Church of God, New World Ministries

Bible Q & A

Q. Since Pentecost is the Feast of Firstfruits is this declaring that this is the First Resurrection?
A. Thank you for writing and sharing your thoughts regarding Pentecost. Let me first clarify the Church of God New World Ministries position on Pentecost. We firmly believe that the return of Christ will occur at the last trump. (I Thess 4:16; I Cor. 15: 52). These verses clearly explain when the resurrection takes place. At the last (7th) trump.

Revelation 6 explains the 7 seals to be opened by Christ. These seals reveal conditions to take place prior to, and leading up to, Christís return. The first six of these seals are explained in Revelation 6: 1-16. Verse 17 speaks of the great day of his wrath. This verse is referring to the Day of the Lord. The Day of the Lord is Godís wrath upon those which have the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image. (Rev. 16:2). The Day of the Lord will last approximately one year. Revelation 16 describes the 7 last plagues. These plagues are called trumpet plagues.

Notice verse 17 of Revelation 16. “And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air: (this is the last trumpet plague) and there came a great voice (shout) out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, it is done.” Yes, all that was prophesied to take place has now taken place. It is time for Christ to intervene in the affairs of man. Now, put I Thess 4:16 and I Cor. 15:52 into this context.

Let’s notice a few other scriptures that are mentioned regarding this same time frame. Notice I Cor. 15: 22-23. Notice that every man will have his opportunity for salvation, in his own order. Christ the firstfruits, and afterward they that are Christís AT HIS COMING. Christ will return at the Last Trump. The Last Trump is the seventh trump. The seventh trump is the last trumpet plague to be poured out on those worshipping the image of the beast.

Turn now to Matthew 24 and read verses 29-31. Verse 29 explains the tribulation (5th seal). After the tribulation comes the 6th seal (heavenly signs). Now, read Joel 2:31. Notice that the sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood (6th seal Ė heavenly signs) BEFORE the great and the terrible day of the Lord. (7th seal). Do you see the sequence of events: Tribulation, heavenly signs, day of the Lord (consisting of 7 last plagues). Now go back to Matthew 24. Read verses 30-31. Notice, Christ returns at the last trump (7th trump) verse 31. It is at that time that all that are in the grave will hear his voice. (John 5: 28-29).The firstfruits will be resurrected and changed into spirit beings. (I Cor. 15:52). They will be resurrected at Christís coming. Notice verse 31 of Matthew 24. At that time the angels will gather the elect (the resurrected firstfruits) from one end of heaven to the other. They shall meet Christ in the air (I Thess 4: 15-17). And then they shall descend to the Mount of Olives (Zech. 14:4). The feast of Trumpets pictures this scenario, not the day of Pentecost.

The Day of Pentecost is called the feast of firstfruits because it is the day which the Father begins the calling out of those that will be Christ’s at His coming. Notice Acts 2:17. Peter explained the miracle of the pouring out of the Holy Spirit on those in attendance that day as the fulfillment of prophecy (Joel 2:28-29). This was the beginning of the New Testament Church. These were the first to be called into the Church of God. But they would not be the last. Notice verses 38-39. Those who would repent, be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Verse 39: That promise was to those there that day and to those afar off. (People who would live from that time on down into our day, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.). These people are called the bride of Christ (Rev. 19) and will marry Christ AT HIS RETURN! Yes, the resurrected saints, the elect, will join Christ in the air to meet Him at his return. At the last trump.

Notice James 1:18. James wrote that those begotten with the word of truth are firstfruits. Now, notice Revelation 20:4. Ö“they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” The resurrected saints will rule with Christ for 1,000 years. Now, during the thousand year reign of Christ comes the fulfillment of the Feast of Ingathering (the feast of tabernacles). Those living over into the world tomorrow (millennium) will then have their opportunity for salvation. This is the great fall harvest. The latter harvest. Many people will receive salvation during the millennium.

What comes after the millennium? Notice Revelation 20:5. “But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.” Now comes the great white throne judgment. (Rev. 20:11-12). For approximately 100 years all those who never received their opportunity for salvation now, nor during the millennium, will have their opportunity. This is the second resurrection.

At the end of the white throne judgment will come a third and final resurrection. Rev. 20: 13-15. This will consist of all those who had an opportunity for salvation and rejected it. They will be burned up. Mal. 4:1-3; Mat. 3: 11-12. In Matthew 13:30 we see the parable of the wheat and the tares. The wheat are truly those who are Christís. They are the firstfruits. They will be gathered in the barn (the Kingdom of God) at Christís return. But the tares will be burned at the third resurrection. Notice also John 5: 28-29. ďMarvel not at this: for the hour is coming, (the return of Christ at the last trump) when all that are in the graves will hear his voice (shout) and shall come forth (resurrection): they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life (eternal life at the last trump); and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation (3rd resurrection.)
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