Sermon given 31 May 2009

Counting 50 in 31 AD

by Ian Henderson

(PLAY FROM START)

Well, here we are on the Day of Pentecost and what I want to cover this morning is to look at the fifty days, the fifty days from Unleavened Bread through to Pentecost when Christ died and the Holy Spirit was given. Because this is a very interesting period.

Now, when we tend to look at the Bible we tend, most of the time, to look at it from the point of view of learning spiritual things, learning about people, learning about principles that we have got to live by. It is also a historical account of what actually happened. So what I want to do is go through some of the events and let's just see how important they are. And watch this point coming out; that if God doesn't open the mind, the mind doesn't open. Because as we go through here you will see the disciples, their minds to start off with, are totally closed, and when we get to the end it is totally opened, before Pentecost. It is very, very interesting to look at.

Christ's Death (PLAY FROM 01:01)

Let's start off by turning to Matthew 27:45. This is when Christ is just about to die, and it says:

"Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour." (Matthew 27:45)

Now, again we read over that. But it is a darkness, it is very dark. What effect would that have on these people? These people that had been standing there mocking Christ saying, "Oh, call on Elijah. You saved others, can't you save yourself?" And all of a sudden it goes very, very dark. And I would imagine about that time that it went very, very quiet as well. And in Matthew 27:50:

"Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the spirit. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many." (Matthew 27:50-53)

Now, because we normally read this section in conjunction with the Passover and the death of Christ, our mind is concentrating exactly on that. Because it is one of the most important events that has probably ever happened, and ever will happen. But, hang on, let's look at what happened here:

First of all, the veil of the Temple was rent. Now this veil was very thick, very heavy, beautifully embroidered, and it stopped people looking into the Holy of Holies. It blocked access to God. The only access to God was once a year when the High Priest went in there. But with Christ's death that veil was rent, indicating that we then have access, direct to the Father. That is a very important event.

And it says, the rocks were rent. Now, I don't know whether any of you have had the fun of being involved in an earthquake? I have. I would love to say it was a nice big 7.8 or something and I got rocked off my feet, but the ground just like trembled and cutlery and crockery sort of rattled on the shelves, but it is not a very nice feeling when the ground moves under one's feet. This one rent the rocks. Now, I have seen estimates that say this would have been something like 7 or so on the Richter Scale. This was a serious earthquake. It did probably damage to buildings, it damaged the infrastructure, streets would be blocked, people would be terrified. You have all seen it on the television. We have had these earthquakes in modern times. Everything grinds to a halt, food becomes hard to get, water becomes hard to get, sanitation becomes a joke, people are dead maybe here and there. This is what happened here and at the same time Christ's body is hanging on that stake.

And then it says, "And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose," (Matthew 27:52). Saints before Pentecost? Well, the word 'saint' means holy person, Strong's G40; so these were holy people who were living God's way. Who were they? Well, we are not told. It is annoying, isn't it? Just little snippets.

By the way, it says there: "And came out of the graves after his resurrection..." (Matthew 27:53). Which, of course, was three days later, and I think the translation here may be a bit of a problem because the Revised Standard Version says: "and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city..." (Matthew 27:53 RSV). Which makes a little bit more sense.

But who were these people? Turn to Luke 2:25. Let's look at a few possible people. You see, this was done as a witness, this was done as a witness. These people weren't just resurrected willy-nilly, they were resurrected for a specific purpose. Now, I am going to put two people here, and let's just see what it would be like if these two people were resurrected:

"And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Spirit was upon him [not in him but upon him]. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Spirit, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ." (Luke 2:25-26)

Now, this is an old man. Now, if you were an old man/woman and you had been told this, where would you be? You would be hanging around the Temple every day, wouldn't you? You would be well known around the Temple every day. And eventually Mary and Joseph arrive with the baby. He gets to hold Him and he says in Luke 2:30:

"For mine eyes have seen thy salvation," (Luke 2:30).

Fantastic! And then he would probably have died because we are now talking thirty years on. How about Luke 2:36:

"And there was one Anna, a prophetess...And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years [she was 84 years old], which departed not from the temple [she was another one, she was around the Temple all the time, she was well known], but served God with fastings and prayers night and day." (Luke 2:36-37)

One question that comes to mind, were these two then part of the 120 at Pentecost? Resurrected, given the Holy Spirit, and then they would die again physically and be resurrected in the first resurrection. It is a possibility. We don't know for sure, but it just has a ring about it.

Now then what would the effect be on the Pharisees, and the Sadducees, and the priests and all the rest of it, when these two pitched up at the Temple? It would be a bit like now, wouldn't it? Very, very quiet. And in the local paper there would be a little story about it and at the bottom it would just say, nobody was available from the main office for comment. They were all down in Hawaii on expenses. Turn to Luke 10:17. Here are some other candidates. Again, this is a very interesting section of scripture which, again, we tend to read over. Think of this as a real life event. These were flesh and blood people:

"And the seventy returned [Luke 10:1 He sends them out and the seventy returned] again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name [through your authority and what did Christ say?]. And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you [then He says]. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not..." (Luke 10:17-20)

That's a bit hard to take isn't it? Nothing can hurt you physically. This dirty great snake that keeps on coming into our backyard, I am not to worry about it any more. My goldfish do. Complete and total control over all demons, and Christ said in Luke 10:20:

"Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven." (Luke 10:20)

Does it then seem reasonable that these 70 were part of the 120? Again, we can't state for sure, but we can state that there were about 120 people on this very day just short of 2000 years ago.

Thinking of the effect these people would have had on the people in Jerusalem; I am taking a chance saying this, and I will explain why in a minute. How would you all feel if that door were closed and suddenly it opened and Mr Herbert Armstrong walked in right now? How would you feel? I think Mr Bowles would be busy anointing people for about two hours. I am glad the door is open, because it is the sort of thing you say and somebody comes in from the toilet and opens the door and everyone goes - ohhhhhhh!

We had Mr Waterhouse do that down in Johannesburg. In Johannesburg the whole city is criss-crossed with gold mine shafts and tunnels and every now and again one collapses and you get a sort of a bang and a rumble. It is not an earthquake. It is just a shaft collapsing several thousand feet below. Mr Waterhouse was doing one of his endtime great earthquakes and it is going to shake the earth and at that moment a mine shaft gave way and the whole building went boom, boo- boo- boom and half the people were trying to get out the door at the back of the hall. So I am just glad that door is open. But, in all seriousness how would you feel if Mr Armstrong walked through that door? We'd be happy, but I feel we would be kind of stunned.

How did these people feel? Dare I say; we live in an age where amazing things happen. We sit on a computer, and we can communicate around the world. I find my computer has got a webcam on it. I suppose I could talk to somebody else and I could wave to them and so on, wonderful. We can sit there and we can listen to services that are coming from 300 miles away. Down in the Philippines, you people listen there, same thing, what 10-1200 miles away. It is amazing what we have got.

We have also got the marvels of science fiction that bamboozle our minds, that everything that comes from outer space is evil and got to be fought, which is rather interesting. We live in an age of miracles, quite frankly. We sat down last night and had a bottle of wine for dinner that came from Australia. Twelve thousand miles that bottle came and it only lasted five minutes, shame, poor thing. We had guests, but I won't name names.

King Solomon never had that. He had to put up with the stuff that they made around Jerusalem which was probably an awful lot better. But this is an age where the unexpected can happen. We see all sorts of weird things happening, but I tell you if Mr Armstrong walked through that door, there would be some stomachs bouncing on the floor. It would be tremendous.

So what effect did it have on these people who weren't used to any of the 'high-tech' stuff we've got, the marvels that we have got today? As I said before, the fastest thing they ever saw was a donkey running down hill. And here these two people appear in the Temple. I tell you what, it would have shut some mouths up real quick. An awful lot of Pharisees and Sadducees and so on, and the High Priest, and all the rest of them, they would have been feeling just a tad guilty maybe, bearing in mind that two of their very number of the Sanhedrin were Christians.

The Burial of Christ (PLAY FROM 12:57)

Let's go to Matthew 27:57. We are just going to jump around in the four gospels so you haven't got too far to shuffle the pages:

"When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus' disciple: He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered. And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had [had] hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed." (Matthew 27:57-60)

Now these stones, there is a lot of them still around so we know this is a fact. They were big round stones that sealed up tombs and they ran in a groove. And the groove was downhill. So it wasn't a massive job for somebody to roll the stone over the entrance of the cave. It was, however, quite a massive job for somebody to roll the stone back up the hill to get back inside. Now, I gave a sermon in July 2004, on Joseph of Arimathaea. If you want more background you can go back onto that. He is a very interesting man. John 19:38 tells us a little bit more. John 19:38:

"And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews [remember his position], besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus. And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night [remember the 'born again' incident, same man], and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight." (John 19:38-39)

That is a king's ransom. Christ's body was not to see corruption. So a little bit about Joseph. He was a member of the Sanhedrin, as was Nicodemus. He was a true believer who waited for the Kingdom of God and he was an exceedingly rich man. Probably the Bill Gates of his day. Fine linen was only for the very rich, as was a tomb hewn out of solid rock. His belief was so strong that he did not hide away like the disciples, but he went boldly up to Pilate.

He publicly asked for the body of Christ. It was his right because he was a relative of Christ. He was Mary's uncle. The disciples who had walked with Jesus were still hiding, but the 'secret' disciple put everything that he cared for onto the line. Do you think he dared go back into the Sanhedrin after this? That was all gone. In fact, legend has it that they actually took him and several others, Nicodemus and Mary and a few others, and they stuck them in an open boat and launched them into the sea, hoping that they would die. The rest of that information is in that sermon which you can go on and listen to.

Roman law allowed a relative to claim the body of a condemned man, but you had to pay for it. It is just like today, isn't it? Yes, it has to go on my expense account. Joseph would have had to pay for the body of Jesus! Rich and comfortable though he was, he faced Pilate alone. And the reason he could do this, it would seem from history, was that he was head of munitions, or metal procurement, for the whole of the Roman Empire. He had a very high position in the Roman Government. This is what comes through if you check all the old sources. Even Catholic sources.

Down in Cornwall, when they cast organ pipes, the people when they poured the tin shouted out his name, which is rather interesting. Again, it would seem that Joseph actually owned those tin mines. He also had a fleet of merchant ships. Joseph was rich beyond imagination for his day; and yet he put everything on the line just to get that body, to wrap it up in priceless herbs and spices so that it wouldn't deteriorate, and put it in his own personal tomb, in the full glare of publicity. Everybody would have know that he had done it. And where were the disciples? They had gone, they had fled. So that is a rather interesting man. Was he part of the 120? And Nicodemus, I think very possibly. Turn back to Matthew 27:62:

"Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests [this would now be Friday, remember Christ was crucified Wednesday afternoon just before sunset, and buried just before sunset Wednesday; Thursday would be the Holy Day, Friday was the preparation for the Sabbath, so that is what we are talking about now] and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again." (Matthew 27:62-63)

And then they asked for a guard to be placed on the tomb: "Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can." (Matthew 27:65). You see Pilate was thoroughly fed up of this whole thing. His wife was nagging him. If you remember his wife had these visions and she came to him and said, don't have anything to do with this. This is just a bad deal. But, of course, he was in an awkward position. Matthew 27:66:

"So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch." (Matthew 27:66)

They not only made the watch but they actually sealed the stone to make sure that that body could not be taken.

Christ's Resurrection (PLAY FROM 19:17)

Turn over to Matthew 28:1 and here we have the Saturday:

"In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week [probably looking here about 5:00am, just as dawn was breaking], came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake [here we have earthquake number two, shall we call it an aftershock, but it was a pretty powerful one]: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men." (Matthew 28:1-4)

They simply passed out, out of fear. And here again, if we saw something like this with this kind of power, even knowing that we know there are angels. We know those angels are protecting us. And I tell you, if those angels aren't protecting us, we are dead. Satan is in control of this whole world. There is one itsy, bitsy, teeny, weeny bit he does not control, probably a few thousand people scattered all over the globe. The rest he has got under his thumb. And boy, would he like to get rid of us. We are the thorn in his flesh. And you can read what happened to Job. And Satan said, I can't get at him, you have put a hedge around him. That is why we have got to be praying every day, rescue us from the evil one. Keep that hedge in position, protect us because we are so vulnerable. But these keepers just became as dead men. Matthew 28:5:

"And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him [so, of course, you can imagine the effect on the Marys, if the Olympic Games had been held there they would have won everything hands down, they must have made a beeline there and left smoke on the ground]: lo, I have told you. And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word." (Matthew 28:5-8)

Now Mark, make a note of Mark 16:8, adds - bearing in mind that I know that Dr Hoeh felt very strongly that Mark was just a scribe for the apostle Peter. He writes:

"And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid." (Mark 16:8)

Having just seen an angel. Having just been spoken to by an angel. Having been told by that angel that Christ had risen from the dead and they were going to see Him, I think that is far worse than Mr Armstrong walking through that door. They would have been, the mixture of emotions that were going through them, these women, must have been absolutely incredible. Go back now to Luke 24:1, and here is Luke's account of the situation:

"Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them." (Luke 24:1)

So, there were a group of people, in actual fact, here. They had temporarily embalmed the body, to stop the body going off, especially in that heat. So that body did not see corruption. They were now going to embalm it properly for proper burial. Luke 24:2:

"And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?" (Luke 24:2-5)

This must have hit them in the stomach. They had just witnessed Christ hanging there suffering the most cruel death imaginable. They knew he was dead. They were totally physical. Their mind was totally physical, and here is somebody in a shining garment saying, "He is alive!" You see the emotions building up. Luke 24:6:

"He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. And they remembered his words," (Luke 24:6-8)

But they had to be reminded. Having just lived through this incredible event, they still had to be reminded what Christ had actually said to them. That shows you what sort of a mindset they were in, they were totally confused. Luke 24:9:

"And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest [obviously there were other people here with the eleven]. It was Mary Magdalene and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles [and the apostles received this with great joy? Uh]. And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not." (Luke 24:9-11)

You can just imagine some of the comments: "What did you girls have for breakfast?" "What did you put in your orange juice, Madam?" They were just idle tales. Luke 24:12:

"Then arose Peter [I'd better check this out], and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass." (Luke 24:12)

Now John adds, if you turn to John 20:1, John adds a little bit more because it wasn't just Peter that was there:

"The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved [this is John, it is how he refers to himself], and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him. Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple [John], and came to the sepulchre. So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter [it was actually John that got there first], and came first to the sepulchre. And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself." (John 20:1-7)

Now here is a lesson for all teenagers, even when He was resurrected and He shed all this binding that was around Him, He folded it up and He put it down in a tidy manner! This is cruel because there is only one teenager here. No, he is not a teenager any more, he is off the hook. I apologise humbly. I won't live that one down.

Here is something to let your mind dwindle on. Christ was resurrected around about sunset on Sabbath, because He was buried just before sunset on Wednesday. It had to be exactly three days and three nights, right. What did He do all night? We are not told. What did He do all night, until Mary Magdalene and the group turned up the next morning. Yes, it leaves you sort of speechless, doesn't it?

I don't know. Maybe He was thinking about everything that had gone on. I would imagine He was now thinking about what was going to go on. And I think He was having a quiet smile. As we go through some of the things that actually happened; there is actually quite a bit of humour. You know, one thing that is often neglected is that Jesus Christ had a perfect sense of humour. The churches of the world always portray Him as almost being a weak, effeminate-looking, boring, mind-numbingly boring person, who always went around saying nice things. I don't think so. I think they had many a laugh. Remember that guy down at the pool of Siloam? Did you see his face? Wasn't it a joy? He didn't want to be healed, but we healed him anyway, didn't we? You can imagine a bit of a chuckle going on.

The First Sunday Morning (PLAY FROM 29:04)

So this first day, here we go now on this Sunday morning, John 20:11:

"But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus." (John 20:11-14)

Now, this comes up several times. One of the things that Jesus was able to do was to block a mind off from recognising Him. We are going to be like Him. This is one of the things that we will very probably be able to do when dealing with people. At the moment it only happens in science fiction comics, doesn't it? John 20:15:

"Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away [and at that point Jesus reveals Himself; verse 17] Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father [remember who Jesus was, He had to be presented to the Father first, they weren't allowed to touch Him, and yet the same evening, He is already back, it all happened during this day, because that evening they were allowed to touch Him]: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her." (John 20:15, 17-18)

And in spite of that they did not believe. They did not believe. Why? Because they couldn't. I remember Mr Armstrong at one time going on about the Holy Spirit and he said it was a bit like a house. You build a house and you put all the electrical wiring in and you have two or three main ring mains for all the different plugs. And you have got a ring main for the lights and a special one for the cooker and so on. Maybe you have got a special one for an out building. And then all the fuses go in. He said that is what we are like, except some of the fuses aren't in. And that is what happens when the Holy Spirit comes in. It allows power to be transmitted through the house, through the body. They weren't plumbed into the system. And while they weren't plumbed into the system Christ had total control over them. The only way they could understand was if He opened their mind and we will see that as we go along.

Now we have something that sounds terribly modern. Turn to Matthew 28:11. Here we have the watch. They didn't watch very well, did they?

"Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done. And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers, Saying, this is what you say, just tell them that the disciples came at night, that you dozed off, and they pinched the body. And if this come to the governor's ears, don't worry we will sort it." (Matthew 28:11-14 paraphrased)

It is called corruption. But we don't have too much of that in England today, do we? I think if we took all the corruption stories out of the Daily Telegraph particularly, there would be nothing left but the obituaries. Matthew 28:15:

"So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day." (Matthew 28:15)

And this would have been written quite a few years in the future from when the event happened. Now turn to Luke 24:13. Here is a classic example of this business of people not understanding. These are not the apostles. These are two other disciples, two other students, and they were walking:

"And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs. And they talked together of all these things which had happened [imagine having gone through what had happened, there wouldn't be anything else on their minds, they certainly wouldn't be worried about who won the football]. And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them." (Luke 24:13-15)

It wouldn't have been uncommon in those days; because people walking down a road, it can be a little unsafe and there is safety in numbers. People would join together and they would get talking as they went. And again, they didn't know who He was. He blinded them. Luke 24:16:

"But their eyes were holden that they should not know him. And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad [what's wrong with you guys, your chin is bouncing off your knees; what is going on around here]? And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days? And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done." (Luke 24:16-21)

You see, they were still expecting Christ to ride in on a white horse, armed to the teeth with a great sword to beat the tar out of the Romans and get them out of the country. They were looking for physical salvation. They wanted the Romans out. That is what they wanted. And they still had this idea in their head. And Luke 24:22 said:

"Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre; And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels [it wasn't a vision, notice; that was real], which said that he was alive. And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not [how is this for somebody who is just walking down the street and bumping into somebody?]. Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken [you would have thought that would have been a bit of a giveaway, but they didn't get it]: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself." (Luke 24:22-27)

Hang on a second, this Old Testament it has been done away with, hasn't it? It is old, we don't use the Old Testament anymore, that is what we were told. It was the only thing Christ had to use. There wasn't a New Testament. It hadn't been written. Luke 24:27:

"And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further. But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them. And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. [Kersplat!] And their eyes were opened and they knew him and he vanished out of their sight [that is worse than Mr Armstrong walking in the door; think about it - it was Him, He was here and we didn't know who He was!]. And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?" (Luke 24:27-32)

But not all the way; not all the way. Those two men then went and reported back. Luke 24:33:

"And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures? And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them [not just talking about the eleven here, we are talking a fair group of people], Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon. And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread." (Luke 24:33-35)

But it still didn't sink in. John 20:18:

"Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her. Then the same day at evening [we are still talking Sunday], being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you." (John 20:18-19)

I don't think even if we let our minds run riot, we can start to imagine what went through these people's minds when this happened. They had the evidence, they had the women come in. They had these two men come in who had walked and talked with Christ. It still hadn't sunk in. And suddenly He just vaporises. Beam me down, Scotty! Now to us, again, we have seen all this on the television. If it happened it would still have a dramatic effect, but think of these people. They had never seen anything like this. They didn't have movies, internet, television; how lucky they were in some ways. John 20:20:

"And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Spirit [that was what was going to happen to them]: Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained [just a little inkling of the sort of power of these men]. But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came [he was still in doubting mode]. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them [it was still to him a tale], Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe." (John 20:20-25)

Now this gives you some inkling as to the size of the wounds. The nails, half an inch in diameter. And the wound in his side which on most Christian paintings is just a little tiny scratch with two little drops of blood coming out of it, was the size of a fist. A Roman spear, the head was probably four or five inches in diameter and it was designed to go in, twist, and pull everything out with it. It really wasn't designed for anything else other than killing with one blow.

Eight Days Later (PLAY FROM 40:54)

Now, let's go down to John 20:26:

"And after eight [so we are now eight days further on] days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing." (John 20:26-27)

I imagine He took Thomas' hand and just took his finger and stuck it right through the palm of His hand where the nail had gone. He probably pulled His tunic aside and grabbed his fist and stuck it in His side. Then He said; "Now believe. I am here, I am alive." The body was solid, but I doubt it had blood running through it. But the wounds were still there. It was a solid, tangible body. It was not a spook. John 20:29:

"Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." (John 20:29)

We are in that boat. We weren't there. We have got to believe the witnesses that we have got. These men, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, James, Peter, Paul, the witnesses. They are witnesses of what happened at that time. We have got their writings. We have got to believe this. John 20:31 says:

"But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name." (John 20:31)

You might have life through His authority.

God of the Impossible (PLAY FROM 42:54)

Now, I would like to interject a little bit here. Have you ever thought of the kind of God that we worship? Really, He is the God of the impossible. He is a God of the impossible.

Destroy the whole earth, and start again with just one family. It is impossible, but it happened. How do you destroy the earth? Well, we know what happened. How do you do it? Where did all the water come from? That was an amazing event. The average person today would look at that and they would have the same attitude that those disciples had when Mary Magdalene came in and said, "I have spoken to Christ." "Oh yes - right?"

Start a whole nation from one man and his wife who were round about a hundred years old. And, as it says, well past the time for child bearing. Again the Bible is a master of understatement, isn't it, but it happened. And we are here as a result of it.

Rescue a nation of slaves from the clutches of the most powerful nation on earth and then totally destroy that nation to very short order; it happened! Take two to three million people, rip the sea apart, dry the sea bed, let them walk through. Totally destroy the army following them. Sorry, it's impossible, you can't rip the sea apart.

If our guess is right to where this happened, the sea there is three to four hundred feet deep. And to let two to three million people through, it wasn't just like the motorway. It must have been over a huge width for them to get through in that time. These people were walking, they didn't have 4 x 4's. It doesn't happen, it's impossible; but it happened. And that particular event is recorded in the Bible from Exodus, and I think the last time it is mentioned is in Jude. I did a study on it once and I think it is mentioned almost 200 times directly: "I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt." And indirectly it is mentioned three or four hundred other times. Remember you were in the land of Egypt, that kind of thing. That was an impossible event.

Mr Bowles has been to America, get on a plane on one side, you fly for what, seven, eight hours, eight hours you fly and you are still going over America. And that includes Texas. I was with a group at the Feast over there and we were talking to a couple of families and we knew where the one family came from. And we said, "Where are you from?" "Oh, we are from Texas." "Why don't you guys get together on the Sabbath?" "Oh, we are 1200 miles away." 1200 miles away and they are still in Texas! That country is huge. You have so many natural resources that the mind boggles.

That nation is going to be destroyed. It is in the process of being destroyed right now. You can watch it day by day in the news. The actual total debt is 68 trillion dollars, if you take everything, pension schemes and all the rest of it, they have totally butchered the whole thing. I think I put it on the news. I sent Mr Bowles the whole thing. There was an article in Pravda. Now, Pravda is the Russian equivalent of Reuters, it's their main news agency, written by a Russian pleading with the American to wake up, not to go the way of Communism, which is the way they are going. He said, look at us. It didn't work. Don't bother going down the road of getting the government to own everything. Even Mr Putin himself said that a few months back. Don't go down this road. We have been there. It hurts, it destroyed our nation. Yet as of the middle of next week it looks like the government will own 72 percent of General Motors. And they own more or less the whole of Chrysler along with the other corporations. And they will fall one by one. And already Mr Obama has taken chief executive officers out of these and fired them. Is that not government control gone mad?

Look at our nation. I remember as a kid at school we used to get the map, and all this red all over the place. And then at 12 years old my parents emigrated down to what was then The Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. In Southern Rhodesia there is a very peculiar archaeological ruin, called Zimbabwe Ruins, and it is a most peculiar walled, all dry stone walling, and it has got a weird tower in the middle and nobody has yet been able to work out who built it, what it was built for. Was it a temple, whatever we don't know. And the advertising poster in those days used to say, "Come to Rhodesia and see Zimbabwe Ruins." Now they have just changed it round, "Come to Zimbabwe and see Rhodesia in ruins."

But there is so much corruption because there is a problem in that area with government, right? No! There is a problem everywhere with government. You see, we look at Africa, because Africa has stood out over the years, but you can't single them out. The lesson, the biggest lesson that God is teaching humanity over the 6,000 years is, man, you cannot rule yourself. You are not capable of it. In your carnal state you cannot rule. And you can't find any government that has been successful for any length of time. We did it years ago. We had this Empire that was given to us on a plate. Some countries we took over with a handful of men, walked in literally and took it over.

Even at the end of the First World War, when the Turks capitulated, do you know who took their original surrender, on the correct day, not Mr Allenby the day later? An English corporal! A corporal in the English army took the official surrender. That is a fact of history, you can check it out. That is the power we had.

If Queen Victoria wanted to send a gunboat, I tell you what, the earth trembled. Britannia ruled the waves - full stop! Not just the North Sea, the waves, all of it. Now we can't even put enough ships together for the Queen's birthday to put on an exhibition. Because one of them is in the Far East and the other one is somewhere else. The rest are all in for 'refitting.' One of our nuclear submarines is lying in bits because they can't get it fixed. You see, there is not a government you can't look at and just stand back in awe and think, how do we survive being governed by these people?

And yet God has put them there and He has told us to pray for them, that we can have free course to do the work that we are doing. But that is coming to an end shortly. If you look at the laws they are bringing in in America. Even the laws they are bringing in in this country now. I was actually shocked that you could just go into the internet, I just typed my name in and put sermons. And all my stuff came up on the internet. Now, I have said a few things in the past about people of certain persuasions. If somebody hears that, I can be hauled in front of the court because I have upset somebody.

But the children of Israel went into the Promised Land. The first obstacle was Jericho. Jericho was the fortified city at that time in that area of the world. The walls were high, the enemy was well armed, the Israelites had virtually nothing to fight with and yet you know what happened. The impossible happened.

After 70 years captivity, out of the blue the Persians turned round and said, "Go back to Jerusalem, rebuild the Temple. Take all the gold and stuff that we nicked from you 70 years ago. Take all the stuff back, worship your God." Totally impossible. You can't find any other place in history where a nation that has conquered another nation has let them go back with all the wealth that they captured in the first place. And a letter to everyone else saying, you let these guys do it.

The life and death and resurrection of Christ is totally impossible if you think about it on a human level. God's truth restored through one man, and the gospel preached to all the world after 1900 years, sounds totally impossible, backed up by a mere handful of people in worldly terms. And yet it happened.

And do you know what? It happened before. If you go back and check before the Flood, you had Enoch, a preacher of righteousness. Enoch witnessed to everybody from Adam, Adam was still alive while Enoch was preaching, and so was Methuselah. But he never witnessed to the one that survived - Noah. Noah was born 80 years after Enoch died. You can work out the years, 80 years after he died. God had to start with Noah, and reveal what He had to reveal to Noah from scratch. Totally impossible, it seems, but it happened.

Now, it gets a bit personal. We are sitting in this room and there are a few people in the Philippines, we have even got a few people in Canada. Brave souls who get up at 6 o'clock in the morning. There is a handful scattered here and a few families there. We are the Firstfruits, we are going to be resurrected or changed at the end of this age, whether we are alive or dead, we are going to be raised up in the air to meet Christ, we are going to come back with Him as He lands on the Mount of Olives, totally destroying that army that is there. And we are going to rule and reign with him as God for a thousand years. And after that everybody who has ever lived is going to be resurrected and given their chance to enter this God family. How impossible is that?

Try going out and preaching that around. They will lock you up. Except we can't lock anyone up now, we have closed down all the psychiatric hospitals, they just give you pills now. How impossible is that? Do you see any great and mighty people here? The apostle Paul says, God has chosen the foolish things; the foolish and base things. Welcome to the club!

If God has done that then we are the ones who will form the basis of the Family of God. We will be as Mr Waterhouse used to say, the inner cabinet, for all eternity. We will be in the Holy City. How impossible is that? God is a God of the impossible. That is one thing Christ was trying to get through to everybody with the way he was resurrected.

Christ's Appearance at the Sea of Tiberias (PLAY FROM 56:22)

John 21:1:

"After these things Jesus shewed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise shewed he himself. There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples. Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing..." (John 21:1-3)

That shows you how much what had happened meant to them. "I am going fishing." And they said, "Yeah, yeah we'll come with you." So they went, they got out on the boat and they fished all night. Like I have done so many times when I go fishing, I sit there and throw the bait out and it gets a little tug and you pull it and you pull it back in and the bait's gone and the hook is still there. You feed the fish. In the morning they had nothing. John 21:4:

"But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus [again, that shield was down]. Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No. And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and [of course they did], and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes. Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord [it has got to be the Lord]. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher's coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea. And the other disciples came in a little ship; (for they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes. As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread [Jesus had already prepared a meal for them]. Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught. Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken." (John 21:4-11)

That is a pretty good catch isn't it, 153? No explanation, why not 152, why not 150? Why not about? Specifically, it says 153 fishes. The only explanation I have seen of this that makes any sense at all is in E W Bullinger's 'Number in Scripture'. In Hebrew each letter has a numeric value. And if you take the term 'sons of God' in Hebrew and you take all the numbers of each of the letters and you add them up it comes to 153. And the thing is what we have got to realise is, whereas today we get websites. We just bought Beth a little book here with different subjects and at the end of each subject there is a website that you can go to to get more information, there is more information all of the time. Back then people understood this significance of numbers. In our society we have more or less lost it. Doesn't mean anything any more, but they would have probably, hopefully, or did at a later stage, get the point. John 21:12:

"Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord. Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise. This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead." (John 21:12-14)

Now, if you turn to I Corinthians 15:4, we can add another little bit to the story. This is Paul talking:

"And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas [or Peter], then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep [now remember this is some years later]. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time." (I Corinthians 15:4-8)

Paul was personally trained, as were the other apostles, by Christ! I have a remembrance of some information I have got on the area of Petra. But it is rather interesting that Paul in another scripture, you find that Paul went to Arabia and was there for three years. That word for Arabia is linked directly to Petra, for what it is worth. And that three year period it would seem is when he was actually taught by Christ. But you read over that.

Christ was seen by 500 people at one time. He would obviously have been teaching them. Those 500 people would have spread out over the land and they would have been witnesses. "I was there, I saw Him. I saw the holes in His hands, He showed us the hole in His side. And He gave a wonderful sermon about Himself-" I don't think. What did Christ speak to them about? He spoke to them about things pertaining to the Kingdom of God. He spoke to them about the Government of God. He showed them where they were going to be in the Government of God. That is all He preached. He came into Galilee preaching the Kingdom of God. Why can't religious leaders preach about the same thing? Because they believe they are the Kingdom of God. He then appeared to the eleven in Galilee. This is Matthew 28:16, we will just quickly go over that:

"Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted [they were still doubting, they were still doubting, it is absolutely unbelievable]. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth [I have qualified to replace Satan as God of this world]. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen." (Matthew 28:16-20)

Teach them about purgatory, or as Mr Bergen used to have that lovely Irish accent, he would say, purgatory. Teach them to buy indulgences. So, if you want to go off with next door's wife or husband or whatever, just go and pay a few grand and get yourself an indulgence, and you can go and sin with impunity. Yes!

We Are Witnesses (PLAY FROM 1:04:12)

Luke 24:44, we now get down to the nitty-gritty:

"And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me." (Luke 24:44)

You can think of, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me..?" (Psalm 22:1). And, "They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my [clothes]." (Psalm 22:18). There are so many scriptures you can do a study into. Luke 24:45 is the key verse:

"Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures," (Luke 24:45)

Until this point, they didn't get it! Because there were a couple of fuses that had to go in. The final fuse went in on this day, when the Holy Spirit entered those people. But even the understanding seems to come in phases. At this point, surely, He would have explained that He was the Firstfruit and that they were going to be part of the Firstfruits. And that the Holy Spirit would come on the Feast of Firstfruits. Mr Armstrong pointed out in John 6:44:

"No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him..." (John 6:44)

And again, isn't that impossible? The True Church of God was hand selected by God the Father. That is impossible. Does that sound impossible? You, me, hand selected. Why? Because we are the weak and base things. Because we are that way He can work with us. He can do things through us, by the power of that Holy Spirit. We can't do it ourselves. That is why He says, "I will put my words in your mouth." I don't want you to hear my words, they are a load of rubbish.

Let's go back a bit. Sorry, I missed a bit out here which is rather important. Luke 24:46:

"And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things." (Luke 24:46-48)

Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, James, Peter, all the rest of it. They were the witnesses of these things. Now just make a note of Isaiah 8:16, 20:

"Bind up the testimony, seal the law [what is the law? It is God's way of life] among my [students; that is us]...To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." (Isaiah 8:16, 20)

Have you thought that you, us, we, all of us, fall into this category? We are witnesses to the fulfilment of this part of God's plan. When you go into that internet and you read those news articles, you get updates, you get sermons. You look at the newspapers, you watch the television. What do you see? You are seeing the fulfilment of prophecies that were written several thousand years ago in some cases. You are seeing the fulfilment of prophecies that Mr Armstrong made. We are witnesses, we are witnesses.

We've already seen, when we look back in recent history, the demise of the British Empire. Where our country is now a joke, quite frankly, among other nations. And America is even going down quicker, which is amazing because it was, quite simply, the most powerful nation that ever existed. If America's cage really got rattled, America could take over the world in 48 hours. Submit or be bombed out of existence. And they could do it, they could do it. But they have lost the pride in that power.

From the Ascension to Pentecost (PLAY FROM 1:08:21)

What happened to these men after the Ascension? They had ten days to wait. Ten days until they got to this day. Luke 24:53 says:

"And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen." (Luke 24:53)

What effect must this have had on the religious hierarchy? They couldn't shut them up. They tried later, and then you come to Acts 1:9:

"And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight." (Acts 1:9)

Hold on a minute, here is another impossible. This is another impossible, isn't it? He was just standing there one minute, He blessed them, and then He just went up and disappeared into a cloud. I think by this time they were getting used to it. Acts 1:10:

"And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel [two angels]; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." (Acts 1:10-11)

He'll come back just the same, He'll come down out of a cloud. Only this time He will come in great power. This time the earth will shake and quake. This time all the enemies will be vanquished. This time the capital will be set up in Jerusalem and Christ will rule there. And we will be part of that Government. And it is not impossible, it is a fact, it's a fact; and you can know it is a fact because all these other impossibles in this book have all come to pass. Every one of them, every last one of them! Acts 1:12:

"Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey." (Acts 1:12)

I just thought I'd have time to put this little bit in; what is a Sabbath day's journey? The distance a Jew could travel on the Sabbath without breaking the law is described as being about 2000 cubits, right, 2000 cubits.

When we were in South Africa we had a little business and we had a partner. Now, unfortunately, we had yet to learn the lesson that the only ship that is doomed to destroy itself before it gets down the slipway is a partnership. But never mind, we learnt the lesson. He used to go to synagogue and he used to have a seat in the front because he had a fair bit of money, which is what you need to get a seat in the front row. But his wife was ultra orthodox, she wore the wig the whole time. He would drive to the synagogue, which is a couple of miles, and she would walk. Now, in that climate with a temperature round about 35 degrees, 100 percent stupidity, or humidity, whatever you want to call it, it was draining. And she would walk, and she would have a little bag with her little bits of bread in, and she would walk the distance and she would stick it in a hedge or under a brick, and then she would walk another bit, and she would come home the same way. A Sabbath day's journey - 2000 cubits.

Let's just finish this off now. So, what did they expect? What did they expect was going to happen? In Luke 24:45 we read:

"Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures," (Luke 24:45)

But the point is, God has got to do it. The reason we are here, the reason we have got the knowledge we have got, the reason we can look and see what is going on out in the world and understand it, when the great and the mighty cannot; is because God has opened our minds. And no other reason.

We can't sit down and say, "Well, I studied the news for 40 years now." I have been at some of the great news events. I have filmed Britain being signed away to the Common Market. I made a movie of the Prime Minister of the day, Edward Heath, talking with Mr McNair. Mr McNair more or less asked him, more or less pointedly said to him, "Aren't you selling us down the river?" "Oh no, no, no, this is just a trade thing, you know." Years later that man admitted that he had lied. Does that make me an expert in the news? No, but what I can do is, I can look at the prophecies with an open mind and you can see what is happening. You can see America, on a daily basis, going down the tubes. Impossible, but it is going to happen. And it is not going to be very long from now the way they are going.

Mr Armstrong made a comment one time in a sermon, and he said, "They are not volunteers. They are draftees. We have been conscripted." 'Foundation of a New World.' This is the draft. You get chosen. Your only choice is, you join in and go for it. Or, do you go AWOL?

The other proof of that is, there were 120 in that room on this day. And yet Peter gave a sermon and 3000, 3000 were baptised. (Acts 2:41) Talk about mass production! And listen to these two verses out of Peter's sermon. Acts 2:36, astounding - this is at the end of his sermon, this is his closing bit:

"Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified [that is not pulling any punches, is it? You crucified Him], both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?" (Acts 2:36-37)

Why? Because God had opened their minds. They saw what they had done. They had seen all the events. They had seen miracles. They had seen Lazarus raised from the dead. They had seen the blind made to see. Probably a lot of these people were on the side of that hill and got fed with the 5000. They knew. But because they were blinded they were shouting, "Crucify Him!" And that is what Peter said. Isn't it interesting that not long after this Stephen got up and gave the same sermon and look what happened to him. You see God is in control, total control.

There were 120 there, and there were 120 for a reason. It is 12 x 10. Ten is law, 12 is government. That is the basis for the Kingdom of God. It is Law and Government. A way of life that is going to be put into place by a Government. And it can only be a spiritual Government, because man is totally incapable of doing it. And there is 6000 years of history to prove it. So back to our 120. Acts 2:1:

"And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place [and it says they were all sitting in a room]. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven [a noise] as of a [violent] rushing mighty wind..." (Acts 2:1-2)