And greetings friends! This is Herbert W. Armstrong with the Good News of the World Tomorrow!
My friends, one of the most shocking things that can possibly happen is to wake up to find out that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is not what we have believed at all and that we have not heard it. And that what we have believed is exactly the opposite of what the Bible says and what Jesus actually taught.
Here's one reason. As we're going through the New Testament again summarizing the teaching of Jesus, the example that He set. In the 5th chapter of John and verse 42, to the point to which we had come going through Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Jesus said here, "I am come in my Father's name, and you receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him you will receive." — "I am come in my Father's name, but you don't receive me." He came from God.
We see terrible conditions in this world, tragedy after tragedy, cold war, lots of little hot wars, world wars and atomic/hydrogen bomb race for survival of the human race. What does it all mean? Never before in all of the history of the world were conditions anything like they are now. Nineteen hundred years ago, God Almighty sent a man to this earth to tell us what it's all about and a way out. There is a purpose being worked out here below and over 1900 years ago God sent a Divine Messenger to reveal His program with the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, the message of world rule and of who is to do the ruling and of the kind of a government we are to have to bring us peace and to bring us out of all of our troubles that we have today.
Do you know that all of the troubles in the world today have come because men are in defiance of God and because the carnal mind is enmity against God, it is defiant against God. It seems to think really that God is wrong. And so men look at things the way men look at them and they won't take it the way God has said.
Now, God is the Creator and God created all the laws and the energies and the powers and the forces that exist. He sits at the controls and He guides them. And God set laws in motion to produce happiness, to produce peace, to give us prosperity and everything good, everything we want. But we have to try to do away with God's laws and God's Government and the things that God gave us and the ways that He intended for us to go. We think that we can get happiness and wealth and material possession and have peace and everything we desire by smashing these laws of God and trying to find some way of our own. You tell anyone what God says and the average man on the street today will say, "Now, here's the way I look at it." Yes, he has his way of looking at it and then he wonders, or does he, why he has heartaches and headaches and every kind of sorrow and suffering that we see today on this earth today. It's only God's ways that will bring us peace. And the only reason that we're having any fear of world war, the only reason that there's so much poverty and so much suffering and so much hunger and want and inequality and injustice and everything wrong in this world today is because men have defied the laws of God. God set His laws summed up in the Ten Commandments, the great spiritual Law, in motion to bring us peace and to produce happiness and prosperity to everything we want if we would only follow those spiritual principles.
But men will spend their time trying to argue how those ways are not good and how God made a great mistake and how man knows more than God! And so Jesus said, "If I come in the name of the Father" because He is the Creator and the Divine Ruler of the universe "you won't receive me", you won't receive His way, "but if another shall come in his own name, him you will receive . . . you which receive glory one from another." You honor human beings! You laud humans! You do all of those things. You look up to human beings but you want to belittle God! You want to trample God's ways underfoot! You don't want the ways of God! And my friends that's what they have done to the Gospel of Jesus Christ! They have trampled it underfoot! They have offered you a substitute!
You were born in this world not knowing anything about it. You didn't know anything when you were born. You have ideas in your head now and you don't know how they got there. But they have all come since the day that you were born. And these notions and ideas that you have in your head you have acquired from other people and the writings and the books that were written by other people. We have been followers of people. And the people that we have followed are carnal-minded people whose minds have been enmity against God. In other words, they have believed God was wrong, antagonistic to God and trying to find another way. And that's why we have all the troubles and all the unhappiness we have.
Do you have any fears and worries and problems and troubles in your own home? Well, the problems, God intended. But everything that is wrong and everything you suffer in your family, in your own private life has come from the transgression of these laws of God, either because you've transgressed them or because other people have.
Now, you can end your own transgressions. Unfortunately, you and I can't end the transgressions of others. And as long as others are going to transgress God's laws, you and I are going to have to suffer from their transgressions because one of the unfortunate things about sin and sin is the transgression of God's Law and one of the unfortunate things about it is that when we do it, we inflict unhappiness or suffering and sorrow or something on others. And when others do it, they inflict it on us. And so as long as we're in such a world, my friends, we're going to have to suffer from the wrongs of others. But at least you can end wronging others yourself and suffering from your own wrongs.
Yes, ". . . they seek glory and receive glory one from another, and the glory that cometh from the only God ye seek not . . ." Do we seek to please men or to please God? You know a great many people just love to accuse me. Do I preach, my friends, what you want to hear? Do I preach to please you who are listening or am I preaching to please the Eternal God? Answer that question! I don't preach what you people out there want to hear and many of you don't like it! But I preach the Truth of the Eternal God whether people listen or whether they don't.
You know my friends, when this present work started I had been in the ministry prior to that time, had been ordained some time before, but this present work that has grown into this work at the time it started it was in a country schoolhouse out west of Eugene, Oregon; you've heard me say it a good many times and mention it. But in those days, I was walking out on that country road, I met a man out there near this country schoolhouse, a farmer that lived out in that neighborhood. Came up to me one time and he said, "Mr. Armstrong," he said, "you're not going to get far."
I said, "Is that so? Why do you think so?"
"Well," he said, "You're preaching the Bible and people won't listen to it." He said, "Don't you know that the Bible corrects and reproves people and they don't want to take it? Why," he said, "the Bible is like a sharp two-edged sword and a sword that cuts on both sides and people don't like to be cut. People don't like to be hit. And if you are going to preach the Bible, you're going to preach what people don't want to hear! People won't support it. No one is ever going to give you any money and it takes money if you're going to live, if you're going to preach. Nobody will ever support it." He said, "No, you're not going to get far."
Well, perhaps not. But you know, I found out about that time that men would not support it. At that time I had a little weekly salary and I mean a little one. I am not going to tell you how little, you'd laugh or wouldn't believe it. But there were other men that didn't like the way I was doing things as I was instructed in the Bible. They didn't like the way I baptized people. They didn't like some of the things. They wanted me to follow their ways, their human traditions and the way of their church, which was contrary to the way of God and the way of Christ and the way I read in the Bible. So they called a meeting. They called me on the carpet and I was going to do the way men said and give up the way of the Bible and do what they said or else! I told them, "Take their salary."
I ran across a letter that I had written my wife immediately after that, because at the time I was down in Eugene, Oregon starting this ministry and my wife and family were still living up in Salem, Oregon and I had to leave my family for a while. I got back about every couple of weeks to see them. And I wrote my wife a long letter about it. And that was just in the intimacy and the privacy of just between my wife and myself. And I read that letter just recently. It had gotten filed away somewhere and come to light rather yellow with age now. And I said in it that we would give up that salary and we would work for God. And I was beginning to see that if we were going to work for God we'd have to rely on God for the way and for the money and everything. And I said from here on we're not ever going to ask for money. We're not going to rely on people for money. And by the way, you don't hear me ask for money on this broadcast, do you? How many religious programs do you hear where they're not ding-donging you for money and begging you for money and telling you that if they don't get money they can't continue. Listen my friends, many has been the time when if we didn't get some money, we couldn't have continued. But I didn't ask you for it. I went to God in prayer and asked Him and He has always provided it. He's the one I'm serving. He's the one I'm working for. And He's the one I go to. Now, God has provided. So, I told my wife at that time that we would trust God from here on. We're going to work for Him. We're not going to seek to please men. It's been a rocky and a hard road. Don't think it's been easy my friends. We were tried and we were tested as I doubt of any of you have ever been. I don't think you've gone through what have. You may just think you have. You give yourself over to God and God will let you be tried and tested for your own strengthening and for your own upbuilding. I speak from a very rich life of experience, if you only knew. But we trusted God.
Well, you know after that time a little group of people was raised up in the city of Eugene and we didn't have any place to go, so we just had them come to our home for meetings.
Things began to grow and pretty soon we got on the radio and we had a group of friends. And you know that first radio broadcast, it was on a little tiny 100 watt station. The manager proposed the whole thing because he saw that people were listening when I had had a fifteen minute morning devotional period that was a sustaining program, free of any charge, it didn't cost me anything. They had a hard time getting ministers to get up as early as 7:45 in the morning to come down and preach over the radio. And I found that they were just tickled to death to have me come and so I did and mail began to come in.
The manager of the station says, "Well, you've got something that people are interested in." He said, "Why don't you start a regular Sunday program?" So the first Sunday in 1934 it started. And you know he made me the ridiculous little price of $2.50 a broadcast. Now, I'm not going to tell you what broadcast time cost. But I will say this that this program goes completely around the world and blankets the whole United States and it's a good many thousand dollars a week now. And I'll tell you people have not liked to support it and yet God has supplied the money.
Well, we started the radio program. I had a group of friends, a group of people I knew, about fifty different people and I sent out a letter to those fifty and ask how many of them would pledge money every week for a year so I could sign up a year's contract and go on the air. That was back in late 1933. I got half of that money pledged — a $1.25 a week. 1933 you remember was the depression year. That's the year that President Roosevelt closed up the banks. That's the year nobody had any money. And that's the year if you lost a job you couldn't get another. And a $1.25 a week was a lot of money. Well, I got half of it pledged — a $1.25 a week. My wife and I decided we'd trust God for the other $1.25 and we'd start out.
You know one Sunday morning we came up, we didn't have anything to go on the air with and we had to pay in advance, or at least we did whether we had to or not. All of sudden a man drove up in motorcycle in front of our house. I had met him once or twice but I hardly knew him. He raced into the house. He says, "Here's some money I've got. I want to leave with you, some tithe money." It was ten dollars. That paid for the next four weeks broadcasts.
Later, we were on the air in Portland, still going the same way. A little 100 watt station in Portland, we had to go up there and drive a car up there every Sunday. Two or three times we started to Portland without the money to go on the air and somehow it would just come along the way and we didn't make any effort to stop anywhere where we thought there'd be anybody to give us money.
You know we haven't had church members to pay for it either, but God has sent it in. And God has always provided every need. Did you know, He has promised that He will supply your every need? He doesn't supply our wishes and desires. You know lots of times I'm just as human as you are, my friends, and I've wished God would send a lot more money. And I've desired and thought I needed a lot more and God didn't seem to see it that way. And He didn't send it. He only sent what we really needed. And later we look back and see we didn't need what we thought we did. We needed what God knew we did and what He sent. But He always sent it. He's taken care of this work. He's let us go through some times of stress and trial and trouble. Those are the very things to strengthen us and stiffen the spiritual vertebra and develop us into the kind of characters we were put here to build!
Well, once again let me just say, I don't preach what I think you people want to hear. I preach what I think God wants you to hear. What I think He wants you and what He shows me He wants you to have whether you like it or not. We preach the same truth that Jesus did. You know why it isn't preached more? It's because everybody agrees with that fellow that told me I wouldn't get far! He said I wouldn't get very far. Perhaps not, but I'm going to go just as far as God wants to go and no farther. And no man can stop me from going that far, I'll tell you that, because no man can stop the work of God or the will of God. God's purpose stands! And if you're in His will, if you're in His hand, if you're His instrument you need never fear what any man can do to you — no fear whatsoever.
Now, Jesus said, "Think not that I accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, on whom ye have set your hope. For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you believe not his writings, how shall you believe my words?"
Do you know that God in His Word even wrote of this work that you're listening to right now, this very broadcast, this very message? Yes, it's in prophecy. You know why we're not having a world war right now? It's because God has ordained that this Gospel of the Kingdom, the Kingdom of God, the Rule of God, the Reign of God, the Family of God into which we may be born must go to all the world as a witness unto all nations and then shall the end of this age and this world come! We're very near the end of this world, very near the end of this age! And God is holding back those forces and powers of war in order that His Gospel, His Message that He sent by Jesus Christ but which men have always spurned and rejected shall go as a witness unto all nations!
And after nineteen years, God opened the door that the Apostle Paul could go to Thessalonica and take the Gospel to Europe and then it spread to Rome and all over Europe. It even got up to the British Isles, we find evidence of that.
My friends, I want to tell you after nineteen years, God opened the door for this program to go to Europe! I was just looking at a map of the British Isles a short time before I came on the air, showing the mail received just from the British Isles. And I tell you it's from all over clear up in the north of Ulster. All over Ireland, all over Scotland, all over England and Wales, people that are listening this same message over there.
And this Gospel is going to go around the world and when it has circled this earth and gone around the world, then and not until then and not after then shall the end of this age come! That's in Matthew the 24th chapter, and I think it's the 13th verse if you want to look for it that's exactly what Jesus said and that's when He said. Oh yes, a lot, (the 14th verse it is), a lot of people wouldn't want to believe that. And I'll tell you how to get around something that you don't want to accept when you can't disprove it any other way, just laugh it off and sneer at it. Try to ridicule it. And that's what a lot of them will do. But that happens to be the truth and it's a fact. And that's the way it's going to go. God Almighty has decreed it.
Well, next we come to Mark's gospel carrying on the story-flow. In the 2nd chapter of Mark and Matthew the 12th chapter and Luke the 6th chapter, the next events in time order are recorded in those three books right now. And so I am going to take Mark's gospel, the 2nd chapter and beginning with the 23rd verse. This continues the story-flow in the New Testament. Mark 2 beginning with verse 23. "It came to pass, that Jesus was going on the sabbath day through the corn fields; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn. And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful?" Now, wait a minute, who made that unlawful?
Do you know my friends that after the days of Ezra and Nehemiah, that because Israel and Judah both had been sent into the greatest national punishment that God had ever meted out to any people, because they broke God's Sabbaths and worshipped idols. Those two commandments they broke. Those two commandments a lot of people can't see whether it would make any difference or not. A lot of people today say, "Well, my goodness, bowing down in front of a statue and praying to it? We don't worship the statue, we only worship what it represents." They say, "We don't see any harm in it." And yet they're going through all the motions, they bow down in front of a statue and pray to it. And they don't see any harm in it. They're sincere. I don't say that they're a bunch of liars and hypocrites at all. They're sincere. They believe it. "There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, the ends thereof are the ways of death." It seems right to them. And you know except God reveal the truth by His Holy Spirit and through His Word, no man could see where it would make any difference whether anybody kept God's Sabbath or which day they keep or the Sabbath or whether they keep it all or not or how they keep it, what difference would it make? You can't see it, can you? Not by your own mind of course you can't, nobody can. Yes. "There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, the ends thereof are the ways of death"! God Almighty has revealed the truth to us that we don't know. And when will we wake up and find out that it is God's laws He set in motion and that there is a reason for them! The only way to keep us in the right contact with God, the only way to keep us in a right contact with our neighbors and that will bring us the peace and the happiness and the joy and the full abundant lives that we want! When will we throw away this stupidity and wake up and turn to God and realize that God is the only one who knows and the only one who can really teach us? When will we surrender? When will we really repent and become teachable? So we can say now, "Not my will, O God, but thine be done. Teach me." Come like little children willing to be taught. How long are we going to be rebellious children just wanting to lean to human reason and have our own way about it? Your own way, my friends, cannot give you eternal life. You don't have it, it's the gift of God. You don't have it unless God has given it to you. And I hope some of you have received it in the presence of the Holy Spirit in your lives. But otherwise you don't have it.
Well, after the days of Ezra and Nehemiah, they learned their lesson and they began to observe God's Sabbath so strictly that they set up about 65 rules and regulations that were man-made of do's and don't's to make the Sabbath so strait-laced and so hard to endure that almost no one could keep it. Now, Jesus did break those rules and set them aside time after time.
Well, Jesus said to them, "Did ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was a hungered, he, and they that were with him? And how he entered into the house of God when Abiathar was the high priest, and did eat of the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat save for the priests, and he gave also to them that were with him? And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath . . ."
Why is it, my friends, that people seem to have the idea that God is a harsh, stern God who doesn't love us and who has no love but wants to make us miserable, that He wants you to be poor, He wants you to be ignorant, He wants you to be unhappy, He wants you to give up everything that would make life worthwhile. Now where did that idea originate? I'll tell you, it originated from the Devil. That's not true! God says through John that He "wishes above all things that we might be prosperous and in good health." Of course, that's physically speaking but God also wants you to have every happiness. Jesus said, "My joy I give to you and leave with you." He had joy to give. God is the very source of all happiness. God wants us to be happy.
Now, what do you hear today? "Why the Sabbath? That old Sabbath!" They call it by an epithet. They call it the Jewish Sabbath! Oh, you can just hear them spitting at it as they say that! Oh, how they hate what God set in motion and what God gave! They have to call it by names — name calling! And they think that God gave that to make man miserable! Jesus said that, "The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:" It was made to be a blessing to man. But no, we don't want blessings God's way. We want them our own way, don't we?
Now, I want you to notice something — "The sabbath was made . . ." Oh, it was one of those things that were made. Now, who made it? Who made it? Did you ever read in the first chapter of John, we went through that here a while ago, several days ago now, several weeks ago, in John the very first chapter that Jesus is the Word, the Greek word is Logos, the Spokesman, "who was made flesh and dwelt among us and that he was with God and that he was God"? And did you ever read where it says there in verse three, "all things were made by him"? All things! Does that include the Sabbath Day? Now, Jesus said the Sabbath was made. It's one of those things that was made. Who made it? Who made all things? "All things were made by him; without him was not any thing made that was made." And who is this Word? ". . . the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, as the glory of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. And John bare witness of him . . ." It was Jesus Christ. I can show you other passages that God created all things by Jesus Christ!
Now notice again, He says, "The sabbath was made . . ." Oh, the Sabbath was made for the Jew. It wasn't made for the Gentile. Did you ever read that right there? Well, that's what you think it says, don't you? (I see some people here in the studio and through the control room double glass here just laughing now. They're having a good laugh at me. I guess I misread it.) No! It doesn't say the Sabbath was made for the Jew, "the sabbath was made for man . . ." And if it was made for man it was made when man was made. And you turn back in the very 2nd chapter of Genesis and there you find it. On the 6th day, God made man. On the 7th day, He made the Sabbath for him and that Sabbath Day began at the end of sundown on the end of the 6th day. And man was made and there it was.
Now, my friends, I want you to get the amazing booklet, where the United States and the British Commonwealth identified in prophecy — The United States and the British Commonwealth in Prophecy and the nations of northwestern Europe. There's no charge.