Well, greetings friends, this is Herbert W Armstrong with the Good News of the World Tomorrow.
My friends, why does nearly everybody believe exactly the opposite of what the Bible says? That is, why do they think it says exactly the opposite of what it does say? Why is it, as Bruce Barton said, 'the book that nobody knows', nobody understands? Why has it been turned upside down? Why have you not heard the real gospel of Jesus Christ, but rather a message of men? A gospel of men, not the gospel of Jesus Christ, a gospel of men about Jesus Christ, about His person?
Now, in going through the New Testament — Matthew, Mark, Luke and John — to see what Jesus Christ did preach, what was His gospel, what example He did set, we've come now to Matthew the ninth chapter. Will you get your Bible? Will you see this with your own eyes? Will you see exactly what is in the Bible? Just the opposite of what you probably have believed in so many, many cases. Matthew the ninth chapter and beginning with verse 35;
"And Jesus went about all the cities and villages [now, He's up touring in Galilee, by the way, at this time. We're picking up where we left off in the preceding program in this series. And Jesus went about all the cities and villages], teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom..." (Matthew 9:35)
The Gospel of The Kingdom Now, here Matthew merely mentions "gospel of the kingdom". In most places, most of the writers; Mark, Luke and John mention "gospel of the kingdom of God". Matthew usually calls it the "kingdom of heaven" .It is the kingdom that God rules. It is the kingdom that is ruled from heaven because heaven is God's throne, and God rules from His throne. His throne is in heaven but it is a Kingdom of God. Actually, God is that Kingdom, the Kingdom is God. We have the animal kingdom, we have the plant kingdom, we have the mineral kingdom. There is a kingdom of angels that is revealed in the Bible. Then there is the God Kingdom and God is a Kingdom of persons — more than one person. Jesus is the first-born in that Kingdom of many brethren and He is in the Kingdom of God. And He is to be the King of the Kingdom under His Father. And Jesus said that;
"...My kingdom is not of this world..." (John 18:36)
Now, in a good many cases, you hear people talk about the Kingdom of God, but they don't understand it, and they don't know what it is. To them it's just some fluffy-fluff thing in your mind. That is a sentimental something they talk about it being in your heart, or something of the sort. And it just becomes a sort of a meaningless nothing. Now, actually Jesus said, "...My kingdom is not of this world..." (John 18:36)
And we read that because they thought the Kingdom of God would immediately appear, that He told them the parable of Himself going to the far country, which was Heaven, to receive for Himself the Kingdom and to return. And having returned, having received the Kingdom, then He begins to rule. Now, Jesus will rule in His Kingdom. But Jesus is not ruling now. He has not taken unto Himself to rule. He has qualified to be the King of the Kingdom of God. And the Kingdom of God itself is God, and the Kingdom of God is that Kingdom of persons that will rule over the world. It will rule all the world but it isn't of this time. It isn't of this age. It is of the world tomorrow. It is of the world that is coming. Very few seem to understand it, and yet your Bible is full of it. It is the message of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, when you come to understand it.
Now; "...Jesus went [through] all the cities and villages [He is at the time up in Galilee], teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom..." (Matthew 9:35)
He didn't preach just about Himself. He preached about the Kingdom of God. He said; "...The time is fulfilled...repent ye and believe the gospel." (Mark 1:15)
He taught that men have to repent of their own ways and He said; "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, I am not come to destroy the law or the prophets but to fulfill." (Matthew 5:17)
And He said that; "If any man will not keep the commandments and teach men to break them, he'll be called the least in the kingdom of heaven. But he that will keep them and obey them and teach men so shall be great in the kingdom of God." (Matthew 5:19 paraphrased)
Now, a young man came to Jesus during His ministry and said; "...Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may [inherit] eternal life?" (Matthew 19:16)
I've mentioned this so many times recently on a number of broadcasts. I want to mention it again. If Jesus had taught like you hear the teaching today, the way of salvation, He should have said, "Why young man, don't you know you haven't a thing to do. There is nothing you do, just appropriate Christ. Just receive Christ into your heart. Just say, 'I believe in Christ.' And confess Him before men, and then you will already be born again."
He didn't say that. He said; "...if you would [inherit eternal] life, keep the commandments." (Matthew 19:17)
And went on to name the ten, that's what Jesus preached. That is the way to be saved according to the teaching of Jesus. I want to tell you if you try to get in any other way, except through Christ, and through Christ is the way that He preached, and proclaimed. And He said; "...repent ye, and believe [what? believe] the gospel." (Mark 1:15)
And the gospel is the gospel of the Kingdom, and the Kingdom is the government of God, the rule of God. And it means submitting to the rule of God. Why are men so disobedient? Why are they so rebellious? Why are they so stubborn that they don't want to obey God? Why do they want their own carnal way? Why do they want the lust of the flesh? Why do they want to follow the ways of greed and of pride, and all of that sort of thing, instead of surrendering to God, and the keeping of God's laws and God's commandments?
It's about time we opened up the Bible and began to take it the way it is, instead of trying to use human reason to reason our way around it. To twist it, to distort it, to interpret it. The Bible doesn't need to be interpreted. You don't have to interpret other books do you? Why do you try to interpret the Bible? The reason men try to interpret the Bible is so they can have their own way instead of taking it exactly as it is. Now, Jesus preached the gospel of the Kingdom. The Kingdom is the government. He preached the government of God, and that God is supreme ruler. That's the thing men don't want to do. They don't want to obey God. But He also went around doing something else, what?
"...preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of disease and all manner of sickness..." (Matthew 9:35)
Jesus Healed The Sick Now, the last two or three broadcasts we've been going through sections of the Bible where we found Jesus healing the sick. And in the preceding program we were seeing how it was according to the faith of the person healed that they became healed. And that even Jesus could not perform very many miracles when He came up to Nazareth, where He had been brought up, among the scoffers and the skeptics that knew Him, and had seen Him grow up from a boy. They didn't believe in Him and there was no faith. And I explained to you in the broadcast, how when Jesus went into the home of this Jairus, the ruler among the Jews. And there the priests were also rulers — and that is God's way incidentally — that He put all the others out. There were those that were wailing and crying and carrying on because they thought the girl was dead. Jesus rebuked them and then they began to sneer and scoff at Him. They weren't sincere in their wailing. It was just a pagan thing that the pagans did to put on a show. And Jesus put them out. He couldn't have healed that girl. He couldn't have raised her from the dead, if she was dead. Jesus said, 'she sleeps'. But the Bible speaks of dead people as sleeping too, so take your choice. And anyhow, He couldn't have done it Himself because when He came to Nazareth where He had been brought up as I showed you;
"...he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid hands upon a few sick folk[s], and healed them [only a few]. And he marvelled because of their unbelief..." (Mark 6:5-6)
And it was because of their unbelief He could not do it. I have just been thinking, one thing came to me. I don't want to say anything that might mislead any. And sometimes you might overlook a thing, or people might read a meaning into what you say, and assume something that wasn't intended. And I was explaining how even Jesus couldn't heal everybody where they didn't believe. And I explained, that of the thousands that have written in for healing. And we do as the apostle Paul did, when the demand became so great, he couldn't go to everybody that demanded healing, and asked him for it. And God has commanded you to go to the elders of the Church if you're sick, in the fifth chapter of James and the fourteenth and fifteenth verses. And so those that come to me as God's minister are only following the commands of God in the New Testament in the Bible.
And yet I can't get to all of them, and no minister who had very much demand could. And we have to follow the example of the apostle Paul, who sent pieces of cloth on which he had laid his hands, and prayed, and which he had anointed of course. And God healed them, He honored it because after all a piece of cloth can't heal. And the minister can't heal, and I have no power of healing anybody. It is God who does it. But I explained that every kind of uncurable disease almost, has been healed in many, many cases. There have been some of the most remarkable cases of miraculous healing, that we have found. And on the other hand, others have not been healed, and I was explaining the reason.
Jesus turned to this young woman that had been sick all these years, for twelve years, had spent all she had until she had nothing left. She had spent it on the physicians, and had grown worse, not better. He turned to her when she touched the hem of His garment and she was healed. He said; "...Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole..." (Mark 5:34)
Now, the thing I was thinking is, that some of you might have thought, from what I said, that your faith is the only thing that counts, and that the minister doesn't have to use any faith whatever. Now, I didn't mean to imply any such thing. I'm sure I didn't say any such thing of course, I know I didn't. But someone might have thought that, and I just want to correct that. Jesus had faith, supreme faith. He said; "...Of myself I can do nothing..." (John 5:30)
"...the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. (John 14:10)
Now, Jesus did have faith otherwise these sick wouldn't have been healed. But even Jesus with all of His faith, divine faith, which He received from God the Father, could not heal very many people, or do very much in the way of anything to help people, that was of a miraculous nature. And His miracles were always to help others, and to make other people more happy, and to do good to others. You will notice that in every case, He didn't do anything just to show off. He didn't do anything just to prove that He was the Christ, or anything of that sort. He did it only as a ministry of love and compassion, and to help others. But He said, "Of myself I can do nothing the Father that dwelleth in me he doeth the works." (John 5:30 and John 14:10) But even with all of that power, with all of that faith, Jesus could not do much without their faith. Now, I want to make it completely clear this time. It was the combined faith. Let us put it that way, but God does require the faith of the person healed.
God Requires Faith for Healing Now, here was this twelve year old girl. God didn't require her faith. Her father came and had the faith for her to be healed. She was not responsible. She was in a condition either too near dead, or dead. So that — and it isn't absolutely plain — it does appear that she was dead, and Jesus called it sleeping, but perhaps she wasn't even dead. But she certainly was at death's door. But in this case, anyone like that, her faith was not required, but her father's was. Because her father there was responsible for her. So God does require if you are sick that you have the faith, or someone in the family that is the responsible party, and responsible for you.
Now, I know that some questions come up that are a little hard to answer because we get on borderline questions sometimes. But that is the general rule, and how do we know what God does? We only know by the revelation of God. We only know by reading the Bible, where God Himself reveals His will. We read over in Ephesians that we're not to be ignorant;
"...be...not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is." (Ephesians 5:17)
We can know God's will — it's expressed in the Bible. But sometimes God only expresses it in principle. Not always covering every detail in every circumstance that might arise. We have to take the principle, and apply it to the circumstance. And even then sometimes, we get into some peculiar circumstances that's rather hard to know just how to apply the principle.
Well, what I wanted to say is that God does require the faith of a minister. And you should never go to just anyone. You should always go to one that you know by the fruits, is a called and a chosen minister of Jesus Christ. And God does require his faith.
And I want to tell you, that when I pray for the sick, that I believe God. And if I didn't exercise faith, and if I didn't have faith, no sick would be healed. I can assure you of that. But God has taken Mrs. Armstrong and myself through a great many years of experience. And some of it very intensive and very severe experience. And if I would tell you how our faith has been tried, and how it has been developed through experience and through exercise. And in a sense faith is like muscle. It is developed by exercise but not wholly. Because, actually, faith is not something we develop, and work up. It is a gift of God, and faith comes through the Holy Spirit of God.
I'm just talking to explain a little more about faith now before we go on with this. And so I find this in my personal experience. Still, my friends, I find if we are not close to God, and if we are not in prayer constantly. And if we are not, well, just close to God as we say, so that we can have the faith from Him — which is His gift — that I could doubt just as much as anyone, who had never had the experience that I have had. Now, I have found that.
In other words, if we get away from God, our minds can become just as carnal as anybody else's. Because that human mind stays with us as long as we are in this human flesh. And we have to continually override it. We have to continually crucify it. We have to continually keep it so dead, and so dormant, because we're so close to God, that the spiritual side of life dominates. Otherwise we're going to just slide right back, anyone of us. And that's true of every one of you listening. If you're not keeping more constantly in prayer with God, you're going to lose whatever you've gained in the past. I don't care how much you've gained. You can't rest on your oars, or on your laurels, and just lay down and quit, because you think you gained a lot.
Keep close To God Let's say that you were first brought into God's truth and converted about five years ago. For five years you've studied the Bible and you have grown in knowledge. And you have prayed a great deal and gotten close to God, you have grown in grace. And you've pretty well overcome yourself. You've overcome, and mastered a lot of personal faults, and habits that were wrong or bad. You have supplanted them with good habits. And you've been making good progress in your spiritual growth and the development of character. And now you've done so well you just simply begin to relax, and you don't study the Bible anymore and you get too busy with things, that you don't pray anymore for a while. Do you know all you need is about thirty or sixty days of that and you'll be back about where you started five years ago. I wonder if you realize it. You can work five years to gain a certain amount of character, and spiritual development and you can go back and lose it in about — I don't know, I won't try and to set the time. But I tell you, you can lose it in a very few days, you can lose it very quick.
And I tell you, my friends, there's only one way to be happy and have your life full and abundant. And that is that to have within you that something you have to draw in from outside, and from without. And something that you draw from God, from God Almighty, and it comes only by keeping constantly in communion with Him. Because we're living in a very complex, and a very mechanical world today, and we just find that it draws us away from God. And many of us are being drawn away, and we're losing out, and we're not gaining spiritually.
Well, I just wanted to say that it's very important, if you really believe, and want to trust God for your healing, and you believe. It's very important when you obey that command of God, if you're sick to call for the elders of the Church. It's very important, that you call one that you know and believe, from all of the fruits, that you've seen in performance, that God is using him, and God is working through him. And where there is a trail of results that a human man could not perform, that have been performed by God, merely using that man as an agent. And if you don't see it, and if you can't find those fruits, don't call on him, because his faith is necessary, but so is yours, that's the thing.
You know it's good for all of us. God demands that kind of teamwork. Yes, God does demand teamwork. And I just want you to get it straight and to realize it. But listen. If you do that, and if you can only know that God is sure and that God can't lie, and that God has promised to heal you when you're sick. And that God has already paid for it.
The sickness is only the penalty you're paying for transgressed physical law that operates in your body. The laws that operate in your body, and keep it going have been broken somehow. Whether by accident, or by something that you have done, or what, they have been broken. And healing is only the removing of that penalty you're paying from you of the pain, the suffering, or the handicap whatever it may be, because Jesus paid that penalty for you in your stead. He was beaten with stripes, and He was so disfigured, such as no man had ever been before. That He probably was hardly recognizable when they got through. I don't think you realize the price that Jesus Christ paid for you, that you might be healed. And that was a separate payment beside His death on the cross, that was paid for your spiritual transgressions, of the spiritual law of God. That you could be freed from that, and justified, and reconciled to God so you can have a connection with God.
Now, God has absolutely promised. And if you just know that, and know He can't go back on His Word. And you can believe, and you go to a minister that God has called and he believes, well, you're healing is absolutely sure. Now, it's just because people let doubts creep in, they begin to doubt God. They don't doubt people, you can trust people, but sometimes you can't seem to trust God. Perhaps, God doesn't seem very real to you. Isn't that because you've gotten so far away from Him? I think it is.
Christ Had Compassion Well, now, here we were: "...Jesus went through all the cities and the villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching [what?] the gospel of the kingdom [that's what He preached, that's the government of God], and healing all manner of disease and all manner of sickness. But when he saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were distressed and scattered...as sheep not having a shepherd." (Matthew 9:35-36)
Now, I want you to notice. Here were the multitudes. Oh, I tell you, my friends, sometimes I'm afraid we're a little different than Jesus. He understood better than we do. But whether to have compassion on people, or whether to be so absolutely disgusted with them, that we don't care anything about them, is the human temptation when you understand.
When you really come to see human beings and measure them by God's standard. And when you come to understand, and to see, and to grasp the true values, and see how the people seem to love the false values, and choose them and follow them. It is a human temptation to begin to almost despise people, and it seems hard for us to keep the love we should have for them, and to have compassion like Jesus did.
Now, His understanding went further than ours. He had the kind of understanding that He could have compassion on these people, and love for them. Even though He knew how really rotten, and filthy spiritually at heart they were. And that's just the way most of us are. And that means you and me, and all of us, except as far as we have repented and turned to God, and God has cleaned us up Himself. Because He is about the only one that is good or righteous. In fact, He is the only one, and the only goodness we have is just whatever we receive from God. Well, He did have compassion on them because they were distressed and scattered as sheep not having a shepherd. And;
"Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous... (Matthew 9:37)
Now, there were a lot of them that were like a lot of people today. The spirit was willing, they wanted to do the right thing, but the flesh was weak. They had themselves to fight, and they weren't able to fight themselves. You know it's so much easier to fight the other fellow, than it is to fight yourself. Well, we shouldn't ever fight the other fellow. We should always fight ourselves. And too many of us are too busy gossiping, or saying things against others, and fighting others, and being angry at others, when we should have love for others, and compassion for them and fight our own selves. Oh, we get it all wrong, don't we? That's why we're not happy. That's why this world is like it is.
"Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous..." (Matthew 9:37)
And many of them really would like to have been converted. They'd probably didn't have enough depth of character in them, many of them, to be. But, you know, there's good in all people as well as bad. But, there's also a lot of bad. It's a mixture; and the mixture isn't good.
"...The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he...send forth laborers into his harvest." (Matthew 9:37-38)
You know, my friends, in this work of God to which He has called us we certainly find that is still true today. There are so many of you out there, that would like to have someone teach you further, someone that could come and see you. And open up and explain the Bible personally, and private, and personal things that we don't get to on the broadcast. There are so many of you. We get hundreds and hundreds and thousands of letters, and people wanting private letters from me. Well, I do the best I can. I answer some of them, and I try to answer them, and I have a million things it seems to do. Humanly, it seems like it's a million, anyhow. And I just don't get to all of them. The harvest is so plenteous, there're so many people that want help. And a minister is one who ministers and serves others and helps, and that's what I am, a minister. But, my friends, for every one that I can help, there are a thousand others and there's only one of me. Now, that's why Ambassador College is here in Pasadena, California. And here we have a number of young people studying. Yes, and they're putting their whole hearts into it, and to be trained so that they can help you, but we don't have enough. The laborers are so few. And now that I have a few ordained ministers, now that we have some help, we find that the harvest is so much greater, that we're still more terribly handicapped than we were before. Well, the harvest is plenteous, the laborers are few. I can't get out to pray for everyone who's sick. But, I want to tell you that I put all the faith that God gives me, every time I pray for everyone of them. And if you believe too, you'll be healed, I can tell you that.
Well then; "...he called his twelve disciples and he gave authority over unclean spirits, and to cast them out, and to heal all manner of disease and all manner of sickness." (Matthew 10:1)
Now, He's given me that authority. He gives every true minister of His that authority, over sickness and disease. But, still, as Jesus said it requires your faith. And He could not do very many miracles when He came to Nazareth, because of their unbelief. So, it requires your faith too. Now, so far as authority is concerned, my friends, I have all the authority. Jesus has given it to me. I have authority over every demon. And demons know it when I come in contact with them, that God has given me authority over them, and they have to obey. But still when you're sick it requires your faith. Don't forget it.
Listen, and once again I'm going to say write in. Many of you intended to, the broadcast ahead of this. That was offered before and you didn't get it done. Write in for that booklet on 'Healing' and understand it. And also, the one on 'What Is Faith?' so you'll understand why you don't have the faith and how you can have it.
And so, this is Herbert W Armstrong saying, "Goodbye friends until tomorrow."