And greetings friends, this is Herbert W Armstrong with the Good News of the World Tomorrow!
In going through the New Testament to see why it is that we have believed that the Bible says exactly the opposite of what it does say, and why it is that we today are practicing customs that are the very antithesis of the things that Jesus did. And He said that we should do as He did, and Peter said we should follow His steps — He set us an example. Why is it that we are believing things today that were never believed by Christ, never taught by Christ? Never taught or believed by the Church as it started out in its purity, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and the guidance of the apostles, who were under the direct direction of Jesus Christ, the head of the Church?
So now here we are blowing the dust off our Bibles, getting back to see through Matthew, Mark, Luke and John what Jesus did teach, and He did not teach what most of us have been taught since little children, to believe He taught. He didn't teach what we believed but exactly the contrary. Listen to this. Now we're up in the fifth chapter of John, John five, and now in verse twenty-six. Look how strange this is, how different this is from what you have probably believed. Jesus said;
"For as the Father hath life in himself [that is inherent in Himself, within Himself], even so gave he to the Son also to have life in himself: and he gave him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of man [He's the Son of God and also the Son of man]. Marvel not at this: for the hour cometh [now notice, the hour is coming], in which all that are in the tombs [or in their graves] shall hear his voice, and come forth." (John 5:26-28 American Standard Version)
Now, where are they? Not up in heaven, in their graves, in their tombs, buried. They "....shall hear his voice; and come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life...they that have done [ill or] evil, unto the resurrection of judgment." (John 5:29 ASV)
Now notice two resurrections mentioned — one to life, the other to judgment. Now let's go back and analyze that again. Jesus did not speak as if there were anyone up in heaven hearing His voice now. In fact, He said in another place, that; "...no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man..." (John 3:13)
Who was He Himself, the Son of God. He had been with the Father from eternity. You read that in the very first chapter of John — that He was the Logos that is the Word, the Greek word was Logos. And remember the New Testament was written originally in the Greek language. And there the word in the Greek language is Logos. Well, it means Word exactly as they've translated it into the English language. It means the Spokesman, the one who does the speaking, who delivers the word. And Jesus is the mouthpiece, the Spokesman, the Word of God. And it says there, that He was with God in the beginning, and that He was God and is God and that;
"All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made [and this Word, this Logos]...was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." (John 1:3,14)
So there we find that that is Jesus, He had been with the Father from eternity.
God is Life Now, in a program which you perhaps should have heard a week or two ago, I was looking into the scientific proof of the very existence of God. Now, the next thing we looked into was whether God is life, and has life. Where did life come from? How do things become alive? How do they get life? And we found that science proves that life cannot come from the not living. Life can come only from life. Life can only be imparted by life. Life cannot be imparted by death. Now I want you to get that. And we proved that God it is the fountain source of life. That God is the One from whom all life has come. Now, notice this that Jesus says here; "...as the Father [has] life [L-I-F-E — life] in himself..." (John 5:26)
God is life, and has life inherent in Himself. Now my friends, you have been deceived into believing you have life. And life that will survive this body and this life, and live forever inherent in yourself. And I know it's a terrible thing to debunk people on things of that sort, but let me just tell you very candidly and frankly. You have been trusting in something without any evidence, or any proof, and God's Word says exactly the contrary. You have no life inherent in yourself. Life comes from God. God has not given eternal life to human beings. But He will give it to a human, to any human. I mean He has not given it at birth to humans. Let me correct it to that extent. He did not impart eternal life to Adam. There is not any place in the scripture, that you can find that God made Adam immortal. That eternal life and inherent life was ever imparted into Adam, it was not! But when Adam obeyed the Devil instead of obeying God. From the very beginning God is set up as the Supreme Ruler. As not only The Creator but the One who created, as well as matter, who also created all forces, and energies, and powers, and who sent laws in motion. Physical laws and laws of chemistry, and of physics, as we call them, that are physical laws. And also He set in motion spiritual laws that regulate our relationships, and God rules the entire universe by those laws.
God Instructed Adam Now, God instructed the first man Adam whom He created, in the way of living that would've made him happy. God set him in a beautiful garden of Eden. It was a beautiful spot. It was just Paradise itself, perhaps the most beautiful place that has ever existed on this earth. And I doubt if there is any spot on earth today, that has even a slight resemblance to the beauty that was in that wonderful Garden of Eden. Well, there was just one tree that he was not to have, because that tree would harm the man. And because God loved the man, He told that man and his wife, Eve, not to eat of that tree. But He said they could have everything else in the garden.
Now, you take little children today, and a little child that is hardly able to walk yet but just do creep, set a lot of toys around the child. You can take the least attractive toy of the whole bunch. If you set about ten or twelve or fifteen different toys around the child, and one of them is not as attractive as the others but you say to the child, 'Now look, mustn't have that toy. No you mustn't touch. You must let that toy alone. Play with all these other toys. But don't play with that toy.' And you go out and close the door, and just sort of peek through the crack. And let the baby think that you're out of the room, and you notice which toy that baby will go right after first. Why of course, you know what it'll do, it'll go after that toy you told it not to touch, if the baby thinks you're not looking. Unless, I will have to make one exception I believe. Unless the parents of that baby have really been instructing that baby and teaching that baby to obey. And instilling in it the habit of obedience and punished it when it didn't, and have taught it to obey where it automatically obeys its parents. But there aren't too many of those, and otherwise you just try that.
Now it's the same with people grown up. We're just children grown up. We're all babies grown up. We were all babies once weren't we? And we all stare death in the face, and there was a time when we were all born. Now let's face these things. Let's look into it and understand them. Why we're here, and where we're going, and what this thing is all about. And I think it's a healthy thing to know what life is, and what its purpose is, and what we are, and why we are, and all about it. Let's not run from these things. You know when you find it out, life can be very beautiful. Life can be very happy. Yes, life can be a great blessing, but you have to learn the way. Otherwise, it is going to be a curse. And that's the reason it is a curse to most of us. We haven't learned how to live. So you listen, you listen to this program every single day on this station. You'll learn a lot about how to make your life happier and more abundant and more pleasant because that's what God wants.
You know God didn't give us these aches and pains. Well, He created the nervous system in us that produces it, of course, but for purpose. But I mean He's not the actual cause of any pain or suffering. But the cause is our rebellion against Him. And rebellion against His laws, and our defying of Him, and His laws and doing opposite to what He said. Now, Adam and Eve took of the wrong tree. They rebelled, and right there in the very beginning, you find God pictured as the Ruler. Giving His laws and His admonition to the man out of love, and showing him that he could have had of the tree that was eternal life.
Now, there was eternal life available in that garden and it was in this Tree of Life, L-I-F-E. But Adam and Eve never took any of that tree, they did not gain eternal life, they did not possess eternal life. God did not put eternal life in them at creation. And I defy you, anyone listening, to show me any scripture that says that God did! And I will certainly read it to this nation-wide audience anytime, anybody can show me that scripture, that says that God put eternal life within Adam. He did not, and there is no scripture that says He did. But eternal life was available in the garden. Now, you show me, will you, where Adam ever took of that tree? He just didn't. He took of the other one, the tree of death.
God said; "...in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." (Genesis 2:17)
The Devil came along said, "Oh-oh, now, now God knows better than that. Now listen. God's lying to you. You can't rely on God. You can't believe Him! You haven't seen God. And you can't believe Him. He's trying to deceive you. You believe me. Now I'm your friend. Why just look, you can see that that tree is good for food. Isn't it very pleasant? Isn't it beautiful?" Yes, the woman looked at it, he was deceiving her. And she saw it was pleasant to the eyes, and desired to make one wise. And the Devil said, "Now look! You'll be just like God yourself. You won't surely die. Why you're an immortal soul. You've already got eternal life in you. Why do you let God kid you like that, by telling you that you don't have it, that you're going to die?"
God said, "...[you shall] surely die" (Genesis 2:17). You are mortal, thou art dust; "...dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." (Genesis 3:19) That's what God said.
First Sin You know where the first sin began? It's when they began to believe that siren lie of the Devil who said, "Oh no, you won't surely die. You will go on living, because you have an immortal soul and you'll be just like God." My friends, have you been believing that lie today in this twentieth century after all these years? Is it possible that nearly all humanity still believes that lie, instead of the true God and the truth of God? Yes, my friends, that's exactly what's happened. And you too have been duped. And you too have been deceived just like the rest of the world. Most of you at least, nearly all of you listening, I'm sure have and you have believed that.
Now what happened? The man and the woman believed the Devil, and they thought they could be like God. And it was desired, and lust entered their hearts to possess that which God had denied them. That one tree belonged to God. It didn't belong to them. They reached out and took of it, they stole it. They had lust, they entered into stealing. They had another god before the true God, when they obeyed the Devil;
"...his...ye are to whom ye obey..." (Romans 6:16) Says Paul to the Romans.
They obeyed the Devil, they disobeyed God. And they dishonored their only Father, because they were the creation of God. And in one of the genealogies of Christ, you'll find it mentions going back to Seth, who was the son of Adam, who was the son of God. And so in the sense that he was a creation of God, Adam was the son of God. He was not a born, or a begotten and born son of God at all. He was a created son just like angels, in the sense of being creations are called sons of God. But they are not begotten, or born sons of God like Jesus Christ, and like you and I may become.
Now, here's the thing, if you will turn to the third chapter of Genesis, and near the end of the chapter you will find, and I won't take the time to turn and read it now. But you will find that God drove the man and the woman out of the Garden of Eden because they had sinned. (Genesis 3:23,24) And; "...sin is the transgression of the law." (I John 3:4)
The law of God, and they broke God's direct law and commandment. They broke four of the ten commandments. They let lust enter into their heart and greed. Then they stole that fruit. They dishonored their Father. They had another God before the true God. They broke four of the ten commandments — that was sin. They were driven out of the Garden of Eden, my friends, and God set angels with flaming swords pointing in every way. Lest, now get this, lest they go back into the Garden of Eden, and take of the tree of life, and eat of it and live forever. Lest they gain eternal life. There it was accessible and God drove them out of the Garden of Eden. Why? Because they would've taken of the tree of life, and they would've had immortal life, eternal life. And how had they decided to live that eternal life? They had chosen to life a live in rebellion against God.
Now, God set His law in motion to make man happy. God set His law there to give us peace, to give us abundance, and prosperity, to make us happy, to make our lives full, and interesting. Until there is not a dull moment, but we live fully, abundantly, happily, joyfully. God wants us to be merry and happy.
Some people think God is a killjoy and that God doesn't want you to be happy, and that happiness comes out of sin. Like the one in the letter that I read to you yesterday, the man that was sarcastically saying — of course he didn't mean a word of it, I know that — but said that he was going to go back into sin, and enjoy pleasure for a while — as if that were desirable. My friends, if that's desirable, go do it. And I would say to that man, if it is desirable, if that's the right way, if that will make you happy, go do it! That's what God would want if it's right.
But you see it isn't right. That's why God does not want it. He does not want us to do the things that are going to harm us. He presented everything in the Garden of Eden to Adam that would've made Adam happy. He is giving you an opportunity to have the Way that will make you happy, to live that Way, to choose that Way. That's what you must choose and make your own decision, as to whether you're going to follow the Way of God. The Way, that Way is the Christian Way. And you'll find in the Book of Acts that Christianity was called that Way. This Way, the Way of God. It was called that, so many many times in five or six places, in just one double page in your New Testament in your Bible. That they spoke of this Way, it is called a Way of life — Christianity, the original brand — the faith once delivered to the saints. And I tell you my friends it makes sense. It really does. It's the way of happiness and of joy.
God Never Gave Adam eternal Life Now, God never gave Adam eternal life. But He drove him out of the Garden of Eden lest he go back and eat of the Tree of Life, gain eternal life and live forever. Now why did He do that? Why doesn't God want that man to live forever? Because that man had started out, a kind of life that was in rebellion against God, of disobeying the laws that God set in motion to make the man happy. And the minute you begin to live in rebellion against those laws... And listen my friends, that's the way you've been living. You have been living contrary to the laws of God. You have been living according to the customs of men. According to the ways of this civilization, this society. And this whole civilization and society has been built by pagan minds using human reason, contrary to the laws of God and in defiance of God and of His laws. Just the way Adam started living, and under the sway and the influence of an invisible Devil.
Now nobody has at any time seen God, His form or shape. (John 1:18) We're going to come to that here pretty soon. And nobody has ever seen the form or shape of the Devil, but I assure you that those spirits and those influences actually exist. And people are following that influence of the Devil which is evil. And which only brings suffering and heartaches and headaches, and retribution of every kind, and failure and despondency. Oh, that's what's wrong with this world, my friends. Can't we wake up and can't we see the truth? Now, Adam had chosen that way of life, that was going to bring on sorrow and suffering and unhappiness. What kind of a God would God have been if He had let him live like that forever? And do you know that the Bible says that;
"...sin and sinful men wax worse and worse..." (II Timothy 3:13 paraphrased)
Do you know that if you start on that way, this way of sin, and the way of sin is the transgression of God's law? And God's law is the way of peace and happiness and joy. Sin then is the way that appears glittering and attractive, but which is actually the way into suffering and heartaches, and headaches and unhappiness and everything wrong. Now if God had let the man live forever in that way, it is a thing that multiplies progressively. And the pain, the sorrow, and the suffering would have grown more, and more multiplied on the man. Until, well I would say, that after about a million years of that kind of life, he wouldn't be able to stand it. And yet he'd have to, he couldn't die — he'd have to go on living forever.
Now, could a loving God inflict that kind of penalty on anyone? He didn't, God drove him out lest he gain eternal life. And you'll read that all the days that Adam lived were, what was it, 930 wasn't it? And then he died, and anyway the exact days of Adam's life are numbered and are given to you back there in Genesis, the fifth chapter, I believe it is. (Genesis 5:5) But notice, God does have life and that life is a gift that He will give us. But you don't have it, my friends, unless you get it as God's gift.
Now get this, Jesus said; "...as the Father hath life [L-I-F-E] in himself..." (John 5:26 ASV)
Yes, life has to come from some place, and life came from God. God created matter. He created all life and all active powers and forces and energies. And that life comes from God. He has life inherent in Himself. God is the great life giver. Now, from there let's go on;
"...even so gave he to the Son [that's Jesus Christ] also to have life in himself:" (John 5:26 ASV)
Jesus Christ then had eternal, immortal life inherent in Himself, just like the Father. Now, let's just stop there a moment, hold that. And over in I John the fifth chapter -and again I'm going to quote this from memory — but it's I John 5 and I believe it's about verses fourteen and fifteen — but I'm not sure. It says this that;
"...this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. And whosoever has the Son of God has life; and whosoever has not the Son of God has not life." (I John 5:11-12 paraphrased)
Now, there it says in plain language. If you have not the Son of God, you have no life in you or abiding in you! There again, in I John you read again that;
"The man that just hates his brother is a murderer: and we know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him." (I John 3:15 paraphrased)
Now, that's a man that just hates his neighbor or his brother. He does not have eternal life abiding in him. If there is any immortal soul in him, if there is anything that will live forever in him, he would have eternal life, and that scripture given by inspiration of God is then lying and deceiving you. Now which is the lie? What you've heard? What you've been taught by men, and never in your Bible, or is the Bible lying and is God lying — which? Again, you've been taught the very thing that the first man, Adam, got from the Devil. And men have been believing it ever since, but God doesn't teach you that.
Life comes From The Father Now here, Jesus shows that life comes from the Father. The Father gave it to the Son, Jesus. And that is the human born Son who was resurrected immortal. He'd had eternal life before He was changed into mortal human flesh for the purpose of death. But now the Father gave Him,- that is Son of man, as well as Son of God — to have life in Himself because He was filled with the Spirit of God and that is the life of God. That is eternal life — the Spirit of God — inherent in Him. And He gave Him, Jesus, authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of man.
You see He is speaking of Christ there as the Son of man having been given eternal life. God didn't give it to Him as the original Logos and One with God. He had always had it with God, though He was a different person than the Father. But now He is made man, and has been given eternal life. Why? In order that you and I might have eternal life. He became like man in order to pay the penalty of our sins in our stead. In order that He might make possible the wiping out of the penalty that stands between us and God, that we could be reconciled to God. In order that God could give Him eternal life, inherent in Himself, as the first among many brethren. That God can give you and me eternal life and that we can be the begotten sons of God exactly as Jesus was. That we can be born as the sons of God, exactly as Jesus was by a resurrection from the dead. As He was glorified and became very God, worthy of the worship of the angels and of man, so may we my friends, and we shall be glorified together with Him.
"...we shall be like him for we shall see him as He is." (I John 3:2)
Oh, do you grasp it? Can your mind conceive the wonderful Good News of the Kingdom of God? The Kingdom of God is a kingdom you can be born into. God is that Kingdom. It is composed of more than one member, more than one person, but only the one Kingdom. One God, many members, just like Jesus and the Father were one but they're two persons — but one God. Well, I've mentioned that so many times before.
Now; "Marvel not at this: for the hour cometh, [the hour is coming in the future] in...which all that are in their graves [or their tombs] shall hear his voice." (John 5:28)
Then they'll hear it — not hearing it now. Jesus said; "...no man [has] ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man..." (John 3:13)..... Himself, Jesus, who had been with the Father from eternity.
Do you know that on that first sermon preached on the Day of Pentecost by Peter, when he was inspired in the Holy Spirit, and had come to inspire him. And he had been three and a half years with Jesus, being taught by Jesus Himself. And that there he quoted from David, and where David had said that Jesus' soul would not be left in hell? And where he said that; "...David is not ascended into the heavens..." (Acts 2:34)
David is not ascended into the heavens? And yet my friends you read in scriptures of where David is to be resurrected in this resurrection when he in his grave shall hear the voice of Christ and come forth. And he'll be resurrected into the resurrection of life and will be the king over Israel. Yes, he will, you will find that — let me see — in thirty-seventh chapter of Ezekiel and in other places in the prophecies.
Now they; "...shall hear his voice, and shall come forth..." (John 5:28-29)
In I Thessalonians, the fourth chapter and about in the thirteenth onto the eighteenth verses, you'll read how the dead in Christ will rise first; "...[Jesus] shall descend from heaven with a shout, with a voice of the archangel, with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ:" (I Thessalonians 4:16)
They're not coming down from heaven with Him, they will rise out of their graves. And the living in Christ will; "...be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye..." (I Corinthians 15:51-52)
And they shall go up with those that are resurrected from their graves to; "...meet [Jesus] in the air..." (I Thessalonians 4:17)
That word 'meet' implies meeting someone who is coming here, not going on up to heaven with Him. The Greek word has that meaning.
Now, "...all that are in [their tombs] shall hear his voice, and come forth..." (John 5:28-29)
They're not hearing it now. Where did you get those ideas? Why you've heard preachers preach it at funeral sermons because they think it pleases the bereaved and softens their grief. My friends, the real truth will soften far more grief. Let's come to the truth of God and not believe the Devil who is a liar, and the father of it, as the Bible says. (John 8:44)
"...they that have done good [will come], unto the resurrection of life...they that have done [ill or] evil, unto the resurrection of judgment." (John 5:29 ASV)
Well, there it is, I didn't get far, I wanted to cover more ground in this broadcast. We'll pick it up there again next broadcast in this particular series.
But now my friends, one of the most important things in your life. You know, it's a lot later than most of us seem to think. Never before have world conditions been like they are now. World catastrophes are destined to rock this world in the next 15 or 20 years. You're going to live through these times. Yes, world catastrophes are going to shake this world, and it's all written in advance in Bible prophecy. And the Bible can be understood now. It's the most thing in your life. Now, I realize that the Bible has not been understood. Prophecies have never been understood till now. Do you know why? You'll find in the twelfth chapter of Daniel one of these great prophecies, where it says Daniel couldn't understand even what he was writing. But the angel that was revealing what he wrote to him said;
"...Go thy way, Daniel [these]: words are closed... and sealed till the time of the end." (Daniel 12:9)
Yes, they've been closed and sealed till now. But now, my friends, God's time has come to reveal them. You can know what's going to happen to your nation. What you're going to have to live through in these next few years. Now my friends, I want you to get the amazing booklet where the United States and the British Commonwealth are identified in prophecy, 'The United States and British Commonwealth in Prophecy ,' and the nations of northwestern Europe. There's no charge.