Plus A Difficult Section of Scripture

Fred R. Coulter—July 23, 2022

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Greetings, everyone! Welcome to Sabbath services!

News on the James Webb Telescope:

The other night I was watching the science channel and it was quite amazing because after looking at those pictures from the James Webb Telescope they had a whole program on how they made the telescope. It was really, really interesting on what they had to do.

They couldn't make one big mirror, so they made lot of octagons and they all fit together. They could fold back the ones on the outside, because they had to have a certain dimension for this to get into the rocket to send it up into outer space. They did that and they had to polish the mirrors on this telescope so finely, and it had to be within less than the width of a human hair in perfect matching, so when they opened up the mirrors they would all match.

This is a one-time thing that they had to do, so this was a big, big deal. It was really amazing! Then they had to have a shield to shield it from the sun so it wouldn't overheat. They had to design a special material, and they started this two years after the Hubble Telescope, so they've been working on it a long, long time!

What they had to do with this shield is have a special material made and then they had to make five different shields to keep the heat from getting into the telescope. They had space between them. That was facing the sun.

The reason that they did the James Webb Telescope was because with the Hubble Telescope way out there someplace where is was supposed to be really dark and nothing there was little tiny blip of light that they could magnify and see that there was something out there from the Hubble. This is why they had to make the James Webb.

They got all of the key scientists and those who really study it, the astronomers and everybody. They had quite a team and it took years to build it. When they shipped it, they had to send it to South America so it could be sent off on a French launch pad but the reason is because if you launch it from there, the earth near the equator is traveling faster and it gives an extra boost to the rocket going off. It had to be perfect, because they only made one telescope.

So, it worked out and now they are absolutely astonished as to what is out there in space. I tell you what, I had Jonathan put it on my laptop so I could look at them. I could zoom in and look at a smaller part and it's amazing!

I think that we get so bogged down in our daily lives and problems that we don't really grasp the greatness of what God is doing and our calling in relationship to that.

None of us want to die, but we're all going to die! All of us want to live forever, but we don't know what it's going to be like to live forever! When you see all of the fantastic things that God has made out there in the universe, and even with this they don't know how expansive that the universe is.

This is why that every once in a while we need to start out at the beginning. We need to understand where it tells us in Gen. 1: In the beginning God made the heavens." Full stop! He made that first.

Other parts of the Bible tells us that after that He made the angels. When we come to Job 38 when God was correcting Job and asking him:

Where were you when I laid the foundations of the Earth, and all of the sons of God sang for joy?

Those are the angels! So, we have that, and the angels were on the earth. Then we go clear to Rev. 12 where there's a rebellion and Satan takes a third of the angels with him.

Then we come back to Gen. 1 again, and it says that God made the Earth. He first made it for the angels. When they rebelled….

Sidebar: Some people in the Church believe that the angels lived on Mars. But nobody knows what happened to the atmosphere on Mars. They know that it has water under the surface and they can tell that it was on the surface, too. But they have yet to really have a sample of Mars' water. About the only way they're going to get it is with a robot, because human beings can't live on Mars.

After the angels rebelled, God flooded the world. That's why it says:

Genesis 1:2: "…the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters"—which was covering the Earth.

We don't know what kind of war that they had between God and the angels of God and Lucifer and the angels as related in Rev. 12.

All of this is a good lesson that you have to have different parts of the Bible and put them together to get the full story.

The same thing with us that we're going to go through today.


Let's see what Jesus said about the end-time, and what God is doing. Sometimes we read these things and go over them so fast that we don't grasp the true meaning of it, or how much is involved.

Luke 18:7: "And shall not God execute vengeance for His elect…"

What does it mean to be an elect? That means that you were personally selected by God. This comes from the Greek 'eklektos'—which means to select!

Think about that! Here we are not very many. All of you on the live steam think about that God had personally selected you! That's quite a thing!

"…who cry out to Him day and night…" (v 7).

What does this tell you? If you're crying out to God day and night, that means you are thinking on Him all the time! You're praying day and night!

The longer that you're in the Church and the more that you pray and study, and the more that you realize the weakness of your own human nature, and the sinfulness of human nature, what are you going to be doing even when you're wide awake and doing different things during the day? You're going to cry out to God to help you!

"…and patiently watch over them?" (v 7).

How does God watch over us? He's got His Spirit in us! He has angels to protect us! So, God is taking care of us! It doesn't matter where we are on the earth, and it doesn't matter what the circumstances may be, God is with us because He's in us. He's watching over us and He is patiently helping us to overcome!

Verse 8: "I tell you that He will execute vengeance for them speedily…."

What is the final vengance, and we—all who are in the first resurrection—will see it? The seven last plagues! That will happen speedily!

Think about this; think about all of those who were executed for their belief, beheaded, run through with sword and spears. How we're going to cheer God in executing His vengeance upon Satan, the demons, his armies and those of the world. Then when that's done, Christ is going to bring us back to the earth and we are going take over the world.

It's important to keep that in mind because of the way things are in the world today. Let me tell you what it's like. They run this survey every once in a while. This is the Barna Survey:

Fewer in the U.S. Now View the Bible as the Literal Word of God—by Frank Newport, July 6, 2022

They're taught in school that you don't have to believe the Bible, it's full of lies and myths. The reason that people think that it's full of lies is because God had a special way of writing it so they have to search it out. Only God can give the understanding of what to do.

Gallup's biblical literacy question is asked of the entire U.S. adult population. This includes people who identify with religions outside of the Christian tradition…

That may mean Buddhist, Islam, Confucius, or a religious philosophy. Now here's the result:

…about 9% of adult Americans in Gallup's latest estimates. Plus, the sample includes those who do not have any specific religious identity at all, almost all of whom do not believe that the Bible is literally true.

Here's what it is:

The majority of Christians (58%) say the Bible is the inspired word of God but not everything in it is to be taken literally, while 25% say it should be interpreted literally and 16% say it is an ancient book of fables.

More granularly, 30% of Protestants say that the Bible is literally true, compared with 15% of Catholics. Almost two-thirds of Catholics choose the alternative that the Bible is the inspired word of God, but every word should not be taken literally.

What they are told in church—Protestant or Catholic—that it doesn't mean this, or doesn't mean that. What have they said of the Holy Days? These are ritual days and the rituals are no longer required! They don't understand.

…Almost two-thirds of Catholics choose the alternative that the Bible is the inspired word of God, but every word should not be taken literally.

As was the case in 2017, belief in a literal Bible is highest among those who are more religious and among those with less formal education….

In other words, if you're really educated you're so smart that you don't need God. Well, wait until God shows up and we'll see how smart you are.

…Americans who identify as evangelical or born again are much more likely than others to view the Bible as literally true…

Why don't you keep the Sabbath?

I know that there are some people out there who keep the Sabbath and listen to what we have to say, but some of them don't like me coming after the Protestants so hard on the Sabbath question because they think it will drive them away. Well, how else are they going to come? Not everything is intended to bring people to church, because a lot of it is a witness!

Now today, at this time in this age where we have the Bible correct, we've got the whole Bible. How many have it on their smart-phone? Well everybody in this room has it on their smart-phone. Can you get the Bible any closer to you than having it in your hand? You can't get in any closer! If you have it on your smart phone, do you read it?

I think you will see why God inspired the Christian Biblical Church of God to do the Bible. We didn't know it was going to be like today and going further down the road more people being against God. When you get into it, you can easily prove that the Bible is true. The more that you study it, the more that becomes true.

…although even among this group, the percentage believing in a literal Bible is well less than 50%.

Back to the Protestants and the Sabbath, especially those who go to church:

  • Do you have the Bible? Yes!
  • Do you use it at Sunday-keeping church? Yes!
  • Do you use all of it? No!
  • Does your pastor know that the seventh-day is the Sabbath Day, but makes an excuse so you can continue on Sunday? Yes!

So, you also have a lot of those who are pastors do not really believe the Bible themselves! That's why Jesus says, when He comes:

Luke 18:8: "…Nevertheless, when the Son of man comes, shall He find the true faith on the earth?" Well, only with the true brethren of God!

Bible Questions & Answers:

Q—The Tree of Life and The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil

God prevented anyone to partake of the Tree of Life after the fall of Adam & Eve because they said they would live forever. As the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil ingested the seed of sin into their bodies.

No, actually God put it there!

It's called by Paul, 'The law of sin and death'; meaning that once you reject God, which is what Adam & Eve did right in His face! Worse than other human being on the face of the earth, because they were created by God. For them to take their free moral agency after they were educated up to that point…

You know that God never does anything unless He gives a warning, which He did—don't eat of it—and unless He gives enough instruction that they understand so they will know what to do and what not to do.

They chose, by free moral agency, to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, because of their own desire to be like God, Satan's way! That's what happened!

Does this imply a seed of life?

No, we have life because of the spirit of man! James writes:

James 2:26: "For as the body without the spirit is dead, in the same way also, faith without works is dead."

Today, because the spirit operates in us, as we would say, 'bio-electronically'! They can measure when the brain is working. You can see that, and down below you can see the heart beating on the screen. When a person dies, both of them flat-line, and the spirit goes back to God!

  • it's going to be for the first resurrection if you're faithful
  • it's for the second resurrection if you have not committed the unpardonable sin
  • IF you've committed unpardonable sin, the second part of the second resurrection for the Lake of Fire

Remember what we covered about Lazarus and the rich man. He was in the grave when he saw the fire. He wasn't in the fire burning in hell.

If you don't have the knowledge of the Holy Days for the timing of the events that take place with Lazarus and the rich man in Luke 16, you will never understand the parable of Lazarus and the rich man because it appears to be quite rapid and succession.

But that is not true (the burning in hell). That's how God has written the Bible. That why we are to search the Scriptures daily to understand the Scriptures and know what the Sabbath and the Holy Days mean, because those are the critical keys in understanding the Word of God.

Q—It has always seemed to me that the time between Adam's creation and Eve was not on the sixth day.

It was on the sixth day; God had Adam created early. Think about this: He put a language in both of them. How are you going to communicate with God if you have nothing in your mind/brain? How is He going to communicate with you?

We don't know what the language was that Adam and Eve had. Some people say that it's Hebrew. Well, it may not have been Hebrew, it may have been something entirely different. Just because the Old Testament is written in Hebrew doesn't mean that it was the Hebrew language. The Hebrew that is written in the Bible is a way later invention far removed from the creation.

They had intelligence, language, personal knowledge of God teaching them, and they knew what God said, 'Don't eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

Q—Did the animals talk

We don't know. They put a movie on that, Talk to the Animals and had a nice little song with it. You get something like that, which is very cute.

Let's project that forward to today. Here is a study lesson for you: not in the Bible, but television. I want you watch the ads and if you watch them you are going to see a lot occult and satanism; animals talking and minions popping up. All of those things are satanic; the way that Satan brings these in is with humor!

Q—What is the exact timing and/or chronology based on Scripture for the end of the Millennium and the second resurrection and Great White Throne Judgment and the 100-year Scripture?

Rev. 20—God does not give us a chronology here and we don't know exactly what the timing is. But when you come to the end of the thousand years, Satan is loosed again. We will explain that on days 7 & 8 of the Feast of Tabernacles.

We know in vs 4-6 that the first resurrection comes on Pentecost, we're all taken to a Sea of Glass; then on Trumpets we all come back to the earth, Satan is removed and Millennium begins. Exactly when that's going to take place, we don't know.

Revelation 20:7: "Now, when the thousand years have been completed, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison; and he shall go out to deceive the nations that are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog…" (vs 7-8). That geographical!

If it were the people God would be a respecter of persons and not let Gog and Magog have any entrance into the Kingdom of God. That's probably (speculation) what we call Siberia today.

"…of whom the number is as the sand of the sea…" (v 3)—showing that all during the Millennium—and we will see when we come to it during the Feast of Tabernacles—the sinner will die at a 100-years-old! If they die, they have to be buried.

And the ones who sin in the Millennium and die a sinner will be awaiting the resurrection to the Lake of Fire. Those who are still alive at the end of the Millennium will be alive and God will let Satan go up and deceive them.

  • What's the first thing that he does?
  • What's he the master of doing? War! Killing!

But he can never to it as good as God!

So, he's going to the same thing he's always done. When he's turned loose on those in Gog and Magog he going to say:

I am the true God and the God that put you out here, He's not! Now let me tell you something: I know that Jerusalem is the central control of earth is. Since there are no defenses around it, what we're going to do is prepare a grand battle. We're going to make weapons and go down and encircle Jerusalem and take it over, and we will rule the world!

  • Isn't that always Satan's goal? Yes!
  • What do you think he's doing today with the new world order?

Verse 9: "Then I saw them go up upon the breadth of the earth and encircle the camp of the saints, and the beloved city; and fire came down from God out of heaven and consumed them."

That's their first death! Those right there under that have already been burned with fire, so, it's very likely that they will not be raised back to a second physical life to die again, because they have already died. That is a unique thing right at the end.

Verse 10: "And the Devil, who deceived them, was cast into the Lake of Fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet had been cast; and they, Satan and the demons… [it's plural in the Greek; they, not he, so that has to include the demons] …shall be tormented day and night into the ages of eternity."

Then we have the resurrection of the incorrigible wicked; they're burned up in the Lake of Fire.

Q—I have a quick question for you, I've heard people say that our children are being called; they refer to Acts 2:39.

I grew up in WCG but didn't feel like I was being called until I was almost 30. Does the Scripture mean that our children are being called? or Does it mean that they are set apart?

Being called is being called to eternal life! Children growing up are set apart and God places angels about them to watch over them. There's a difference. Being called to eternal life means you have to answer the call and then God selects you. Then you're baptized and receive the Holy Spirit.

How many that have been in WCG and with the breakup of it, I don't know how many are going to come along. I don't know how many have rejected God altogether. I don't know how many got so turned off that they won't trust any Church of God ever. Who knows? I've seen the whole mixture, so it's a difficult question to answer.

Q—What started you to let us ask different questions about the Bible?

Because a lot of people ask questions about the Bible! What I do every day, my first task, is to go to the office and I have a little desk in the main office, and I have separate private office. I have a stack of e-mails, all kinds: reports like the one I read earlier, and every once in a while I have someone sending something like a 100-page document and say, 'Would you look at this, please, and tell me something about it.'

So, I have to take my time on those. Some are so ludicrous that I don't even answer those thick ones. But I take all of those questions and when I go to my private office I answer them the day that they come in, and you should get an e-mail the next day.

If I miss you then you can send it in again. But what prompted me to do these questions was that we had a good number of questions and I felt that it would be good for everyone to get the answer.

Q—In the Bible does a day mean a year?

Yes! Num. 14—because they refused to go into the land and the 12 spies were sent in for 40 days. God said that you're going to wander for 40 years in the wilderness until all of those who didn't believe Joshua, Caleb and God died. That's where we get a day for a year.

I read in Rev. 11:9 three and a half days.

That's the two witnesses lying in the street for 3-1/2 days. You know that couldn't be 3-1/2 years, so sometimes it means a day and sometimes, in prophecy, it means a year. Also there are times that a day means longer than a year, because God is extending that. So, it covers all of it.

Q—I was reading Matt. 24 but I was not sure what the word 'her' was in v 29.

Matthew 24:29: "But immediately after the Tribulation of those days, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give herlight, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken."

That's not referring to a person, because in the Greek the moon has gender designation that's feminine. So instead of it it's her. All of those who believe in the 'old man in the moon' it's a wonder that none of them believe of 'the old woman in the moon.'

Another example: Jesus said—Jesus is masculine: 'ho Christos' and if it's Jesus Christ it is 'ho Christos, ho Iesous'—masculine.

John 14:6: "Jesus said to him, 'I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life...'"

All three of those nouns that are adjectival nouns describing a quality of Jesus are feminine: the Way, the Truth and the Life! Does that make Jesus a woman? No!

Sometimes if you don't understand what the Greek is all about, you will thing, 'I wonder what her means here. That means the moon!

Q—I walked into the Michigan capitol building and saw Ten Commandments, which are re-worded.

What's the greatest sin of human beings? Telling God what to do! If you don't believe that, go on Church at Home [} and look up the segments that I did on: Have You Forgotten God?  about: Can a man tell God what to do?

The bottom line is that if we tell God what to do, and He obeys us then we're God! God is not going to do that. That's why we always ask may when we pray, or let when we pray. Then God makes the decision!

I look in The Holy Bible in It's Original Order and it has right version of the Ten Commandments. Thank you for doing that!

Q—Hope you and the team are all well. Regarding what you mentioned on the removal of tattoos.

This says that it can be removed; it's a little painful. I feel sorry for those people that have tattoos all over them.

My granddaughter has a large tattoo on her back and has this slowly removed. Slowly because the treatment is very expensive, so she has to save up for it. It's extremely painful but every treatment only lasts a few seconds. Indeed, the tattoo is about half gone.

So, it's possible! The Bible says in Num. 19 not to have tattoos. Some tattoos, I don't know how they do it, but they do it with some kind of needle so that when I heals it's like a bead of skin, only it's dark. I don't know what they do. So much for tattoos.

Q—Thank you for your answers. I've been attending the Church of God since 1965. We got the Law of Righteousness—many times self-righteousness—but we missed a lot of mercy and loving kindness issues.

That's true!

Someone wrote me that some people are disrespecting elders; could you say something about respecting elders?

Here's the problem. You can tell people to respect the elder, but if the elder is not doing things that brings about respect, you can't demand it.

If they're just hostile and against the elder, that's a different question. But the way that an elder has respect is rightly handles the Word of God and gives good advice to the brethren, and does not make the brethren his servants or lackeys. When my family was growing up I never let anybody carry in my briefcase or carry in where we had one of the children in a carrier as an infant and they would sleep; we would also carry it in ourselves.

I know people will be well-meaning, but then it gets down to being 'sycophantish.' What do I mean by that? You have the hovering 'expectating' deacons hoping to be ordained, out there looking for the minister and his wife to help bring them in and to do this and that for the elder so that they will be ordained a deacon.

What you have is the sycophants: 'yes sir, no sir, mister, mister'! So, I didn't let them do it, and I didn't let them call me 'mister'! To this day I still don't!


Q—What do you think of the Ethiopian Bible with 84 books?

Well, I don't read Ethiopian, but I wouldn't trust it with 84 books! They probably have a lot of their own writings in there, as well.

Difficult Section of Scripture:

We're going to look at a very difficult section of Scripture to try and figure out the correct time-setting. Let's look at this and see what we actually have.

Acts 20:1: "When the tumult was over…in Ephesus] …Paul called the disciples to him and embraced them; then he left to go into Macedonia."

Get a Bible map and see where Ephesus is and then you have to go quite a ways before you get to Troas so you can go to Macedonia. Or you have to go from Ephesus down to the Port of Ephesus that they had at that time, and you could sail across from there to Macedonia. So, Paul went alone!

Who is writing this? Luke! It's not Paul when he says, 'I went to Macedonia.' Let's keep that in mind.

Verse 2: "And after passing through those parts and exhorting them with much speaking, he came to Greece." Came back down south and that's done there to Corinth, Athens and so forth!

Verse 3: "Now, after he had been there for three months, he was going to sail to Syria.…" That's from Greece straight across over to Syria!

"…But when he learned that the Jews were lying in wait for him, he decided to return through Macedonia" (v 3).

Came from the south and go up north and across to Troas, which is up where the Dardanelles down a little farther to the Black Sea.

Verse 4: "And these accompanied him as far as Asia: Sopater a Berean; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and of Derbe Gaius and Timothy; and of Asia Tychicus and Trophimus. These went on ahead and waited for us in Troas" (vs 4-5).

What do we have here so far? Three distinct traveling groups!

  • usLuke
  • Paul who was alone
  • the we in v 6

Verse 6: "But we sailed away from Philippi… [over in Macedonia] …after the Days of Unleavened Bread; and in five days… [total of 12 days] …we came to them at Troas, where we stayed for seven days." So, you have 19 days here!

This next verse becomes the problem; v 7:"Now, on the first day of the weeks…"

  • What is that? The KJV says, "the first day of the week" but that's a wrong translation.
  • What does "first day of the weeks…" mean? It plural in the Greek!
  • What is "…the first day of the weeks…? The Wave Sheaf Offering Day!
  • How can that be 19 days after?
  • How do we figure this?

We will figure it in just a little bit!

Remember that you have Paul who traveled alone. He had some people go with him to Syria from Greece. But he went up to Macedonia and then he has those five (v 4) with him and they stayed in Troas for Luke's party to come and join them.

So, they didn't leave until after Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Wave Sheaf Offering Day during Unleavened Bread, the first day of the week. If they left after the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and they came in five days and stayed seven days, there are 12 days after the Feast of Unleavened Bread, plus how many days before the Wave Sheaf Offering Day?

Verse 4: "And these accompanied him [Paul] as far as Asia." That is to Troas!

They stayed there and waited for Luke's group to come. Now you have three groups of people:

  • Paul alone
  • Paul for a little while with these other men who went with him, but stayed to wait for Luke
  • Luke

Here in v 7 we find Paul alone; no one is with him. Let's see what happened, because Paul was there for quite a while.

Verse 7: "Now, on the first day of the weeks… [that's what it is in the Greek] …when the disciples had assembled to break bread, Paul preached to them; and because he was going to leave in the morning, he continued speaking until midnight. And there were many lamps in the upper room where they were assembled. And there sat in the window a certain youth named Eutychus, who was overpowered by deep sleep after Paul had been speaking for a long time; and he fell down from the third story, and was taken up dead" (vs 7-9).

Verse 10: "But Paul went down and laid himself on him, and embraced him, and said, 'Do not be anxious, for his life is in him.' And after he [Paul] got up again, and had broken bread and eaten, and talked for a long time, even until daybreak, and thus, he departed" (vs 10-11).

Verse 12: "And they brought in the boy alive, and were greatly comforted. Then we… [the group up here after the 7 days and the 5 days, after Unleavened Bread] …went on ahead to the ship and sailed to Assos, there intending to take in Paul … [who was alone] …for he had so appointed, since he himself was going on foot. And after he met with us at Assos…" (vs 12-14).

What do we have here? They're on a ship! You have the first group that came over with Paul, but they stayed in Troas waiting for the second group with Luke to come after the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Then Paul—when he left that group in Troas—had to take the ship down to Assos and go over to where the brethren were. Paul was there beginning with the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

His staying there was taken up by travel and by staying there with the brethren where he was speaking.

The way that we understand it is that Luke was the one who was doing the writing. Did he really mean the first day of the weeks? or Was this just the first day of the week?

Let's come back to Luke 23 and we can begin to unravel it. Let's come to Appendix J (pg 1280) Three nights and three days. Why is this important? Because this will help us define the day! It's the 3 days and 3 nights of Jesus in the tomb and the resurrection after the 3 days and 3 nights.

Looking at the charts:

Jesus was crucified on a Wednesday, middle of the week. What does the chart show? See the 3 shaded areas! Three nights and three days!

You have to put some other Scriptures together to understand about when Jesus died.

  • When did Jesus die?
  • What does it say?

The ninth hour[transcriber's correction] He was crucified (at the third hour), so He was on the cross six hours. Then at the time He died the ninth hour and then what happened. Joseph of Arimathea went and asked for the body. Jesus died; He was dead. Joseph was to take Him down off the cross, which he did and Nicodemus helped him.'

Two things concerning the third day:

  • the 'only sign I'm going to give you is the sign of Jonah.'
  • the Son of Man is going to be crucified, but He will rise the third day.

We've got three days, but He was to be dead for three days and three nights.

After three days, at the end of it He was raised from the dead. But He was still in the tomb. He had to be 'in the heart of the earth' for three days and three night. So, you have three days and three nights running parallel. He died, then came three days and three nights to where it's three in the afternoon. That's when He was resurrected from the dead.

But He had to stay in the tomb for three days and three nights, which runs from sunset to sunset. What all Jesus did when He was in the tomb, we don't know. He was probably praying to God, thanking Him and so forth. We know that in the morning when Peter and John went in there, they saw the linen where Jesus was all wrapped up, it was still there and separately was the napkin that covered His face folded! What does that tell you?

All you women who have to do laundry, wouldn't you love it if all the clothes would fold themselves.

So, Jesus had to have been alive, taken off the handkerchief that was on His face and folded it up and set it separately.

Then as soon as the sun was going down, Jesus must have left the tomb. He had to be there three days and three nights. So, He died at 3 o'clock, Joseph of Arimathea got the body, Nicodemus came and they wrapped Jesus according the custom of the Jews and then they put Him in the tomb right as the day was ending. Then they rolled a big stone in front of it.

That started the three days and three nights that Jesus would be dead, going back to when He died on the cross, and it started the three days and three nights that He would be in the 'heart of the earth' Running parallel and overlapping.

Luke 23:51: "(He [Joseph] did not consent to the council and their deed) from Arimathea, a city of the Jews, and who was also himself waiting for the Kingdom of God. He, after going to Pilate, begged for the body of Jesus. And after taking it down, he wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb hewn in a rock, in which no one had ever been laid. Now, it was a preparation day, and a Sabbath was coming on" (vs 51-54).

What was that? The preparation day for the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread was the Passover Day!

Verse 54: "Now, it was a preparation day, and a Sabbath was coming on"

There's no definite article there in the Greek. Is not the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread called a Sabbath. The first day you shall have a Sabbath and the seventh day you shall have a Sabbath—not the Sabbath. So this definitely in the Greek shows that it was a Sabbath that was coming on.

Verse 55: "And the women also, who had come with Him from Galilee, followed and saw the tomb, and how His body was laid." The first Holy Day Sabbath was coming on.

Verse 56: "And they returned to the city, and prepared spices and ointments…"

Here's where the confusion comes, they didn't do them on the Sabbath. But in the week that Jesus was crucified what do we have:

Wednesday was the Passover Day, a preparation for the Thursday Sabbath, then we have Friday, the preparation day for the weekly Sabbath.

"…and then rested on the Sabbath…"—a different day, which shows that they did the spices on Friday. So, you've got:

  • a Sabbath
  • the Sabbath

Luke 24:1: "Now, on the first day of the weeks…"

Greek: 'mia ton sabbaton' meaning first the Sabbaths (plural).

  • What is that? The Wave Sheaf Offering Day! It's the first day of the weeks!
  • Who wrote this? Luke did!
  • Have you ever heard of a Sunday called the Sabbath?

It's not calling it the Sabbath, it's the first day of the weeks or the Sabbaths! That means that it was the first day of counting toward Pentecost. The first day of the week was not the resurrection like the world believes. The first day of the week is when Jesus ascended to the Father.

We find in Mark, Luke and John the same writing and same word 'ton sabbaton' for the day.

John 20:1: "Now, on the first day of the weeks, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb; and she saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb."

Verse 11: "But Mary stood outside the tombweeping; and as she wept, she stooped down and looked into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white who were sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been laid. And they said to her, 'Woman, why are you weeping?' She said to them, 'Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.' And after saying these things, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, 'Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?' Thinking that He was the gardener, she said to Him, 'Sir, if you have carried Him off, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away'" (vs 11-15).

This verse also tells us something else. As a spirit being you can change what you look like so no one will recognize you. Didn't He do this with the two that were walking to Amos? Yes, Jesus talked with them and they didn't know that it was Jesus till after they were sitting down and ready to eat! He broke the bread and gave it to them after He had given thanks. Then what did He do? He disappeared and they couldn't find him! A spirit being is able to do that.

Verse 16: "Jesus said to her, 'Mary.' Turning around… [she saw Him; He had made Himself appear like Jesus] …she said to Him, 'Rabboni'; that is to say, 'Teacher.' Jesus said to her, 'Do not touch Me, because I have not yet ascended…'" (vs 16-17).

Doesn't say not yet resurrected. When was He resurrected? After three days and three nights in the tomb in the late afternoon on the regular Sabbath, after being crucified on a Wednesday! He had to stay in the tomb until the day ended, because He said that He would be in the tomb three days and three nights. He was put into the tomb just before sundown, so He had to stay in the tomb after being resurrected at about 3pm until there was sunset, about 6pm. Then He could leave.

Where do you suppose He went? Probably to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray!  Probably prayed all night, rehearsing everything and thanking God:

  • thanking Him because He was faithful
  • thanking Him that He resurrected Him from the dead
  • grateful that He was able to get through the crucifixion
  • thanking Him that He was able to live a perfect life and become the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world

That was a fantastic time between God the Father and Jesus Christ! Same way with the day of ascension.  There's no place in the Bible that tells us to celebrate the day of ascension. Why? Because that was a special day between God the Father and Jesus Christ on that day until He was accepted!

Here Mary saw Him before He ascended, so He said:

"…'Do not touch Me, because I have not yet ascended to My Father. But go to My brethren and tell them that I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God'" (v 17).

So, Mary Magdalene went and did it. Then He ascended to the Father, came back and walked with the two disciples to Emmaus  and then came and suddenly appeared in the midst of where the disciples were.

Jesus had to be accepted on the Wave Sheaf Offering Day, which was the first day during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Back to Acts 20; Where did Paul go after he left those who had accompanied him to Troas? This was way before the Feast of Unleavened Bread because the first day of the unleaveneds or the first day of the weeks—they're both called that—has to be on a Sunday during Unleavened Bread.

So, Paul gets there with his group and leaves them. Then he immediately goes down to where the disciples were. This event in Acts 20:7 took place on the first day of the weeks! So, Paul went separately down there for this. Then he went to Assos and how he waited there for the rest of them to come we're not told.

Paul had to leave his group, which we saw, and go down to where the disciples were and he was with them before the days of Unleavened Bread probably and starting into the days of Unleavened Bread, so they had to have the Passover there, because you have the first day of the weeks, which is the ascension day, which can only be after the Passover, and can only be on the first day of the week!

You have to understand that there were three groups:

  • Paul and his group
  • Paul alone after His group left
  • Luke and his group who stayed back in Philippi and stayed there until after the days of Unleavened Bread

Then they came to Troas and stayed there five days.

Then both groups—the group that Paul left there and the group with Luke—got together and got on a ship and came down to Assos where Paul met them. That's the only way that you can straighten out the chronology there. Otherwise you have the first day of the weeks over 20 days after the Wave Sheaf Offering Day. So, there's only one day that can be called the first day of the weeks, and it's written here by Luke and written in the exact same language that you find in Luke 24.

I know that complicated to figure! But if you separate out the three parties then you can put it together. When you understand that Paul left his group and went alone and got down to wherever he was; it doesn't tell us. The only thing we know  is that it wasn't too far from Assos; just a day's walk.

How long he had to stay at Assos to wait of them to come from Troas, when the other two groups got together, we don't know. But we find this:

Acts 20:13[transcriber's correction]: "Then we went on ahead to the ship and sailed to Assos, there intending to take in Paul; for he had so appointed, since he himself was going on foot." So, Paul was alone!

Verse 14: And after he met with us at Assos and we took him in, we came to Mitylene.

That is a complicated thing to understand! It's one of those things you have to think upon and put all the pieces together. The only way you can decipher that is that you know when the first day of weeks occurs! It can't be approximately 20 days after the Passover.

So, I'll leave you scratching your head, and hopefully your brain will recover!

Scriptural References:

  • Genesis 1:2
  • Luke 18:7-8
  • James 2:26
  • Revelation 20:7-10
  • Matthew 24:29
  • John 14:6
  • Acts 20:1-6, 4, 7-14
  • Luke 23:51-56
  • Luke 24:1
  • John 20:1, 11-17
  • Acts 20:13-14

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Genesis 1:1
  • Job 38
  • Revelation 12
  • Luke 16
  • Revelation 20:4-6
  • Acts 2:39
  • Numbers 14
  • Revelation 11:9
  • Numbers 19
  • Luke 24

Also referenced:

Church at Home [} Have You Forgotten God? about: Can a man tell God what to do?

Article: Fewer in the U.S. Now View the Bible as the Literal Word of God—by Frank Newport, July 6, 2022

Appendix J—The Holy Bible in Its Original Order

Transcribed: 7/26/22

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