Now, getting back again to this series, to see what Jesus Christ did preach. You've heard all about Christ. You've heard a gospel about Him, but have you ever heard His Gospel? Why haven't you heard it? Why is it not being preached today? Why is it that that Good News that Jesus preached, the message that God sent by Him to the world and which He delivered to the world, was been snuffed out and hidden from the world and not preached for more than eighteen hundred years? Why? What example did He set?
You know you read that He set an example that we should follow His steps. Now, the Church as it started out in its purity did. Why are we doing exactly opposite things today? Why is it that we do the things that the early Church never thought of doing and the things that they did we will not do today? Why is it that we have to have that warning back in the book of Jude the next to the last book in the New Testament warning us to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered?
I saw a letter that was sent to one of our professors here from a radio listener apparently back in the South or the Middle West some place. They said, "Well, you're out there in Pasadena, you're out where a lot of these radio ministers are that preach all over the whole United States." They said, "I wonder if you ever ran across this Herbert Armstrong out there." And this woman said, "I don't like him. He's upsetting this whole world. He's upsetting the world and its customs and the things that the world is doing. Why has he got to upset us about Christmas and things like that? Why can't he let us alone?"
Well, my friends, I didn't make the Laws of God. I'm merely telling you what God Almighty says. And when I have told you that Christmas is not a Christian institution, but a pagan institution, I'm merely giving you the facts. You can go to any public library and find on the shelves there, the encyclopedias and the histories and the books that will tell you the same thing.
Now, the Protestants got the idea of Christmas from the Catholics and the Catholics will tell you in their own encyclopedia the real truth about the history of it. All you have to do is get their encyclopedia. They don't hide the truth, they'll tell you. Go get the Catholic encyclopedia, look in the Encyclopedia Britannica, look in the Americana, look in any of them. Look in some of the commentaries and see what they say about the Truth. I'm merely giving you the Truth. Why should it upset you unless something is wrong?
Do you know that in the Bible it is prophesied that God would have someone here in these last days telling the people the Truth? And it is said as Isaiah shouted out to the ministers that are the true ministers of Jesus Christ, "Cry aloud and spare not!" And God says, "and show my people their sins!" Well, it seems that some people don't like to hear it today anymore than they did when Jesus Christ was on earth.
And you know what Jesus said to Nicodemus when he came around to see Him. Jesus said, "This is the condemnation that light is come into the world." He was that light. The Truth that He proclaimed, the message that He preached was that light and that Truth has come into the world but that men loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil.
Oh, my friends, that couldn't be true of you today in this twentieth century could it — that the Truth has come into the world; the light of the Truth of God has come into the world? I preach the same message that Jesus Christ preached and men didn't like it because it reproved them for their evil deeds and it showed them where they were wrong. Oh, I hope it doesn't make you uncomfortable today, my friends. It seemed to make the people uncomfortable in the days of Jesus but this is the Truth of God!
My friends, look around you in this world today and you see a very unhappy world. You see empty faces. You see empty hearts and lives. You see lots of poverty. You see all kinds of sickness and disease. Let me tell you why you have unhappiness, why you're filled with fears and worries. Why you have the heartaches and the empty lives that you do. It's all because and the reason we have this war and fear of war is because we have turned down the Law of God, we have rejected the Rule and the Government of God and we won't have anything of that which Jesus Christ preached which was the Government of God Almighty. We want our kind of Government, human government. We don't like the Government of God. We don't want any of the Law of God. We don't want the way of God, which is the way to peace and the way to prosperity and the way to happiness and the way to joy brimful and running over. We want the results but we don't want the way that will produce those results.
I tell you my friends it's an indictment against everyone of us and the thing is we need to wake up and to realize where we are. God Almighty woke me up. He struck me down. First, He blinded me and then He woke me up because He was calling me to warn you! And He made me realize how I was living and how contrary to the right ways and to His ways until I came to the place that I saw just how rotten I was and how foul and rotten my life was and I repented of it. And I sunk clear down into the subbasement of the lowest gutter and from there I cried out to God Almighty for mercy and He had mercy and He lifted me up and I gave my life to Him.
Do you know some people tell me that my life has been threatened? They say, "You don't dare proclaim these things you do on the air to the whole world! Someone's going to go out and get you some day and stop it!" I have no fear of that. My life doesn't belong to me. I gave it over to God Almighty and I told Him if He could do anything with it, it's His, I was through with it.
In my young days, I was the most cocky, conceited young bragging young ass you ever saw. I thought I was the brightest smart aleck young man that ever was hatched or ever was born I guess I should say. But when I get to thinking about it, I get to using language because I'm so disgusted with the way I once was. I was more important than anybody that I ever saw in those days. And God took it all out of me. He took, as we say, the wind out of my sails. He knocked all my breath out of me. He took away all of that conceit.
He brought me down in three successive failures. I was knocked down and out once but I got back up. I was knocked clear down again but I got back up and was on the way to a business success again in a national way. I was knocked clear down again in my early thirties. This time I couldn't get up, I was knocked out. And this time I realized what a fool I had been. I realized that my little head didn't contain so much knowledge and so much ability and so much power as I had somehow thought it did. And when I looked back and saw the failures and when I looked back and saw how insignificant I was, I was totally frustrated. I wasn't even worthy to be thrown on the junk pile. I was worse than a burned out hunk of junk. I wasn't even worth anything to the junk dealer, that's the way I looked at myself. My life was worthless, it was nothing and I had to be brought down to that condition before I'd give it over to God.
He had called me. He had given my wife a vision. I was just embarrassed by it. I told her to go tell the preacher about it somewhere and I didn't want to be bothered with it. I wanted to make more money in business. I was in business. I was going to be a big shot someday, so I thought. But finally when I came clear down and got rid of self and gave that self what there was of it over to God and told Him He could have it and I've done my very best to leave it with Him ever since, God began to use it.
And the only way that He can use anyone is with the same message and preaching the same thing that Jesus Christ preached and as Christ Himself said men didn't like it, they hated the light that He brought which is the Truth that He preached because their deeds were evil.
My friends, all of our deeds have been evil, mine were, yours have been unless you have repented and turned the other way but they have been up until that time anyhow. Now, why don't we just stop and look at it, where's it getting us? Where is this way people love and want to live the way they want to live, where's getting them? It's not bringing you peace, it's not bringing you happiness it's not bringing the world any peace, it's not bringing any prosperity to the world or any right conditions at all these things that people like and they talk about and they can't see where God is right or God is fair. Why don't we throw away our own ways and try God's way for a change and see what would happen.
Do you know if all people were ruled by God and living God's way honestly from the fullness of their heart, you know what we could do? I don't know what we would do with all these insane asylums. I don't know what we do with all our prisons and jails and our hospitals, but we wouldn't have to put criminals in our jails, we wouldn't have to put sick people in our hospitals because there wouldn't be any sick, we wouldn't have any insane people — just think what a different world this would be. And everybody would be happy, everybody would be busy; but they'd be busy at something their whole heart would be in and they'd get such happiness and joy out of it. Oh, it would be a happy world. It would be a world of peace and everybody would love everybody else, that's God's Law, that's God way. We would love our neighbors as ourselves. We would do to them as we want them to do to us and we're all just selfish enough to want them to do the right thing to us.
A man wouldn't take advantage of another man. If anyone shortchanges you, you go back and tell him, you want rest of it and you're pretty sore. But what if someone, we'll say in a restaurant, you're going out of a restaurant or out of a store where you've made a purchase or at the gas station where you've bought a little gas. We'll say that he made a mistake and gave you a dollar too much. You going to give it back to him? Did you ever try it? I've done that a few times. I've been overchanged a few times and give the money back and you know in every time that I have done it the people look at me so strangely and they say, well, they never had anyone do that before. Why haven't they? What's the matter with all the rest of the people? Why don't they give it back? Man, I'll tell you, I simply could not afford to pay the penalty I'd have to pay to get an extra dime or an extra dollar because I didn't want to be honest enough to give it back. I'd pay a pretty big price to get it.
I was just thinking this morning as I was talking with one of our ministers here at Ambassador College. We were reading one of John Wesley's sermons about justification and all that sort of thing. You know I believe John Wesley was a very sincere man. I think there were some things he didn't see and understand. Perhaps, it wasn't given to be understood yet at that time, I don't know. He wrote some very wonderful things.
Anyway, we were discussing this thing about what hangs over you and about justification and what it is and a lot of people have never understood it. Now, it's something like this. If you break the law the penalty is death. In other words, it's like you could talk to the law and the law says, "Now, you're a free moral agent. If you want to do the things that break this Law, I will let you. If you want to steal something, I'll let you. Even though you want to steal that day of God's time that people don't like. You can go ahead and take it to yourself for your own selfish advantage. You're permitted to do it but let me tell you something, if you do there's a price I'm going to charge you. That price is your life. I won't tell you when I'm coming around to collect. You don't know when you're going to die. Maybe I'll come around in five minutes, maybe I'll come in around in five years and maybe it will be fifty or seventy-five years from now, but sooner or later I'm going to come around and collect and you're through and the price that you are trading is your life." In other words, you can break God's Law but when you do you're paying a price but you're going into debt! You don't pay it now. You're just the same as signing a note and the note calls for payment of your life! The wages of sin is death and you're going to give your life in death. You give up your life and you have nothing but death left. That's happened to every one of us because we've all broken God's Law.
Now, here is the only comforting thing — that God sent His own Son, His only begotten Son as He was at the time and in that manner the only begotten Son that there has ever been in same manner in which He was a begotten Son of God; although we can be begotten sons of God in another way today. But He sent Jesus Christ who was changed from divine into human, from God into man. And He was man and He was mortal and He was made human for the very purpose of death and He tasted death for every man including you!
Now, if you repent and if you are willing now to keep God's Law, He has already paid that note that you signed so to speak, that debt that you incurred when you took the privilege of breaking God's Law. In other words, the thing is this if you think you're going to enjoy breaking the Law of God you're welcome to it. God will let you do it and enjoy it while you may because you are going to pay and payday is coming and what you're going to pay is your whole life for eternity, in death.
The wages of sin is death and it's eternal punishment and the punishment is death and it's for all eternity. You sacrifice life and you will get death and it's a death sentence. And you're borrowing it and payday's coming when you pay back and the Law is going to come along and collect.
Now, the Law took the life of Christ in your stead if you can apply it and there are terms and conditions — you must repent. You must come to see how rotten you have been, how evil you have been and really repent and turn around and start to go the other way and Christ will make you free, free to keep the Law of God which is the way of peace, which is the way of faith instead of fears and worries, which is the way to happiness and to prosperity and to everything good that you want. It's the way to a contact with God and you don't know the blessings that you can have from God if you'll only have a contact with Him.
Why do men reject the message that Jesus brought. The message Jesus brought was a message of love. It was a message of doing the way of the Law of God! But the Law of God is not an evil thing, it is not a thing that's contrary to your interest, the Law of God is just love, L-O-V-E. What's wrong with love? Is love foul? Is love evil? Or are you evil and have I been? I certainly was until I repented. I know that. And I certainly found happiness and peace and I don't have to have fears and worries on my mind any longer. I have many concerns. I have many responsibilities. God isn't going to promise to free us of those things. In fact, He'll load them on more and more because we were put here for a purpose and He will give us something to do and responsibilities that we may be diligent in His business and His affairs as Jesus said, "I must be about my Father's business." Well, God put you here for a purpose and we should be very busy at that purpose every minute that we're awake certainly and even while we're sleeping we should sleep soundly, that's part of it, recuperating for activity of the morrow. But, oh, we can find happiness and we can find contentment in useful occupation God's way following His Law.
Well, here are some of things about the preaching of Jesus. Now, we come to Luke the eighth chapter and the first verse in going through a summary of the life and the teaching of Jesus in the four Gospels, the first verse, the eighth chapter of Luke. Open up your own Bible. Always have it ready when I come on the air. Look at it. You're going to see things you never saw before. Right there in your own Bible with your own eyes. Don't believe me, just believe your Bible. I'll point it out to you. I'll show you what it says, in plain language. I'm not going to interpret it. I am not giving you my interpretation. That's the trouble, you've heard too many interpretations and you're all mixed up because the interpretations are mixed up. If I give you my interpretation, my friends, I'll confuse you but I'm just giving you the Bible as it is. The Bible interprets itself. I may give you the interpretation of Christ. I may give you the Bible interpretation because Christ is the Word and the Bible is the written Word and the Bible is His written Word. And that's the only interpretation that you should follow is the interpretation of Christ Himself. Alright, here it is.
"It came to pass soon afterward as Jesus went about through the cities and the villages preaching and bringing the good news or the good tidings [that's Gospel] of the Kingdom of God."
Now, the word Gospel simply means good news or glad tidings or good tidings as it's worded here. And I happened to be using the Revised Translation. It's the revision of the old King James not this modern Revised but the revision that came out about the turn of the century, I believe it was.
"...preaching the good tidings of the Kingdom of God." Now, that's all that Jesus preached was the Gospel and Gospel means good news and it's the Good News of the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of God is the Government of God the Rule of God over us. Also, a Kingdom is a Family. And it's a Family that you can enter in if you're born into it. But flesh and blood can't enter it and you can't see it unless you're born again. And very few people know what it is to be born again but I've gone into that in recent broadcasts and I will again in future ones.
Now, "afterward now, as Jesus went through the cities and villages preaching and bringing the Good tidings...", that's the Gospel of the Kingdom of God that's the Rule of God and the Family of God, the Divine Family of God into which we may be born provided we subject ourselves voluntarily and willingly to the rule of God as Supreme Ruler.
"And [then] with him the twelve [His twelve disciples] and certain women which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities. Mary that was called Magdalene from whom seven demons had gone out and Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto them of their substance."
Well, the thing I want you to notice there is that the preaching of Jesus was the Gospel of the Kingdom of God which is the Government of God.
Now, you've been all mixed up on what the Kingdom of God is but the Bible itself interprets itself and it tells you in plain language. The Kingdom of God is not some fluffy fluff-fluff thing up in the beautiful nothingness of the air or something that is supposed to be set up in our hearts. Just some empty funny feelings of sentimental feelings and something emotional or something of that sort. It isn't that at all, my friends. Because they thought the Kingdom of God would immediately appear and would be set up immediately at that time, Jesus gave them a parable of the nineteenth chapter of Luke where He pictured Himself as the young nobleman going to a far country to get the Kingdom and to return and the Kingdom...after He receives the Kingdom He returns and that's picturing the Second Coming of Christ when the Kingdom of God shall be set up. You haven't heard much of that have you? Well, I'm afraid most of you just haven't heard the Truth, my friends. You've been hearing a lot of the words of men that contradict, that lead only to confusion. What we need is to get out of it and to come to the Truth. Well, I know what a painful process it is, but it's the way to the light and it's the way to peace and it's the way usefulness and it's the way to Eternal Life.
Alright, now, let's go to Mark's account next in the third chapter of Mark which follows in the time order of events.
"And Jesus came into a house and a multitude..." This is Mark three and verse nineteen, third chapter of Mark's Gospel. "Jesus came into a house and the multitude came together again so that could not so much as eat bread. And when Jesus' friends heard it, they went out to lay hold on him for they said, He is beside himself."
You know they thought He was crazy, they thought He was a false prophet. They sought to kill Him, that's what they thought of Him. They didn't like Him. And they'll think that of any man that'll preach the same things He did! Because it is what He preached that upset them. If I preach the same things you're going to think the same thing of me today.
Jesus said, "If they have persecuted me they will persecute you also"! He was talking to His disciples that He was commanding to go out and preach the Gospel of the Kingdom of God — the same Gospel that He preached. And it's the preaching of that Gospel of God.
The carnal mind is enmity against God! It thinks God is wrong! It is not subject to the Law of God neither indeed can be! It's hostile to God! And when you preach the Law of God and the way of God, well, it just sort of rubs the fur the wrong way with people, but people are going the way that's making them unhappy and making other people unhappy and they're wrecking their lives and their subjecting themselves and committing themselves to eternal death — taking away from themselves the opportunity of Eternal Life and making this life while it last mighty unhappy at that.
Oh, my friends, can't you see? Doesn't common sense wake us up and make us see that the way of God is the only right way. God is the Creator. God is the one who created all these laws that will make us happy or make us suffer. Why can't we then go to the way that will make us happy? Why can't we embrace them and see them? Well, we're so much concerned of what people would think and what our neighbors would think and everything that we don't see God; so, I guess we think He isn't looking.
"Now, the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He has Beelzebub and that was the name for the Devil and by the Prince of Devils [or that's the chief Devil or Satan] casteth he out demons. And he called them unto him and he said unto them in parables, how can Satan cast out Satan? And if a kingdom..." Now, Satan has a kingdom. Satan is the king of a kingdom and he is also a god. And in God's language and God's way the king is also the spiritual ruler, because in God's way, believe it or not, it isn't the American way. I'm glad we have the American way here, don't misunderstand me.
But God's way is that Church and State should be united, provided you have God's Church, the Church of God and God's Government, the Government of God.
Now, when you have human government, then, the more you unite Church and State the worse off you are and that's what we've had in this world is government by man, churches with doctrines originated by man instead of by God and when you unionize Church and State together, where man is at the helm and ruling you've got a very evil thing. And I'm very thankful that since that we have human government that we have in the United States separation of Church and State. It gives us freedom to find the true way of God; otherwise we might not have it.
But if we just had the true way of God, you will find that in the Kingdom of God that Jesus Christ when He comes will not only be the "King of kings", the Ruler of the civil governments of the earth, He'll be the "Lord of lords" and He'll be the chief high priest over the whole world. He will be the top minister or preacher over all of them all over the world and so in God's order that's the way it is.
Now, Satan has a kingdom, he's the god of the world and he's the invisible ruler of the world and the whole world is under his sway, by God's permission. Satan can't do anything God does not permit because high above all rule is that of God and God is permitting certain things for a reason that we learn by experience.
Alright, Jesus said, "If a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand" — and that's a good thing to remember. If the United States gets divided too much between the idea of freedom and the idea of Communism, this country could not stand. I'm glad the Communists are in the minority.
"And if a house be divided against itself that house will not be able to stand and if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but he has an end. But no one can enter into the house of a strong man and spoil his goods except first he bind the man and then he'll spoil the house..." and so on.
"Verily, I say unto you all their sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men and their blasphemies wheresoever shall they blaspheme but whosoever shall blaspheme against the Holy Spirit hath never forgiveness but is guilty of an eternal sin because they said, He has an unclean spirit."
And I'm going to have to stop right there. I wish I could go on with that right now, but you'll have to tune in tomorrow.
And now finally, let me remind you if you want to really understand your Bible, if you're willing to set yourself to devote a half hour or more every day to Bible study, you may enroll now for the Ambassador College Bible Correspondence Course. There is no tuition.