Church Age Coming To A Close
Last Call For Repentance

Sermon by Bill Goff

Audio: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

Day 49 of the count to Pentecost is a very significant day for the COG. (Day 49) concerns the completion of something, Not the beginning of something, Not the transition of something, But the completion of something.

And its something that directly concerns “us” (the First Fruits)
And our being ready to meet our Lord & Savior in the air, at His return.

God has a plan The holy days picture the plan of God The spring holy days pertain to the COG (We’re First Fruits)

Whether a physical crop growing out in a field (like a crop of wheat) Or a spiritual crop of wheat growing in the wilderness of this world The pattern is the same First Fruits, are planted first, grow first, and harvested first.

But before they can be harvested, they have to be mature; they have to be ready They have to be what the Bible calls: Complete. And according to the Scriptures, they have to be complete by Today, (Day 49 of the count) The day before the “Last Day” Pentecost

(Lets take a look at a Scripture that pertains to that Lev 23:15)
This verse concerns the count to Pentecost.  It concerns the growing & harvesting of us (The church) the crop the Father planted, The “Wheat”

Lev:23:15: And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete: 16: Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days.

(Please note) Tomorrow is day 50, but before the Last Day; seven Sabbath’s (seven weeks) shall be complete. The seven Sabbaths or weeks, pertain to the harvest of the First Fruits That harvest of the Wheat went from the feast of unleavened bread to Pentecost (Seven weeks, that’s why it’s also called the feast of Weeks Coming back to that important verse later, because it has more significance than we may realize.

Now to better understand what today (day 49) is all about And what the significance is, to this completion of the seven Sabbaths, We need to refresh our memory concerning what the COG is all about. We need to discern the signs of the times, in which we are living.

To do that, I want to take us back in time to the beginning, and look at a very important statement that our Savior made a long time ago concerning His church. (This statement will help us begin to understand what this day is all about)

Going up the Jordan River to Caesarea Philippi (That’s where Jesus made the statement) Two stops along the way, to put things in perspective.

1st stop (Wilderness of Judea) (Mat 3:1-2, 5-6) Mt:3:1: In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, 2: And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. (Droping down to V 5) 5: Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan,
6: And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. (So John came preparing the way for Christ, preaching repentance)

(Next stop Galilee: Mark 1:14 please) (This event took place after John baptized Jesus, after John was put in prison, and after Jesus was tempted by the Devil) Mk:1:14: Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15: And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel

So Jesus began His ministry preaching the same as John: Repent – Kingdom is at hand.

V16: Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. 17: And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. (So Jesus began His ministry by preaching repentance) (Making contact with His disciples)

Now back up the Jordan to the top, to Caesarea Philippi. (Mat 16 please)

To take a look at that important statement that Jesus made concerning His church. (The statement that will help us begin to understand what today is all about) He first asked His disciples a question concerning His identity. Let’s pick up the story in Mat. 16:13) Mt:16:13: When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 14: And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. 15: He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
16: And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17: And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

(And here come the important statement Jesus made that will help us begin to understand what today is all about:) Mat 16:18: And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church. Brethren that was 2,000 yrs ago that Jesus began to build His church.

We are not living in the time He began to build His church,
We’re living in the time when He’s going to complete it. And we’re not living in the time when Judgment began in the House of God We’re living in the time when that judgment is going to end. The church age is coming to a close Brethren And day 49 pictures that close, pictures that completion.

Have you ever known a builder who began to build a house,
Without a plan? Or knowing what the house was to look like at completion? Or when he planed to complete it?

NO A builder always has a plan – blueprints that include all of the above. And all the more in this case because the builder is God Himself. We’re going to take a look at the house today, (our house) the house of God The house that Jesus began building 2,000 yrs ago And see what’s left to do, for it to be completed

We need to visit the construction sight, and focus in on its completion. Now the planning of His house (our house) started a long time ago. (Eph 1: 1-4) (Eph 1, concerns our calling and the building of the COG.  How it was planned before the foundation of the world) And how it was to be a Holy house – A Holy Temple – without spot or blemish. Eph:1:1: Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus: 2: Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 3: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 4: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love

KJ says “without blame” but the Greek means “without spot” “unblemished” The church that Jesus is building is a holy house
One without spot, or blemish. It’s a Holy Temple (Which Temple we are) Ground breaking – day of Pentecost 2,000 yrs ago When all the Apostles stood up and Peter said: Repent, yes, repent, be baptized and receive the gift of Holy Spirit. We keep hearing repentance preached, 1st by John, then Christ, then Peter.

Because the House that God is building, is a Holy House
(A far cry from our conduct when we were 1st called) Christ didn’t come to call the righteous; He came to call us, sinners to repentance. I will Build My Church We previously learned that the Church is not a building with a steeple on the top, on the corner of Main St. Church – Ecclesia means, “Called out ones”
But do we realize, the word “Build” in the Greek means = Construct, Edify, Embolden. Edify means = To instruct, improve, enlighten, and to strengthen, especially in morals the Greek definition states. Embolden means = To make bold, give courage to.

What Jesus meant when He said He would build His church was that He would: Build up His “called out ones” Edify them, instruct them, enlighten them, strengthen them, and improve them, especially in morals. And this word “build” comes from the word: OIKOS Strong’s #3624 meaning: a household or a family dwelling in a house. The church that Jesus is building,  (us) the house that He is edifying, that He is strengthening and improving (especially in morals) The COG that He is about to finish the construction of, and bring to completion, is known as:

The household of God Are we amongst the members of the House Hold of God Brethren? His house, that’s been under construction now for 2,000 yrs. Working with many of us for 10, 20, 30, 40 yrs now?

How are we doing brethren in these “Latter Days”? These days when Paul told Timothy that men would be lovers of themselves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers and more.  Lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God.  Having a form of Godliness, but denying the power there of.

(That word “form” means appearance, or semblance = A mere show without reality. (Isn’t that the way much of the COG has been in the past?)

We sure talked the talk quite well.  We knew the Scriptures.
But the walking in them was often lacking, denying the power there of. (The power comes from walking the walk.) The power comes from God’s holy spirit, which we received at baptism.

He tells us if we want more of it, just ask Him and He will freely give it. He wants us to be full of it.  He even wants to move in and make His abode with us.  But He won’t dwell with sin. We know the Scriptures: “Jesus answered and said If a man love me, he will keep my words (He will walk the walk) and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him”Jn 14:23

How are we doing brethren, in this untoward or blemished world? Are we walking the walk yet, or are we still talking the talk? I’m here to tell you today, that the COG is nearing its completion. And God is going to bring it to completion with or without us Are we true members of the Body of Christ, coming to maturity, growing in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, moving on to perfection?

Or has our growth been stopped & blocked, by the cares of this world? We have no time for stagnation; we have no time for the cares of this world. The cares of this world, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. (Mk:4:19) And besides, all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away (1 Jn. 2:17)

Brethren, we’re First Fruits, nearing The Last Day. We have to be moving on to perfection, to maturity, To completion. When a house is being built, each day it should look more & more like the picture on the plan.  The house God is building is to be a holy house.

(1Ptr 1: 13 please) Often times, when you visit a construction site of a house being built, you will find some of the lumber, some of the “stones” (if you will) that were purchased to be part of the house, put to the side and not being used  (rejected) due to inferior quality.

That’s why we read in the Scriptures: “Be Ye holy”, because God is building a holy house – (Standards are high)
(1st Ptr 1: 13-16 please) 1Pt:1:13: Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14: As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: 15: But as he, which hath called, you (is) holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation. 16: Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

(Are we holy Brethren?)  (It’s a requirement for the house of God) In Mat 5 we read about the Beatitudes, the Sermon on the Mount, Blessed are the poor in spirit, blessed are the meek, and blessed are the peacemakers.

He goes on to tell us in Mat 5 that we are the “Salt of the Earth” and the “Light of the World” That we are to “control our anger” and “love our enemies.”    (A far cry from the ways of this world.) Then He sums it all up in Mat 5:48 by telling us: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”

So He instructs His church, His called out ones, (us); to be Holy, and to be Perfect, even as our Father in heaven is Holy & perfect. Well, again I ask, “How are we doing” How is the House of God coming along?  Are we Holy yet?  Are we perfect yet?

Or did He instruct us to do something that is humanly impossible? Many teach & preach that we will not become Holy, or perfect, until our change. Many seem to think that there is a Magic Wand at the end of our physical life that God will use to give us that Holy Righteous Character.

A Magic Wand at the end of the day that will instantly change our sinful natures & our hearts of stone. But the Scriptures don’t support that smooth talk Brethren. The Scriptures tell us we have to change NOW. Realtors have a phrase called: “Turn Key condition” meaning: “Completely ready for occupation”

But before you receive that certificate of occupancy or “CO”
House inspection comes first, to insure that everything is working properly – no leaking pipe – no faulty construction. No lyres – no fornicators Then, if we meet the requirements, we get approval, a “CO” Same with the house (Temple) the Creator is building.
He’s not going to have us moving into His Kingdom with sinful natures & hearts of stone. And there’s no Magic Wand at the end of the tunnel that will instantly give us the Holy Righteous Character of His.

God gives us the physical so we can better understand the spiritual. We need to take a look at how the physical Temple was built Because Every minute detail of the physical Temple has spiritual significance.

(Let’s go to 1 Kings 6 please) Let’s take a look at the construction sight of the COG We’ll even check to see if there is any Magic Wands in the tool shed. 1Kgs:6:7: And the house, (That’s the Church) when it was in building, was built of stone (That’s us) made ready before it was brought thither: so that there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building.

Those stones are us brethren And notice what it says: Made ready before it was brought tither. Like we read back in Lev 23:15 complete before the Last Day. Thither means “To the other side” That “Thither” happens tomorrow on “The Last Day” day 50. When the church is “raised up” it will be on the other side “Tither” Tither was pictured by the church in the wilderness when they crossed over the Jordan into “The Promised Land”

Remember that Brethren, the church in the wilderness?
They left Egypt Got themselves baptized in the Red Sea
And then made it to the Promised Land ALL TWO OF THEM!
The rest that were baptized didn’t make it.

Pole Pole – That’s Kiswahili for slow down – use caution Arent we baptized?  Haven’t we made that same commitment to God that we will do everything that He says? The church in the wilderness didn’t keep their agreement Most died from that contagious disease That contagious disease that still lingers in the COG today: Unbelief Most didn’t believe God Our God is a God who says what He means, and means what He say!

God says: The sole that sinneth, it shall die. The father of lies says: NO, you shall not surely die. Brethren, we need to believe God, not the Devil. No sinners will be allowed access into the Kingdom of God (Those of us who continue to practice sin, will not be there) It’s God’s Kingdom (Utopia)

No one has to worry about getting their wallet stolen, or their child molested. There won’t be any transgressors allowed in.
And He’s no respect or of persons – If we want to be allowed in And given the free gift of Eternal life We have to be walking the walk. And we have to be doing it now Because we’re First Fruits About to be harvested First Fruits have a high calling, They have to meet the standards of The Chief Corner Stone - Jesus Christ

He’s the One we are to follow – And He walks the Straight & Narrow path. If we follow Him down the straight & narrow path, at the end of the day we will end up in the Kingdom of God But if we follow the wide & broad path, at the end of the day, we’re going to end up spiritually expired.

There’s no “Magic Wand” at the end of the wide & broad path.
But there is an AXE 1 Kgs 6:7 we read that verse earlier, and it ended saying: “there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building.” (Lk 3:7 please)  There’s no Magic Wand in the tool shed of the COG but there is an AXE John knew of the axe – he told the multitude who came to be baptized about the axe.

Lk:3:7: Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8: Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. 9: And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

Our fruits demonstrate to God which path we are following
(Lk 13:6 please) (Can’t get good fruits from bad tree)
(Can’t get bad fruits from a good tree) (If the fruits are good, then the tree is good.) (If the tree is bad, then make the tree good) (When a house is being built, from time to time the inspector comes around, checking on the progress – making sure things are up to His standards.) Lk:13:6: He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. 7: Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumber eth it the ground? 8: And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: 9: And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.

God’s looking for fruit – good fruit. He’s looking for changed hearts & changed natures. And He looking now, He’s already been here 3 times. And He found none. In the end of the book of Mark we read: Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. And these signs shall follow them that believe.
Any believers out there, have you seen these signs Brethren?

They shall cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues,
They shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
Brethren Has there been a belief problem in the COG? Are we lacking in Belief? Belief & Faith go hand in hand Faith, is the very thing that Jesus questioned weather or not He would find when He cometh.

I’m sure we all are believer’s brethren But if there was ever a time to pray “help thou mine unbelief” It is now The church age is coming to a close It’s time for us to become fully mature For strong meat belonged unto them of full age. The stones (us) were grinded, chiseled, shaped and completed brethren, completed down at the quarry.  Yes, all the preparation for each & every stone was totally finished, totally completed at the quarry
NIV says: And the Temple, when it was being built, was built with stone, finished at the quarry.

We could go to a lot of places right now Like, Mt:11:12 (not turning) And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. No one, drifts into the Kingdom of God It’s upstream, and the currents are very strong (All three of them) The lust of the Eyes, The lusts of the Flesh & The pride of life

We come into this world with sinful natures, and hearts of stone.
we need our hearts and we need our natures, changed. How do we do it? The “Wave loaves” demonstrate the procedure.

Looking at the Wave Loaves The wave loaves represent the Church and are waved on the “Last Day” But before they can be waved, before they can be baked They have to be prepared. The dough (us) has to have a nature change first.

Again, God gives us the physical, so we can better understand the spiritual (Let’s make some bread) When one makes bread, they first put in the ingredients: the flour, salt, water and the leavening. Then they knead it and it begins to rise up from the leavening agent. Do you know what the leavening agent is doing to the dough?

It’s changing the nature of the dough. We need our natures changed brethren And there is only one ingredient powerful enough to change our sinful natures. God’s Holy Spirit (Mat 13:33 please) The church in the wilderness didn’t have the power to overcome But we do!

Mt:13:33: Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.

The leaven spoken of in this parable represents the Holy Spirit, not sin. Leaven doesn’t always represent sin (There is good leaven also) You cannot say that: The kingdom of heaven is like unto sin. The Kingdom of heaven will have no sin. The Kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven (God’s spirit), which a woman took (The church is the woman) (And that word took is the same Greek word that Peter used when he said: Repent, be baptized and you shall receive (same Greek word) the gift of the holy spirit.  Which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened. (That word hid means incorporate) till the whole was leavened.

This Scripture is speaking about us, the church, receiving God’s spirit, and allowing it to flow & grow (incorporate) throughout the entire body. The wave loaves were baked with leaven (God’s holy spirit) & waved on day 50, But the dough, (us) had to be prepared beforehand, the nature of the dough (us) had to be changed before the baking.  (Complete by day 49) Once the dough is baked, its nature is permanent (Can’t be changed)

We need changed natures and changed hearts now We need to be complete now. And God is going to bring His church to completion, with or without us. (Although He does tell us that none of His will be lost, bar one, The son of perdition: that the scripture might be fulfilled. At least that was the case 2,000 yrs ago with Judas. How about now, in these end times?

Paul says in 2Thes, speaking of the gathering of His church together, that: that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition. Brethren, The son of perdition (The end time one that is) (Not to digress) but to help us discern the signs of the times in which we are living, maybe we should make mention that: the man of sin is alive and well brethren and soon to be revealed.

We’re at the end of the church age Brethren. The Apostle Paul tells us in 1 Cor 13:10 (not turning for lack of time) When that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. Brethren, Paul is speaking about the church here, the members of the Body of Christ. When that which is perfect is come (That word perfect means: spiritual maturity, completeness, full growth) then, that which is in part (Those who haven’t matured, haven’t continued to grow, haven’t become complete) shall be done away.

Brethren, the notable miracles, that are yet to come, shall soon be manifested, as the church; the body of Christ comes to maturity. (Lets go to 1st John 3:3 please) Today, day 49 of the count represents the completion of the building of the COG, and our being ready to meet our Lord & Savior in the air.

If we have this hope in us to meet Him in the air, than we have a job to do, a job to complete. 1 Jn:3:3: (speaking of the resurrection, John says: And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. Yes brethren, if we have this hope of fulfilling our calling and meeting our Lord in the air, then we need to become like Him, pure.

(How pure?)  We need only to look at the blueprints. There’s a word in the Old Testament that describe the pureness of Christ to a T. Ex. 12:5 Your lamb shall be “without blemish” (Representing Christ)

Another place that same exact word is used to describe Christ is in Num19:2 Num. 19:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring thee a red heifer without spot, wherein is no blemish.
(Again, the same Hebrew word without spot & no blemish,
And again, describing how pure Christ was) But there’s another place in the Bible where that same exact word is used, where it’s not referring to Christ, but to us, (The First Fruits)

Remember, this is our feast, the feast of First Fruits, the feast of weeks. The feast of counting, counting the cost and changing the walk. We read it at the beginning of this message (Lev 23:15)

(The verse I said had much significance, which we would be returning to) (Let’s go back there now brethren) Lev:23:15: And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven Sabbaths (seven week) (seven churches is what is being spoken of here brethren) shall be complete.

And that word complete is the same exact word that normally describes Christ (Unspotted & without blemish) But here, (In Lev 23:15) it’s describing us brethren, the church The glorious church, the one that Christ will be presenting to Himself, without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; a holy church without blemish.

Eph 5:27 Day 49 of the count to Pentecost is a very significant day for the COG. Day 49) concerns the completion of something

It concerns the completion of the building of the church of God
Church Age is coming to a close Brethren, Last Call for Repentance.

And for those who do fully repent, exciting times are ahead. Once a house is complete, it begins to function properly
Soon, the members of the body of Christ, (the church) who have continued to grow to perfection, (And that word perfection or perfect, only means maturity, or of full age) It’s within our reach brethren)

Soon, those pillars will be displaying the gifts that our Creator has promised to perform in them. Remember He says: “these signs shall follow them that believe” He says: He will confirm The Word with signs following And let us also remember that He changes not When the church began, many signs & wonders were wrought (performed) amongst those who were of one accord in Solomon’s porch. (Acts 5:12)

The significance of Solomon’s porch is that it was a colonnade of upright pillars Upright pillars that were connected at the top by the Entablature. That Entablature is Christ Our concern, need to focus on being upright And we need to use caution concerning who we shun

(Luke 9 please) Disputes arose amongst the disciples back then and still today, concerning who is greatest? Lk 9: 47: And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a child, and set him by him, 48: And said unto them, Whosoever shall receive this child in my name receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me receiveth him that sent me: for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great. 49: And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us. 50: And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.

In another place He says: For he that is not against us is on our part. Mk:9:40: Still another place Jesus said: He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth. Lk:11:23:And He’s not gathering firewood, He gathering men!

Brethren, I pray that we continue working together, following the lead of His holy spirit and forsaking everything in this world to be fishers of men as we approach the return of our lord & Savior Jesus Christ. Next stop for the COG will be in the air, to meet our Lord in the clouds.