaven. The Bible does not teach it. We're going to be raised from the dead and—as we will see tomorrow—meet Christ on the Sea of Glass in the air.

"…because we have testified of God that He raised Christ, Whom He did not raise, if indeed the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, neither has Christ been raised. 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" (vs 15-19).

God wants the Gospel preached to the whole world, and those who answer the call God leads and brings them to repentance, baptism and the receiving of the Holy Spirit and to be able to grow in grace and knowledge.

Verse 20: "But now Christ has been raised from the dead; He has become the Firstfruit… [the Premier Wave Offering of Lev. 23] …of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the 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…" (vs 20-23).
What is the order? "…Christ the Firstfruit; then those who are Christ's at His coming" (v 23)—that's the order! Has Christ come, yet? So, no one else has been raised from the dead to eternal life. No one else, yet! But it is coming!

We also know that we are called as sort of firstfruits. So, we have Christ the Firstfruit, and we are called firstfruits of God's creation!

It's interesting all of this is put together and the Scriptures give us a tremendous and exciting understanding of the Word of God. Just think about it. We can meditate and think about eternal life, but we cannot grasp the magnitude of it, yet. Every once in a while we get a very inspired thought, or something when we see some pictures of the universe and the greatness of things that God has created out there. We're going to be a part of it, and that inspires us in it.

James 1:17: "Every good act of giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with Whom there is no variation, nor shadow of turning."

Another way of saying it is: Christ the same yesterday, today and forever.' Neither one of Them change! That's important to understand. When we go back and see the history of the Waldensians… By the way, John Guenther has done a magnificent job in bringing out that history for us. There were thousands and thousands of people at that time—during the Waldensians and that 500 year period when they suffered persecution off and on—and at the end terrible persecution. But they are all part of the firstfruits, too!

Verse 18: "According to His own will…" think about this: it is the will of God that He has called you, that you have answered the call, that you were baptized and received the Holy Spirit and are now growing and overcoming and developing the character of God. Christ in you the hope of glory! The Spirit of the Father and the Spirit of Christ in us.

"…He begat us by the Word of Truth… [that includes His Spirit] …that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all His created beings" (v 18).

Think about special that is! That's why we need to understand what God is doing and His plan, and how it's likened to a harvest, so that we can understand what is going on.

We're going to spend a little time in Matt. 13, and we're going to examine it carefully. We are going to see that if we really fully go through it, it gives us a great deal of understanding from the Word of God.

This shows very clearly that what God is doing is likened to a harvest. Trumpets is a war feast and the only harvest of that war is the death of the wicked fighting against Christ.

This shows how God is working with His harvest; Matthew 13:37: "And He answered and said to them, 'The One Who sows the good seed is the Son of man.'"

So, Christ is actively busy making sure that His Word goes out. Just think of all the Bibles that we have. God is the One behind all the Bibles in the world. Think about how many of you can now have a laptop or a smart phone, and you can have the entire Bible right there. You can go to it anytime you want. Amazing!

Verse 38: "And the field is the world; and the good seed, these are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one."

Let's see how this works. The calling goes out and it's going out in many, many different ways. We all have to do our part.

"…the field is the world…" so the Word of God is going out to many different people. We also know that there are those who are seeking God, and 'the Father is seeking those who seek Him and worship Him in Spirit and in Truth' (John 4). Jesus knows who is seeking because He's in charge of directing the seven spirits of God to find those who are seeking God.

I don't know what happened in your life, how you began, and how God called you, but in every case it is unique and different, and God is the One Who has intervened in your life, and brought you to repentance, baptism and receiving the Holy Spirit. "…and the good seed, these are the children of the kingdom…"

Verse 10: "And His disciples came to Him and asked, 'Why do You speak to them in parables?'"

  • the field is the world
  • the One Who sows the seed is the Son of man

Let's see how people receive the Word of God. Various conditions, and not only that but there are the counterfeiters as depicted by the tares.

Verse 11: "And He answered and said to them, 'Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven…'"—the secret of God!

If you know and understand about the Passover, Holy Days and Sabbath and the meaning of them, and how God is using them in prophecy to fulfill His will, you understand the mysteries or the secrets of the Kingdom of God! It's not given to the world, because it is a spiritual thing and must be spiritually understood!

"…but to them… [the world] …it has not been given. For whoever has understanding, to him more shall be given…" (vs 11-12).

Look at how much understanding that God has given us today. The only way that we retain that is to actively use it to grow in grace and knowledge and the understanding of it. To learn more from what we already understand and keep building and building. It's a spiritual thing, spiritually understood. That's what He means when He says, "…more shall be given…"

"…and he shall have an abundance, but whoever does not have understanding, even what he has shall be taken away from him" (v 12). So, people end up being more ignorant than ever!

Verse 13: "For this reason I speak to them in parables, because seeing, they see not; and hearing, they hear not; neither do they understand." You can see that in Protestantism and Catholicism. That's just the way it is, because:

  • unless you repent
  • unless you keep the commandments of God
  • unless you're baptized
  • unless you keep the Sabbath and the Holy Days

you will never understand the plan of God! You may grasp a little here or a little there, but you'll never understand the plan of God.

Verse 14: "And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, which says, 'In hearing you shall hear, and in no way understand; and in seeing you shall see, and in no way perceive; for the heart of this people has grown fat, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed…'" (vs 14-15). Think about how this applies to the Protestants!

  • Have they closed their eyes to the Truth of Old Testament and God's commandments?
  • Have they closed their eyes to the Sabbath, Passover and Holy Days of God?
  • Yes!
  • How much understanding do they have?

Oh, they can preach good, psychological sermons on how you can be nice people. But understanding Who God is and what God is, they have little to no understanding at all, because of what it says right here:

"…lest they should see…" (v 15). God doesn't want them to see. You either understand it all, or none! What little you understand, it's not the full enough picture for you to really grasp what God is doing. So, it's all or none! That's how God has made it.

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

Every good Protestant ought to read that. If you think that you have to get out there and try and save all the world, and the ones you don't save are going to be burning in hell for ever and ever, because they haven't answered the call of whatever Protestant or Catholic church it is. Think about that in relationship to:

  • what we're doing
  • that you can open your Bible and understand the Word of God
  • that you have knowledge and understanding of the plan of God through the Passover and Holy Days


Verse 16: "But blessed are your eyes, because they see…"

If you're having trouble because of physical things around you, don't worry about it, God will help you overcome it! That will become a passing thing in whatever time God lifts it from you.

"…and your ears, because they hear" (v 16). Think about how many times Jesus said, 'The one who has ears, let him hear.' He says it in v 9. Didn't He also say that all the way through, in many parts in the book of Revelation.

Notice what they understood, and then add all of the New Testament on top of that to what we, today, understand. Think about how this verse magnifies itself.

Verse 17: "For truly I say to you, many prophets…" Didn't Daniel say, 'O Lord, what are these things.' It's not for you to know, Daniel! You go your way, you're going to be in the resurrection, but you're not going to understand it! And Daniel gave all those fantastic prophecies.

When you couple the book of Revelation to Daniel, it gives us a lot of understanding. But then there are a lot of things that are difficult to understand. I want you to think about what God has given you as the gift of knowledge and understanding, through His Word and through His Spirit. What a fantastic thing that that is.

And lest at anytime we think we're filled and don't need anything else, remember that the Word of God is eternal and we are constantly adding to our understanding as God opens our mind to see from His Word.

"…many prophets and righteous men have desired to see what you see, and have not seen; and to hear what you hear, and have not heard" (v 17).
The Apostle John was the secretary for Jesus Christ, to write the whole book of Revelation, and it comes from Jesus Christ and God the Father, written by John. That is a fantastic thing to understand. Christ wrote the book of Revelation through the scribe of the Apostle John! Some people say, 'Why didn't Jesus write a book?' He did! Revelation!

Then Jesus goes on to explain the parable. This happens in life, you can see it; v 18: "Therefore, hear the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the Word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the wicked one comes and snatches away that which was sown in his heart…." (vs 18-19).

Isn't that amazing? Our calling and everything that God has for us is so important that Satan wants to come and take it away.

"…This is the one who was sown by the way. Now, the one who was sown upon the rocky places is the one who hears the Word and immediately receives it with joy" (vs 19-20). Oh, this is wonderful! How great!

Verse 21: "But because he has no root in himself, he does not endure; for when tribulation or persecution arises because of the Word, he is quickly offended"—and goes away! We've seen that happen!

Here's what needs to be for us; we need to be the good seed! The seed that God gives us, and the begettal of His Spirit… There are two seeds: the words of God and the begettal of God's Spirit, which consists of from the Father and the Son.

Verse 22: "And the one who was sown among the thorns is the one who hears the Word, but the cares of this life and the deceitfulness of riches choke the Word, and it becomes unfruitful."

More interested in making money, accumulating wealth. 'Just think of how much I can make. I don't have to keep the Sabbath if I'm making money. By the way, I'll double my tithe, won't that be nice?'

Go back and read 1-Sam. 15 and what happened to Saul when he did not obey the words of the Lord. He said that he did, then he blamed the people. That's much like this.

Verse 23: "But the one who was sown on good ground, this is the one who hears the Word and understands, who indeed brings forth fruit and produces—one a hundredfold, another sixtyfold and another thirtyfold."

Then study the parable of the pounds and talents. You understand that God gives us free moral agency to choose to do what is good in God's sight. God isn't going to give it to us and then we sit back and do nothing. No! He created us in His image, so:

  • we can think
  • we can do
  • we can love God
  • we can serve Him

All of these combined together!

Let's see the next parable, and we have all lived through this.

Verse 24: "And He put another parable before them, saying, 'The Kingdom of Heaven is compared to a man who was sowing good seed in his field.'"

  • Who is the sower? Christ!
  • What is the good seed? The Word of God!

Verse 25: "But while men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away."

  • Who is the enemy? Satan!
  • Didn't we see that in one of the parables? Yes!

Satan wants to come and destroy! take! remove! change! amend!

Verse 26: "Now, when the blades sprouted and produced fruit, then the tares also appeared"—because the tares do not produce any fruit!

Apparently, it comes up looking like the real thing. But it's a counterfeit. Isn't that the way it is Protestantism. Yes, even some Churches of God have a few tares in them. They need to get rid of them.

Verse 27: "And the servants came to the master of the house and said to him 'Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? Then where did these tares come from?' And he said to them, 'A man who is an enemy has done this.' Then the servants said to him, 'Do you want us to go out and gather them?' But he said, 'No, lest while you are gathering the tares, you also uproot the wheat with them'" (vs 27-29).

I want you to be very concentrated on how this is a harvest of grain. That's what the whole Church is about.

Verse 30: "Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and at the time of the harvest…" Before the harvest comes, there are various cycles where this happens with the Church of God! Tares come in and then there has to be a scattering to get rid of them. God is the One Who scatters them so that those who are faithful will leave the unfaithful and hateful, and will stay faithful to God, loving God, even if it means being alone for a time being.

Go back and look at the account of Elijah. Look at how he withstood all the prophets of Baal, and how his sacrifice was consumed with fire from God. Then they took and killed all the prophets of Baal and then Elijah got afraid. Jezebel was going to come and Elijah was afraid that she was going to kill him. So, he went to Mt. Horeb and went into a cave. The God appeared to him as 'a still voice' and said, 'Elijah, I still have some more work for you to do. You're going to go and anoint the king of Syria Hazael, and there are 7,000 that haven't bowed the knee to Baal.'

Likewise with us, we may be alone, but there are people of God in many different places in the world that we don't even know about. We may know about some, but God is doing a greater work. When it happens that there is one of the separations, remember that God is going to bring those who love Him back together again.

"…I will say to the reapers, 'Gather the tares first, and bind them into bundles to burn them; but gather the wheat into my granary.'" (v 30). What is that?

We know that those who die in the faith are awaiting the resurrection. We also know that in Ecc. 12 that Solomon wrote, 'When a man dies the body goes back to dust and the spirit goes back to God.

So, a person could say, just reading the Old Testament and not having the New Testament, that they wouldn't know what a granary is. That's where you store all the grain. They wouldn't know what would happen to the spirit of man.

Hebrews 12:22—think about this when you pray: "But you have come to Mount Sion, and to the city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem; and to an innumerable company of angels; to the joyous festival gathering… [the Day of Pentecost] … and to the Church of the Firstborn…" (vs 22-23).

Christ the Firstborn in the flesh of Mary and the Firstborn from the dead, via the resurrection.

"…registered in the Book of Life in heaven; and to God, the Judge of all; and to the spirits of the just who have been perfected" (v 23).

So, the spirit of man with the Spirit of God when we die goes back to God, and He puts it in the granary.

We can stop and do a little adding on to this. This is for the first resurrection. Therefore, since there is a second resurrection—there are two phases of it—the resurrection of those who have not committed the unpardonable sin, and the resurrection of those who have committed the unpardonable sin. So, there must be a place where their spirits are also put into that particular granary, as Christ talks about in Matt. 13.

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Now let's see some of the other parables in Matt. 13; He gave quite a few parables here.

Matthew 13:31: "Another parable He presented to them, saying, 'The Kingdom of Heaven is compared to a tiny mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field; which indeed is very small among all the seeds; but after it is grown, it is greater than all the herbs, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of heaven come and roost in its branches'" (vs 31-32).

What's it going to be like? We're going to see that God is going to give us some fantastic and great things, and unbelievable responsibilities in the Kingdom of God.

Verse 33: "Another parable He spoke to them…" This is very hard for some people to grasp, so we're try to understand what it means:

"…'The Kingdom of Heaven is compared to leaven…" (v 33). During the days of Unleavened Bread leaven is compared to sin. Bit the Kingdom of Heaven is righteousness, joy and goodness, so why does Jesus compare it to leaven? There's a good aspect of leaven!

"…which a woman took and hid in three measures of flour until all was leavened" (v 33).

When you're making bread and you put the leaven in, it changes form. It rises or grows from the unseen work of the leaven. It's like a gas; you can't see it, likewise with the Spirit of God. You can't see the Spirit of God, but God has given you the Spirit of God. This leaven is the good leaven. This helps us answer one part of Lev. 23 concerning Pentecost. Let's see what they were to do on the 50th Day.

Leviticus 23:15: "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. Even unto the day after the seventh Sabbath you shall number fifty days. And you shall offer a new grain offering to the LORD" (vs 15-16).

Here's what they were to do, v 17: "You shall bring out of your homes two wave loaves of two tenth parts. They shall be of fine flour…."

Isn't it interesting that we're likened to flour beaten fine. What is that? That's the growing, overcoming and the resisting against the world; the trials, tribulations and afflictions that we go through! That is beaten into to fine character!

"…They shall be baked with leaven, they are the firstfruits to the LORD" (v 17)—the completed product!

When you make a loaf of bread and put it in the oven—that's like the oven of trials that we go through—it is baked, permanently changed. Before it's baked, after you let it rise, you can beat it down. But the leaven is still in there and it will rise again. But once it's baked, if you beat it down you will have nothing but crumbs.

This pictures our new spiritual existence! It doesn't mean that God accepts us because we have sin in our lives. The resurrection is going to remove all sin! So, this has to be the unseen work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Think about that for a minute: All the trials and all the difficulties that you have gone through, and will go through and experience.

Matthew 13:34: "Jesus spoke all these things to the multitudes in parables, and without a parable He did not speak to them; so that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, 'I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter things hidden from the foundation of the world'" (vs 34-35).

What we are talking about are things that God has planned from the foundation of the world! He has made it so that we will possess the earth with Christ during the Millennium, and live in New Jerusalem forever! Think about how great that is.

If you've got a trial, trouble or difficulty against you now, focus in on that and ask God to help you find a solution to the difficulty. He will! God always answers prayers!

Verse 36: "And after dismissing the multitude, Jesus went into the house. Then His disciples came to Him, saying, 'Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.' And He answered and said to them, 'The One Who sows the good seed is the Son of man; and the field is the world; and the good seed, these are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one. Now, the enemy who sowed them is the devil…'" (vs 36-39).

When we're coming to the end of the age, the devil is working big time! Big things are going to happen! It comes to what's going to happen to us. All the wicked are going to be burned up, then notice what Jesus says about us:

Verse 43: "Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father…."

What kind of glory will that be? The apostles got a glimpse of what it would be like to be a spirit being.

Matthew 17:1: "And after six days, Jesus took with Him Peter and James and his brother John, and brought them up into a high mountain by themselves."

These were the leading apostles of the twelve. Jesus wanted to have emblazoned in their minds this experience of the transfiguration so that they would always be faithful.

Unfortunately, James was beheaded (Acts 12). But both Peter and John refer to this very specifically concerning the Word of God and how it came together.

Verse 2: "And He was transfigured before them; and His face shined as the sun…" Just like it says that we're going to shine as the sun in the Kingdom of the Father!

"…and His garments became white as the light" (v 2). I don't know what kind of spiritual clothes we're going to have, or what our wardrobe will look like as spirit beings. I have no idea at all. I can imagine some things, but it just escapes trying to understand what it's going to be like wearing spiritual clothes, or rather clothes made out of spirit.

Verse 3: "Then behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah talking with Him." One is on the right hand and one is on the other hand!

But later what did James' and John's mother do? Lord, grant my sons can sit one on Your right hand and one on Your left hand! Jesus said, 'It's not Mine to give; the Father gives that.'

Verse 4: "And Peter answered and said to Jesus, 'Lord, it is good for us to be here. If You desire, let us make three tabernacles here: one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.'"

All of sudden human nature comes in there and wants to do something extra special for God!

Verse 5: "While he was speaking, a bright cloud suddenly overshadowed them; and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, 'This is My Son, the Beloved, in Whom I delight. Listen to Him!'"

How many times did Jesus say, 'The one who has an ear, let him hear'?

Verse 6: "And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces in extreme terror. But Jesus came and touched them, and said, 'Arise, and do not be terrified.' And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus alone. Now, as they were descending from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, 'Tell the vision to no one until the Son of man has risen from the dead'" (vs 6-9). That mystified James, Peter and John!

Verse 10: "Then His disciples asked Him, saying, 'Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?' And Jesus answered and said to them, 'Elijah shall indeed come first and restore all things. But I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him; but they did to him whatever they desired. In like manner also, the Son of man is about to suffer from them.' Then the disciples understood that He was speaking to them about John the Baptist" (vs 10-13).

That's what it means to shine like the sun in the Kingdom of our Father!

Matthew 13:44: "Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is compared to treasure hidden in a field; which when a man finds, he conceals, and for the joy of finding it, goes and sells everything that he has, and buys that field."

That's like saying that's how our lives need to be. The Kingdom of God to us is worth nothing compared to anything on the earth. It's like a great fantastic treasure! You talk about the splendor and glory that God is going to give to us! It's going to be greater than the treasures that we could even imagine.

  • Are we putting the maximum effort into attaining it?

That's what God wants to know!

  • Are we putting forth in loving God with all our heart, mind, soul and being?

That doesn't mean that we aren't going to sin and have difficulty! But we come to God and:

  • repent
  • change
  • grow
  • overcome

We are building that treasure!

Verse 47: Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is compared to a dragnet cast into the sea, gathering in every kind of fish; which after it was filled was drawn up on shore; and they sat down and collected the good into vessels, and the unfit they threw away" (vs 47-48).

Again, separating the righteous from the wicked! You see that all the way through in different parables in the Gospels.

Verse 49: "This is the way it will be in the end of the age… [all of the parables come down to the end of the age] …the angels shall go out, and shall separate the wicked from among the righteous."

What are the righteous going to be doing? The angels are going to be carrying them, resurrected and are going to take us up to the Sea of Glass! That's quite a thing! For the wicked:

Verse 50: "And shall cast them into the furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth." It's going to come!

  • the Kingdom of God is going to come
  • the righteousness of God is going to come
  • all the things we've ever studied and read about are going to come to pass exactly as Jesus said in the timing that He said

John 5—here Jesus talks about the resurrection, but also it shows us some very important lessons. Jesus healed a man on the Sabbath, told him take up his bedroll and go. The Pharisees and the religious authorities were astonished that he was walking. They asked, 'Who healed you?' I don't know! 'Why are carrying your bedroll?' The One Who healed me told me to carry it!

Later he found out that it was Jesus, and Jesus told him, 'Go and sin no more lest a worse thing come upon you.' Then he went to the authorities and said that it was Jesus Who healed him. They wanted to know why Jesus did this on the Sabbath. We know from other parables that Jesus showed that it was good to do good on the Sabbath. 'Can you heal, or do evil?' Heal! Nothing wrong with that!

John 5:17: "But Jesus answered them, 'My Father is working until now, and I work.'" God is always doing spiritual do good on the Sabbath Day!

  • Who comes into our midst with His Spirit?
  • Who gives us inspiration of God's Word?
  • Who helps us in teaching to teach the right things to the brethren?
  • God does!

That is a spiritual work! In addition to it physically He keeps the earth rotating on its axis and going around the sun. He keeps all the planets, all the universe upheld. So, 'He's working until now, and I work!'

Verse 18: "So then, on account of this saying, the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, not only because He had loosed the Sabbath, but also because He had called God His own Father, making Himself equal with God." That's God intent (John 10).

Verse 19: "Therefore, Jesus answered and said to them, 'Truly, truly I say to you, the Son has no power to do anything of Himself…'" Likewise with us!

How much power do we have to do anything other than what God does with us through His Holy Spirit. That's referring to things spiritual. We can do physical things. We can build, clean, draw, devise, work at computers, whatever. We can do those things, but we can't do anything spiritual and lasting without God. That's the whole lesson!

That's why on the Sabbath God gives us—with His work—what we need to learn, know and understand. Jesus is working!

"…'Truly, truly I say to you, the Son has no power to do anything of Himself, but only what He sees the Father do. For whatever He does, these things the Son also does in the same manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him everything that He Himself is doing….'" (vs 19-20).

Here's a great key. Remember what the greatest commandment is to love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength! That's a fulltime occupation. When we do, God gives us:

  • understanding of His Word
  • understanding how we need to live
  • understanding how we can overcome

Those all come as a result of it! These things don't happen automatically. We have to work. Christ is working and the Father is working; all of this is spiritual work.

"…And He will show Him greater works than these, so that you may be filled with wonder. For even as the Father raises the dead and gives life, in the same way also, the Son gives life to whom He will" (vs 20-21). That's an interesting statement!

He does the will of the Father! It's the will of the Father that He is doing, because God has shown it to Him.

Verse 22: "For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son"—because He became a human being!

He had to fight the pull of the law of sin and death, human nature, Satan the devil, and He knows all the difficulties that we go through. He suffered a most gruesome death in order to be that sacrifice for the sin of all mankind, and was raised from the dead to give us hope of eternal life.
Verse 23: "So that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. The one who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father Who sent Him. Truly, truly I say to you, the one who hears My Word…" (vs 23-24). We're hearing it, whatever the Word of God is here or anyplace!

"…and believes Him…" (v 24)—the Father. You have hear, know and believe! Believe means to keep and obey! It's not just 'I believe there's Jesus!' No! You believe that He's the Son of God, so you repent and are baptized!

"…Who sent Me, has everlasting life and does not come into judgment; for he has passed from death into life" (v 24). That judgment is referring to the judgment of the last day!

  • Our judgment is now!
  • The world's judgment is coming!
  • The judgment of the wicked will be the final into the Lake of Fire and the removal of Satan the devil forever!
  • it's important how we live
  • it's important how we love God
  • it's important how we love the brethren
  • it's important how we love our neighbor

Some of those things may be difficult to do sometimes! But nevertheless:

  • Does God still loves us even though we get difficult for God sometimes? Yes, indeed!
  • Does He lead us to repentance so we can change and overcome? Yes, indeed!

1-Peter 4:16: "Yet, if anyone is suffering as a Christian, he should not be ashamed; but let him glorify God because of this, for the time has come for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it first begins with us, what will be the end of those who do not obey the Gospel of God?…. [notice how we are saved]: …And if the righteous are saved with much difficulty… [yes, it is a difficult process] …what will become of the ungodly and the sinner? For this reason also, let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in well doing, as to a faithful Creator" (vs 16-19).

Let's see the hope of the resurrection we are looking to. It's good to go over these and understand how fantastic our calling and everything that we are doing really is. Sometimes we just get bogged down in the physical mundane things of doing this and that and the other thing. But keep this in mind, concerning God:

1-Peter 1:2: "Who have been chosen according to the predetermined knowledge of God the Father…" I want to think on that statement for a minute. You are part of that. God has:

  • called you
  • selected you
  • forgiven you
  • baptized you
  • given you the Holy Spirit

so that you can grow into a son or daughter of God!

"…by sanctification through the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you" (v 2).

Set aside everything and think on that! That grace and peace not be given, but multiplied over and over again! The greatest grace is going to be the resurrection.

Verse 3: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who, according to His abundant mercy, has begotten us again…"—because we were first begotten then born, and now we have to be begotten again with the Spirit of God to be born into the Kingdom of God, which tomorrow pictures.

"…unto a living hope… [active] …through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead" (v 3). Every word of God is God-breathed! That is fantastic for us to know and understand. When you read the Bible that will help you understand it even more, by a living hope through the resurrection of Christ!

Let's see what Jesus said, and see the blessing and promise that He has given. It's quite amazing when you look at the creation of God. Jesus is saying that the fantastic beautiful creation of God—the flowers and animals, the heavens, the earth and oceans and all that is in them—is nothing to be compared with what God is going to give us! That is awesome to believe. Think on that. The next time you go out on a starry night and look up at the stars and think: O God, You have made all of this for Your Family, for Your people, for Your everlasting Kingdom! You have called us to be a part of it; what a magnificent thing!

Luke 12:27: "Consider the lilies, how they grow; they do not labor, nor do they spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory was adorned like one of these. But if God so adorns the grass that today is in the field, and tomorrow is cast into an oven, how much more shall He clothe you, O you of little faith?" (vs 27-28). Those are some powerful words!

Verse 29: "Then do not be seeking what you shall eat or what you shall drink, and do not be anxious. For all the nations of the world seek after these things; and your Father knows that you have need of these things. But seek the Kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you. Do not be afraid, little flock…" (vs 29-32).

  • yes, we're few
  • yes, we're scattered
  • yes, the world hardly knows anything about us

But one day they're going to know a whole lot about all the saints of God down through the history of all the earth at the resurrection! We are going to be the alien invaders to attack the earth. That's what they're going to think of us at the resurrection.

"…for your Father delights in giving you the kingdom" (v 32).

Verse 35: "Let your loins be girded about and your lamps burning."

Remember the parable of the 10 virgins; five wise/five foolish. The foolish didn't take any oil in their containers, but the wise did. They all slumbered and slept because they all had their own problems. The foolish did not prepare! The foolish did not react to God with full vigor and energy and everything that they have to love and serve God and let God build the character in them:

  • through the difficulties that they have in their lives
  • through overcoming and changing
  • through prayer and study

Verse 36: "And you yourselves be like men who are waiting for their lord, whenever he shall return from the wedding feast; so that when he comes and knocks, they may immediately open to him…. [that's the resurrection] …Blessed are those servants whom the lord, when he comes, shall find watching…." (vs 36-37).

Not only watching prophecy, but more importantly, watching your own life and how you're living, and what you need to do.

"…Truly I say to you, he will gird himself, and will make them sit down, and will come and serve them" (v 37). That will probably be sometime during the wedding feast of the Lamb! Think about that!

Verse 38: "And if he comes in the second watch, or comes in the third watch, and finds them watching, blessed are those servants. But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. Now you, therefore, be ready; for the Son of man is coming in an hour that you do not think" (vs 38-40).

I imagine that when the resurrection takes place, those who were from the first century onward through many centuries, they will probably ask the angel, 'How long has it been since Jesus left the earth? How long have I been in the grave?' 200 years, 800 years, 1,000 years, 1,400 years! 'Really?' Yes! He said that He would come at time we wouldn't think, and they all died before it ever happened. 'Here we are being taken up to the Sea of Glass by the angels.'

Imagine the conversation you could have with an angel if it's your own personal angel. You'd probably say, 'Remember that time that I was in the car wreck, or fell off the horse, or whatever thing happened, and I was able to survive.' The angel will say I was there to help you! 'Really, you were there, I didn't see you.' I was there! Imagine that conversation. That's going to be something! Be ready!

Verse 41: "Then Peter said to Him, 'Lord, are You speaking this parable to us only, or also to all?'" He didn't even know what that statement meant! He had no idea that it would be nearly 2,000 years before He would return.

Verse 42: "And the Lord said, 'Who then is the wise and faithful steward…'" We're all stewards; someone who takes care of someone else's property to make a profit for them. That's what we are to do with the Word of God and the brethren.

"…whom the lord shall put in charge of his household, to give to each one the portion of food in season? Blessed is that servant whom the lord, when he comes, shall find so doing" (vs 42-43). That has to be our attitude continually!

Verse 44: "Of a truth, I tell you, he will set him over all his possessions."

Verse 32: "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father delights in giving you the kingdom."

Quite a thing! It's very humbling to really think, to kind of let it really sink in. It's hard to sink in—we have to think on it quite a few times—that God has made all of this for His Family. He's going to give it to all of us IF we remain faithful!

Verse 45: "But if that servant shall say in his heart, 'My lord delays his coming'…"

That's exactly what happened exactly after John died. The apostasy came in and took over! They said:

He's not coming! He's delaying His coming! Look, you all expected Him to be here, and for John not to die until Christ came. But John died, and look, there's been 20 years since he died. Now things have changed and they're a whole lot better. We keep Sunday and we don't have to worry about being thought of as being Jews any longer.

That was quite a thing that took place!

"…and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidservants, and to be gluttonous and become drunk" (v 45). The hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church!

Look at all the Protestant ministers that you see on TBN that have got to have 1, 2, 3 and even one man said, 'I need four jets!' Whoa!

Notice what's going to happen, v 46: "The lord of that servant will come in a day that he does not expect, and in an hour that he does not know, and will cut him asunder, and will appoint his portion with the unbelievers."

Those are quite some warnings! We have to endure, not only in prophecy through Day 49, but to day 50 so we'll be part of the resurrection!

Verse 47: "And that servant who knew the will of his lord, but did not prepare, nor did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes."

I don't know what that means, but I don't want to be resurrected and be beaten! This may have other implications than what we think of here.

Verse 48: "But the one who did not know, and did things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For to whomever much has been given…"

Think about that; think about everything that we have. We've had a lot given to us! We do not need to take the Laodicean way of saying, 'I'm rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing!' BANG! God is going to intervene and do some correction!

Whatever we have and whatever we have done, that means we've been working and producing. But we cannot say, 'Look at all we have done! How great we are!' NO! All that has been done is because of the Spirit of God! In our lives to change, grow and overcome, to learn the way of God.

"…For to whomever much has been given, from him shall much be required; and to whom much has been committed, from him they will demand the more" (v 48).

Verse 32: "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father… [the One Who rules the whole universe] …delights in giving you the kingdom."
Scriptural References:

  • Exodus 23:12-19
  • Leviticus 23:9-11, 15
  • 1 Corinthians 15:11-23
  • James 1:17-18
  • Matthew 13:37-38, 10-30
  • Hebrews 12:22-23
  • Matthew 13:31-33
  • Leviticus 23:15-17
  • Matthew 13:34-39, 43
  • Matthew 17:1-13
  • Matthew 13:44, 47-50
  • John 5:17-24
  • 1 Peter 4:16-19
  • 1 Peter 1:2-3
  • Luke 12:27-32, 35-44, 32, 45-48, 32

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Exodus 34
  • Revelation 14; 1
  • John 4
  • Matthew 13:9
  • 1 Samuel 15
  • Ecclesiastes 12
  • Acts 12
  • John 10

Transcribed: 4/22/19

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