My friends, once again, let me asked, Where is the True Church that Jesus Christ did build? We look about us and we see churches on a great many street corners today.., our land is literally dotted with churches. Many, many different denominations. Now there.., must be a right and True Church. Which one is the right one? Jesus Christ said, I will build my Church and He did build it. He built His Church. You read of it in the book of Acts in the New Testament. And there you read of only one church. You don't read of a lot of denominations. You don't find any of them there. But there is one church, now did that one church become divided? Or did that one church become perverted and then about 500 years ago, get reformed, in a division of a lot of different kinds of denominations that have reformed it.., and straighten it all up, although each is one is different and each one says it has the truth and all of the others are wrong. And no two of them seem to be agree very far.., or did the church grow into great political powerful organizations, many different denominations and organizations; all of them the churches of Christ.., did Christ become divided taking part in the politics of this world, taking part in this world's affairs, trying to clean up this world and making it a better world, of course. Is that the Church that Jesus founded?
Go back and look at the churches that was as it started out and you'll find it in book of Acts. Did they try to reform Caesar's government for him? Did they get into Caesar's government and try to show him what was wrong and make it a better world? Or, did they just try to pull people out of the world and make them better individuals..., without trying to make the world itself better. And what is this world, anyhow? It's the pattern, it is the system of society in it's various organized branches when you consider what is the world. If you want to make the world a better world you have to know what is the world. First you have to look into the Bible to see what the church is. Now, the True Church of God, if you want to find what it is, it is made up or compose of those individuals who have been begotten of God, and who are now still led by the holy spirit of God, in the way that the holy spirit would lead them, and they are filled with the spirit of God, those who believe the faith once delivered. And by that I don't meant something that is now old fashion but which was new fangled a 150 or 200 years ago. I don't mean the so-call old fashioned gospel that was an absolutely new thing about 2 or 3 or 400 years ago. I meant the faith once delivered. I mean the faith that the church really had and held to. I mean the faith that was taught by the Apostle Paul, to the churches that were called.., suppose to be Gentile Churches.., well, they were not Gentile Churches but they were made up of those who had formerly been Gentiles and had been Gentile born.
The True Church of God is the church of those individuals who believe the doctrines and teaching of Jesus Christ.., and were believed by those churches raise up by the Apostle Paul. They are those individuals who are following the example of Jesus; the example of the True Church as it was at Jerusalem and all of the others and the churches that were raised up by the Apostle Paul. In other words, the True Church, if you find it, will be exactly the same, my friends, as the Church was then.
Now Jesus had said, I am the light of the world; he that follows me shall not walk in darkness but shall the light of life. He that follows me. But people don't follow Him today. They believe on Him but they don't believe in Him, they don't Him, I mean, to say! They don't believe Him in the sense that they believe what He said. And what He taught. They make Him out a liar. They don't believe that He taught the truth! They believe exactly the opposite. They won't follow Him; they won't follow the customs that He followed. They don't follow the example that He set and He said, I have set you an example that you should do as I have done. Peter said that he set us an example that we should follow his steps. Why don't we follow it, then? Why, it's the most rare thing in the world to find anyone that will really read the Bible. To find out what Jesus did do and follow His steps.
Of course, it going to correct us and reprove us and we're going to have to unlearn a lot of things that we've been learning. Then taught even in Sunday school and then church and at home and every other place. And that's the hardest thing in the world is to..., unlearn. Now you look about you today and the churches that you find today, they no longer practice the same type of customs they did in Jesus' day. For instance, in those days, even the Gentiles churches with the Apostle Paul.., they met on the day that is now called Saturday.., not on the day that is Sunday. And it was a great long time after that that the churches began to have their meetings on Sunday. They observed the Passover, the Days of Unleavened Bread, the day of Pentecost, the Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles. You don't find any churches doing those things today, why they'd laugh at you, they'd say, don't you know that's Jewish.
They didn't observe any Christmas or any New Years celebration, or acknowledge any New Years like they have today. They didn't celebrate any Easter, they didn't have any Lent, they didn't have any Holy Week, they didn't have any Good Friday in any of those Churches that Jesus built. The Church that Jesus built never knew anything about those things whatsoever. Now, where do you get those things, where do you get this Lenten season? Where do you get the Holy Week and Good Friday? You don't get it out of the Bible, I challenge you to find where it's in the Bible. Send it to me and I'll preach it to this worldwide audience. Find it in your Bible. Where is your authority for those things.
Now, I know, that those who are in these things are well meaning and they're very sincere and they only mean good and they've only done the things that seemed right to a man and it seems to them that it was good and it was right. I guess, they never read in the Bible that there is a way the seems right to a man; the ends thereof are the way of death. And that the Bible says lean not to your own understanding and that the way to find Christ and the way to find God is to forsake your thoughts and your ways..., and your thoughts and your ways are the ways that that seem right to you.., not wrong, but right. And perhaps they never read in the Bible that the prophecy was that the Church would become deceived and all this world would become deceived by the false doctrines of Paganism and that's exactly what has happened.
Now my friends, in the Bible is the prophecy of that True Church and also the prophecy of an apostate church. I've gone into in the past a prophecy of the apostate church or churches because it's a divided church; divided into all kinds of sects and denominations. That church is called by a very ugly name; the whole thing is called Babylon which means confusion, Babylon the Great.., but it's a great church was the mother of a lot of smaller churches and the smaller ones or the others are called harlots and the whole thing is called Babylon the Great and the harlotry or the adultery which this church committed was by having a relationship with the civil rulers of this world..., and this world's governments; with this world's politics, with this world's business and commerce, with this world's society.., in fact with this world. Instead of coming out of this world and being separate as you find you're commanded to do in the New Testament, they have become part and parcel of this world and they are merely the churches of the world and they are this world's religion.
Now, the God of this world is Satan the devil. And these churches worship and the people in them have been taught to worship their God. And the God they worship, is the God who believes doctrines and upholds doctrines diametrically opposite of those that are through God and those of the Bible; the doctrines that were upheld by Satan the devil. And they follow the practices.., not of Jesus Christ and of the customs of the Bible and of Christ and the early Church, but those of the very ways the devil himself. Now, they just don't realize that but if you'll go back and read about what made a devil out of Lucifer, you'll find out they're doing the same thing today and they don't realize it. They have been deceived! But in the twelfth chapter of Revelation, is the prophecy foretelling the history long in advance of the True Church of God. God's Church..., of which Jesus Christ is the living head. The Church that was built on the foundation of the Apostles and the Prophets. Yes, the Prophets as well as the Apostles; Jesus Christ Himself, being the chief cornerstone, and that is in the twelfth chapter of the book of Revelation. Now, let's go through that.
Let's see what was prophesied of the True Church of God. Open your Bible, the twelfth chapter of Revelation. And there appeared a great wonder in heaven, a women clothe with the sun. Now, we know, that the book of Revelation is very largely symbolical. We know that that Jesus Christ is the Revelator. And we know that Jesus is the author of the Bible. And in many places Jesus Himself revealed the meaning of the seals and of the various symbols that are given there and in that particular case in the twenty-four chapter of Matthew, but we find that it isn't all revealed in the twenty-four chapter of Matthew some in other places, you turn the very first chapter of the book of Revelation and, let me see, you find here, I turn to see a voice that spake with me the very first chapter, the twelfth verse, and being turned I saw seven golden candle sticks and in the midst of the candlesticks one like the son of man clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps of the golden girdle and so on.
Now, here were the seven candlesticks, seven golden candlesticks in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like the son of man. And He had in His right hand, verse sixteen, this is what I was trying to come to, He had in His right hand seven stars. And out of His mouth went a sharp twoedged sword. Now, that's all symbolic. Well, what are the symbols? Well one man says, I think it means this. Another man says no, I think you're wrong, I think it means so and so. And everybody has an idea of what it means.., but as long as we lean to our own understanding we are wrong. Now, you look down a little further and here you don't have to go to Matthew 24, you look here in the same chapter, and in the last verse it tells you what some of these things mean. The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are, this is what they represent, they're symbols but they are or represent, the angels of the seven churches. Now, that what they represent. And the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.
Now, what is that sword that comes out of His mouth? Well, you find in the New Testament that the Bible is that sword, it is called the sword of the spirit of God. And it is like a sharp two-edged sword it cuts both ways. Why? Because the word of God or the Bible is profitable to correct us and to reprove us; to instruct us in righteousness and to give us the right and sound doctrine instead of the precepts of men which people today have adopted for their doctrine.
Now, the Bible will cut.., oh, it will correct and people don't love correction; that's why people translate the Bible. That why, they interpret I should say.. that's why one denomination gives it one interpretation and another another interpretation. It's because, when the Bible begins to correct them, when it begins to reprove them, when if begins to show them where they're wrong.., they can't take correction. Now, God chastens and corrects every son whom He loves. And if you are without correction you are not sons.., God says you are bastards and that's another ugly word. These ugly words they're in the Bible. God speaks in plain language; he doesn't pull His punches. He speaks right out what He means. And listen, everyone who refuses correction and who is not corrected is not a son of God. They are not the children of God; they are not saints or converted Christians..., God calls them bastards. Now, that's over here.., maybe I'd better read that, I don't want you to think that I'm using language like that myself. That's right in your Bible back in Hebrews.., lets turn to it a moment real quickly, back here in the book of Hebrews, in the twelfth chapter, begin with the fifth verse, (Hebrews 12:5), ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children. My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Eternal or the Lord, nor faint when thou are rebuked of Him..., and that's quoted from Proverbs, the third chapter, for whom the Lord loveth he chastens them.
You know, I know that God loves me. I know there's some critics that they hate me. And if they were God.., they would., well they wouldn't stop at having me tarred and feathered, they'd have me boiled in oil or something. They hate me because of what I say and they don't hate me for myself. It isn't Herbert W. Armstrong they hate. It's the word of God that Herbert W. Armstrong speaks. It's because I preach the word of God and the word of God rebukes and reproves them and they just can't take it. But, I know God loves me whether they do or not. They may hate me but God loves me and I'll tell you how I know is that He has corrected me so much. He has punished me so much and straighten me out. He's turn me right side up. I was upside down and didn't know it. But God first turned me right side up and He has been using me to turn a lot of you right side up too. Some of the critic don't like it but He has used me as an instrument..., He first had to turn me right side up and then He's been using me to turn a lot of you the same way. Those of you who have been willing to take correction. Those of you that have been willing to take reproof. Whom the Lord loves, He chastens and scourges.., every son whom He receives. I want to tell you, my friends, if I hadn't gone through a lot of that and just suffers, this broadcast wouldn't be going to the millions all around the world, preaching the same gospel that Jesus Christ brought and proclaimed 1900 years ago and which the devil and his cohorts in this world have done everything they could to bury it under their rubbish heap of pagan superstitions. And God Almighty has seen that to it that it would come out again at this time. Now, if you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons, for what son is he whom the father chastens not? But, if you be without chastisement where of all are partakers, then are ye bastards and not sons. That is verse eight, the twelfth chapter, of Hebrews, (Hebrew 12: 8). Further more, we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us and we gave them reverence. Shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of the spirits and live? Well, there you are, now then,
We find that in prophecy a woman is the Church, you find it, for instance, in the fifth chapter of Ephesians.., I'll just turn to that real quickly for just a moment and here we find that it says something to wives.., of course this is not just old fashion, this is completely out of date today, in this modern world. This in not the way the world believes it, but it says here wives submit unto your own husbands. You know, a young girl today doesn't want any training I tell you, not many girls want to take a home economics course today, and learn who to be wives and mothers. They want to get their man, alright, but they want to work in an office and they'd like to become an office manager so they can manage men. Yes, today, women want to manage men. And it's in them and that's one thing if a young girl can't overcome she can never be a child of God. She's an apostate out in the world and unless and until she can overcome, I'll tell that. It's about time we took it soberly and seriously. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands. Maybe that's not fashionable, but that's the way God made it and you're going against nature and you're going against the laws of God, and you're bringing damnation on to yourself and you're bringing suffering and anguish on yourselves whenever the world tries to go any other way. That's the law of God. And God's laws are active and they are forces and they are powers and they are living and they're moving things and until we submit to them, we can never find the way to peace and the way to happiness and the way to everything that we want. Now, He continues here,
For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the Church and gave Himself for it. Therefore, as the Church is subject unto the Christ, so let the wives be to their husbands in everything.., the Church there is put in a category of a woman who is the affianced bride and engage to be married to Christ. And the marriage, the wedding supper, the marriage of the lamb will take place at the second coming of Christ! I've heard some people say that well He's going to marry Israel and not the Church. Well, that just a lot of misunderstanding. But I haven't time to go into that right now.
Now the woman then is the Church; these are symbols. There appeared a great wonder in heaven, a woman clothe with the sun. Well, now, incidentally I can give you another scripture where the woman is the church too and that's in 2 Corinthians 11, where Paul calls the church at Corinth to whom he is writing as a woman espoused to a husband. Now, this is the Church then, and she is cloth with the sun with the moon under her feet. The sun rules the day and she's full of light. The moon, under her feet, the moon rules the night and that's a symbol of darkness, or error and she has all the darkness and error under her feet. And she had a crown of twelve stars. And she being with child.., cried, travailing in birth and pain to be delivered.
Now, you say the New Testament Church.., Christ was not born out of the New Testament Church it was born from Him! So, how do we figure that? Well, if you will turn back to, let me see, the seventh chapter of the book of Acts, and here in the thirty-eighth verse, speaking of Moses and the church back in the wilderness, and Christ being with them there, it says, this is He that was in the church in the wilderness: with the angel which spoke to Him in the mount Sina with our fathers who received the lively oracles to give unto us. (Acts: 7:38) This is He (Jesus Christ), that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spoke to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us.
So, the congregation of Israel back in the wilderness was the Church in the wilderness; that was the Old Testament Church. And the word congregation means church. The word church means congregation or assembly or a crowd or a gathering; that's what it means. And, the congregation of Israel, is merely the Old Testament church. Now they didn't have salvation. They didn't have the gospel. They only had the material law of rituals and carnal ordinances and the sacrifices and things in addition, of course, to the Ten Commandments which they were unable to keep in the spirit because they didn't have the holy spirit..., so that had substitutes for the holy spirit in the way of rituals and meat and drink offerings and animal sacrifices for sin and all that sort of thing. But, that was the church and the only church that God had on earth; just the same. And that was the church that is here spoken of.
And she being with child cried travailing in birth and pain to be delivered. Speaking of the birth of Christ. And, there appeared another wonder in heaven and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns and ten crowns on his heads. Now, just a little later, it'll tell us who that dragon is and that's a symbol. Some people say who was the dragon? Pagan Rome. That isn't what my Bible says at all. Now let's read on and see what the Bible says. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven. We just read back in the first chapter that the stars are the angels. So, his tail, whoever he is, he drew a third part of the angels of heaven and it cast them to the earth and the dragon stood before the woman, that's the Church now, which was ready to be delivered for to devour her child as soon as it was borne. Now of course he tried to devour the physical child by having all the babies slain at that time but that wouldn't have devoured the child Jesus, God Almighty could have resurrected Him immediately but when the devil tried to tempt Jesus Christ on the mount in the temptation; if He had conquered Christ then, he would have devoured Him spiritually and for all eternity..., but He wasn't able. Christ conquered him.
But anyway, she brought forth a man child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her child was caught up unto God and to His throne. You see in one verse, it shows the birth of Christ, all of His ministries, His crucifixion, His resurrection and His ascension being caught up to God and His throne. Time is fleeting her and this twelve chapter of Revelation in one verse here covered about 33 and a half years. And in another verse it'll cover 1260 years..., it's covering time very rapidly.
Now the woman.., now it's the New Testament Church, now that woman has the holy spirit; now that woman has the Gospel, now that woman has a new priesthood.., not the old priesthood of Aaron, or the Levitical priesthood, but now this Church has the priesthood of Melchisedec restored under Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ is now her High Priest and now she has the Gospel, now she has the power of the holy spirit and now she has salvation. And the woman fled into the wilderness. This jumps way up several hundred years, all of a sudden. And, because of persecution.., now I have shown you in the past that the True Church was to be persecuted, was to become scattered, and she was persecuted because the truth of Jesus Christ and the customs that He set for us to follow as His example are not popular in this world and the world has never followed them and now this Church was so persecuted that she was scattered and driven away from the organized society of the western world at that time rule over by the government from Rome and fled into the wilderness; the mountain fastness and the deserts, where she has a place prepared of God, yes God saw to it, God prepared the place that they should feed her a thousand, two hundred and three score days. Now in times like this, you'll find back in, let me see, Numbers fourteen and in the fourth chapter of the chapter of Ezekiel, you will find that a day is a whole year being fulfilled. So that this twelve hundred and three score days are 1260 days was actually 1200 and sixty years being fulfilled and, my friends, that happened.
The True Church was persecuted and let me give you one reason they were persecuted, and considered anathema from Christ, and when the church, the Great powerful church and professing church pronounced them heretics, then the civil government and the police officers would begin to torture them until death unless would recant. This was one of the decrees that were passed at the council of Laodicea. Christians must not Judasize by resting on the Sabbath. But they must work on that day, on the Sabbath, God said that you shall rest and the power of men says you shall work on that day resting rather on Sunday as Christians. But if any be found to be Judasizing, that is obeying God, resting.., which was not Judasizing by the way, that was a big lie, but they claimed it, let them be declared anathema and that meant a heretic and then they were put to death. And the martyrs of Jesus, I tell you, that power that cause them to be put to death as you read in Revelation seventeen, was drunken on the blood of the martyrs of Jesus between 50 and 100 millions were put to death during those years. Oh, I tell you, my friends, this was a heinous thing; it was a horrible, a colossal thing, and it's forced it way back in the past long before we were born and we don't think anymore of it today. God Almighty has not forgotten. God Almighty is going to send His judgments in His time that He has decreed.
Now, that 1260 years went by. And finally it comes down to our day, today, if you pass the moving of the time element in this prophecy. And there was war in heaven. That's down in our time now. Michael and his angels, Michael the archangel that stands up for our people and our nation. Our white English speaking people, if you please, and his angels fought against the dragon and the dragon fought and his angels and prevailed not neither was there a place for anymore in heaven and the great dragon was cast out. Here he is, that old serpent, called the devil and Satan and that's not pagan Rome that's the devil himself..., which deceives the whole world. Here is the whole world deceived and it's pictured here and he was cast out into the earth and his angels, now called demons, were cast out with him. Oh, I'm going to have to drop off right there and pick it up there tomorrow and show you what happened and what is going to happen to the True Church in these latter days and where we are.