And greetings everybody.
I have been asking recently, "what is God?" Now humans were created in the image of God.
"...God said; let us make man in our image, after our likeness..." (Genesis 1:26)
Man was made in the image of that form and shape of God. Now God is composed of spirit but He formed man of matter. So we're not composed of spirit like God.
God creates in the system of duality. He doesn't create everything just all at once, there are two stages, always. The creation of man, it began with a physical man in Adam; then there's the spiritual creation of man and that begins in Christ. Adam was a physical man, Christ was the spiritual Man from heaven. And everything that God creates is done in a dual manner.
I have explained how God did not create angels complete all at once. He could not create character in them all at once and that's what He can't do in man. And the spiritual creation is the inspiration of Godly, holy, righteous character within us. But of course we have to make the decision, we have to be willing, we have to hunger and thirst for it, but it comes from God. It's not our righteousness. Our righteousness is just like a lot of filthy rags to God. But it is the very righteousness of God, which by His Holy Spirit He gives, or puts into us.
Now, humans were created in the form and shape of God, and with one spirit in them, which needs another spirit to go with it, it needs the Holy Spirit. And the one spirit we have gives us physical and material knowledge. Only the knowledge that can come through the eyes, through the ears, through the nose, the mouth or the sense of feel and touch. And you cannot know naturally anything else except just what you know through those five senses. Now, you can't know the things of God and the things God has prepared for us and that's why so much of the Bible that is spiritual knowledge is just like so much foolishness.
Now I'd like to have you notice if you would for a moment over in John 14:8-9:
"Philip saith unto [Christ, he said], Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us [he said, what does the Father look like, we would like to know, what does God look like? And] Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?" (John 14:8-9)
In other words, Christ looked exactly like the Father.
The Value of the Old Testament I think I mentioned recently that I had an Aunt - and if I believed in souls going to heaven I would have said, "God bless her soul," because she's not living any longer. But she was a social climber and joined the church that she thought was in the highest society. She said; "I just can't stand that God of the Old Testament, He was a cruel, stern, cruel God."
Well, you know what I read about the God of the Old Testament? That He is; "...a God full of mercy and His mercy is greater toward us than the heavens are high above the earth and pities us like a father over his own children" (Psalm 103:11-13 paraphrased). A God of such great love and mercy, that's what I find in the God of the Old Testament, she just never had read it. And she'd been told that the Old Testament is just Old Testament stuff and we mustn't look at it. But you see Paul told Timothy, who became an evangelist and went out preaching under Paul, he said:
"...that the scriptures he had known from a child [the only scriptures Timothy had known from a child were the Old Testament scriptures, and Paul said they were] able to make thee wise unto salvation...which is in Jesus Christ." (II Timothy 3:15 paraphrased)
So the Old Testament scriptures; "...are able to make us wise unto salvation...which is in Jesus Christ." (II Timothy 3:15). And then again, Paul said to the Corinthians, that the things written in the Old Testament were; "...examples...for our admonition upon whom the ends of the world are come" (I Corinthians 10:11). And they're written for us in the New Testament. And do you know that the Church is founded on the very basis... "...the foundation of the apostles and [the] prophets, Jesus Christ...being chief corner stone;" (Ephesians 2:20)
Do you know there were almost no prophets in the New Testament? Did you know that? You'd better look it up in the concordance, and see how many you can find. There's one prophetess and one prophet. And their whole job was to receive a message direct from God and take it to the apostle. But they didn't go to the people, they didn't preach, they didn't say anything to the people. Now it's true that in New Testament language 'prophesy' always means, not just to foretell, but sometimes it means preaching under inspiration. It doesn't mean just quietly talking, it means preaching with real fire, and with full earnestness, and power, with your whole heart in it. It sometimes means that.
But you see, much of the New Testament is just the Old Testament scriptures quoted, quoted verbatim in the New Testament. And those things were written for our admonition. So the Church is based on the foundation of the prophets of the Old Testament, as well as the apostles of the New, and Jesus Christ being the chief corner stone.
Now where did the Church get their knowledge? Where did they get their doctrine, their understanding and what they were supposed to believe? They didn't get it through a committee, they didn't appoint a committee to study, and say; "Let's decide what we want to believe." They didn't get it like Constantine did in 325 AD, when they had this great controversy about the trinity, and about the Easter and Passover situation in the Quarto Decimani Controversy. Constantine the Emperor of the Roman Empire who was not a religious man, although he finally claimed to accept Christianity, he called this conference and he simply told the Church what they had to believe. He said, "I'm making it official; you've got to believe the trinity, whether it's so or not, you've got to believe it."
And they did believe it ever since. But I don't, now you believe it if you want to, I'm not going to control what you believe. But I have proved that a trinity will only limit God. Now I hope I can get on to show you that God is much more than a trinity.
The Greatness of God Now I'd like to have you notice in Isaiah the fortieth chapter, this is one of my favorite chapters in all of the Bible. I remember up in Eugene, Oregon. Oh, this is at least forty years ago. I took the whole Church one time; and we went out, way up in the Mackenzie Highway into the mountains, where we could see the mountains. And I remember I read to them out of the fortieth chapter of Isaiah while we were out in the open air, looking at the great lofty mountains there, the Cascade Mountains. Anyway, let me read a little of it beginning with verse 12; it'd be nice if I had time to read the entire whole fortieth chapter of Isaiah:
"Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand [that is the oceans, and measured them in the hollow of His hand], and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the [host] of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales..." (Isaiah 40:12)
Now can you do that? Can you think of a man taking great mountains and weighing them in scales? It shows you how puny we are, but God can do things like that:
"...and the hills in the balance [a balance that you weigh things on]? Who hath directed the Spirit of the [Eternal], or being his counsellor hath taught him? With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and showed to him the way of understanding? Behold, the nations [all the nations of the earth now] are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance..." (Isaiah 40:12-15)
The little dust that would be on the balance of the scales that you weighed things on, dust that you probably can't see if you don't take your dust cloth and dust it off. They probably don't even tip the scales, because they probably don't weigh that much:
"...the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing. And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering. All nations are before him as nothing; and are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity." (Isaiah 40:15-17)
Now, that is showing you the comparison between man and God. And yet what David was saying back there, and what I will read to you if I have time on this program, in the second chapter of Hebrews, man has the potential of becoming very God. And as great as God is except God will always be supreme in authority. God is supreme in authority over the Word, who became Christ. And Christ said: "...the Father [that] sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should [do], and what I should speak" (John 12:49). And He said; "...as the Father hath taught me, I have spoken" (John 8:28 paraphrased). Christ was always absolutely obedient to His Father.
Now He's showing how great God is; comparing the nations, the way nations are now. And yet we in the nations, can we have such a potential? We can become as great as God, until we are in the very family of God. You never heard a man speak like this before in your life. Nobody else, no church, no religion on earth knows these things. I'm giving you things such as man never spoke in your hearing before. And you better open your ears, you better understand that you are hearing things that are tremendous, and tremendously important.
Well, let's see, let's go on a little further over here in verse - beginning with verse 25 and verse 26:
"To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? [says] the Holy One [that is of course Yahweh, or the One who became Christ]. Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names [and the greatness of his might] by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth. Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the Lord...[now he goes on in verse 28] Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the [Eternal], the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary?..." (Isaiah 41:25-28)
He never gets tired. He rested on the first Sabbath day and was refreshed, but it wasn't because He was tired. He rested to put His own presence in that day, and it's been there ever since on the holy Sabbath day.
Mr. Armstrong's Calling You know I told you before; how way back in the autumn of 1926 my wife turned to religious fanaticism. She began keeping the seventh day Sabbath. "Why," I said; "that's crazy!" And I really thought it was. I thought that was of all things, fanaticism. So I had to dig into the Bible. She said; "Well you show me where it says keep Sunday, and I'll do it." Well I was just sure the Bible said you must observe Sunday. But I had to eat crow, and that's where I took a licking. I mentioned that time and time again; and I think not many ever took the beating that I did in being converted, and had their mind swept as clean as mine was, of everything you'd ever believed before. And I saw that here was the Word of God, here was the words of truth. And now I had a firm foundation that I could believe what's here.
And as Jesus Christ in person taught the apostles, and taught Paul, even though He'd already ascended to heaven. He must have had some way appeared to Paul, it doesn't explain how. Paul mentioned he'd seen Christ, he'd been with Christ. But the Bible is the Word of God in writing, Jesus Christ is the Word of God in person. And the only difference is that one is in person, and the other is in writing, but they all say the same thing, exactly. I was taught by the Word of God in writing. And everything else was swept clean out of my mind, and is to this day.
Well I tell you, some people say; "Where do get all of your energy?" And I said that; I have more power and energy now, than most men of 40 or 50. And, well I'll show you; let's just read a little more right here in this fortieth chapter of Isaiah and I'll tell you where I get it:
"He [God] giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength [when I lack strength I ask God to increase my strength, I just ask God to give me more strength, and give me the power, and He does, He increases strength]. Even the youths shall faint and [grow] weary [you know they can get very tired and worn out], and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the [Eternal] shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." (Isaiah 40:29-31)
That is where I get my strength, that is the source of it, it's not within in myself. And some people can't understand that. You don't realize that God is the great giver and He wants to give us such wonderful things. But I want Him to give me that which I can use in serving Him. I don't ask for it for my own pleasure, I don't ask for it for some selfish reason; but I want it that I can serve you who are listening to me.
Why is God Concerned About Man? Well now, why so should so great a God, as great as He is, be concerned about man? Now we turn over to the second chapter of Hebrews, and he quotes what David said in the eighth Psalm, but he goes on a little further. And, Hebrews the second chapter beginning with verse five:
"For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak." (Hebrews 2:5)
Now what's he speaking about; "...the world to come, [that's] whereof [he's speaking here] (Hebrews 2:5)? You want to get the context; what is it speaking about in the context? It's speaking about the world to come, not about the present world. And it says; "...unto the angels [he has] not put in subjection the world to come..." (Hebrews 2:5). That infers, implies, that the angels were in control of the earth, that it was under subjection to the angels, but it will not be in the world to come.
"But...in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him?..." (Hebrews 2:6)
Now here we are, all the nations, are not a drop in the bucket compared to God. In one of the Psalms of where He sits, He looks down and He beholds all mankind, He observes all that they do. He knows what you're doing, He knows what you're thinking; God is that great.
"But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man that thou visitest him?" (Hebrews 2:6)
Why should God be concerned about a puny insignificant little man? What is our potential? It isn't just to invent an electric light. Thomas Edison was I think, as physical human beings go, he was one of our great men. But Thomas A Edison did not know God. Luther Burbank dealt with flowers, and shrubs, and plants, but Luther Burbank did not know God. And I can't understand that; you'd think a man dealing in nature like that would have known something about God. But he couldn't know, he'd gone to college or university or something, and had evolution stuffed into his mind. He'd been brainwashed in other words. Now here:
"Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands [now what are the works of God's hands? David had mentioned in the Psalms all the stars, all the heavens, all the mighty things, how He could even weigh a mountain in a balance, in a scale]: Thou hast put all things in subjection under his [man's] feet. (Hebrews 2:7-8)
Now surely he can't mean that - all things? If you turn to the first chapter, it says here about Christ; and how God: "...in these last days spoken unto us by [a] Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things..." (Hebrews 1:2)
That 'all things' is translated in the Moffatt translation, in other words it really means, in the English language 'the universe'. It means all things, the whole universe, and that's the way it is translated. But not in the King James here.
"...For in that he [God] put all in subjection under him [under man], he [God] left nothing that is not put under him [oh, surely he can't mean that? Well let's read on]. But now we see not yet all things put under [man]." (Hebrews 2:8)
No, God has made us to have dominion over the surface of the earth, over the air, and the fowl that fly in the air, and over the waters of the ocean. We can go down in, pretty deep in the water; we can fly in the air. I often fly at 41 - 45,000 feet in my own airplane, although I don't pilot it, you understand that, I am not a pilot. However, God has provided me with what I need because He has sent me, as an apostle, one sent forth, and I have been sent forth with God's message to the kings and the heads of government and the nations of this world. And God has provided needs, and I try to use them for that purpose, and I never use them for my own personal service in any way.
"Thou [hast made] him a little lower than the angels...[now here] Thou has put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that [God] put all in subjection under [man], he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things [the whole universe] put under him." (Hebrews 2:7-8)
What Is Jesus Christ Doing Now? Not yet, now let's read on: But, what do we see now? We see Jesus, who is crucified, who was raised by a resurrection from the dead, and who then ascended on up to heaven. And where He is living, the living Jesus Christ today as our High Priest.
Now I have been speaking for some time on radio from the book of Hebrews on what is Jesus Christ doing now. What is Christ doing today? Most people think well He's just gone way off and maybe died, and maybe He's just gone way off somewhere. Oh no, Christ is our High Priest; I look to Christ every day. I look to Him for the strength, He's the One that increases strength that I was reading you about a while ago. And I find that, that those things are real. I find that God means what He says; and what He says here He means. He says what He means and He means what He says.
"...we see [now] Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour..." (Hebrews 2:9)
He is already crowned; He's gone to heaven, the throne of God, to be given the crown of earth's rule, and when He comes the coronation ceremony will have already taken place. And He's coming in great power and glory and great splendor, as the King of kings and the Lord of lords to rule all nations, and to bring us peace at last. That's the only hope that this world has, the only hope. You know some people, because we preach from the Bible say that we are preaching a hellfire doctrine and a doctrine of doom. Well instead of doom we preach just the opposite. We preach the most great potential ahead that God has; and nobody else does preach it, isn't that funny; how they take it just the opposite in the public press.
"But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death [and He now is], crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death [as He did] for every man." (Hebrews 2:9)
"And as it is appointed to all men once to die, but after that the judgment, or the resurrection:" (Hebrews 9:27 paraphrased)
"For it became him, [Christ] for whom are all things, and by whom are all things [as I read to you in John 1:1, all things were created by Him], in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both he that sanctifieth and they that are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren." (Hebrews 2:10-11)
Jesus Christ was born very God by a resurrection from the dead. And He is called in the eighth chapter of the book of Romans; "...the first born [of] many brethren." (Romans 8:29) And He's not ashamed to call us brethren. And yet in the first chapter here, if you have the Moffatt translation, it says the 'whole universe': "...appointed heir of the [whole] universe......by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his [or the Father's glory, Christ is the brightness of the Father's glory], and the express image of his person..." (Hebrews 1:2-3)
And 'image' there, Moffatt translates that as the identical 'character', the Holy Righteous character of God.
"...and upholding all things [upholding the whole universe] by the word of his power... " (Hebrews 1:3)
That's how great is our Christ - now. And He's the firstborn of many brethren, He's gone ahead as the pioneer. We have that potential to follow. Now that is not all; once we are there - well, we are to rule over the entire universe. Now there's much more to it that I haven't time for now.
Because the creation is not yet complete! Remember I said that God creates by duality? First, man is physical then he'll be spiritual. First, angels were made out of spirit, but their character had to be developed, and their creation was not complete until they had developed that. God created the earth, as I've said like unfinished furniture; but it has to be finished later. And He meant for angels when He put them on the earth to finish the beautifying the surface of the earth; and when they didn't do it He meant for man to. And instead of beautifying it we have ruined, we have polluted everything that man's hand has been able to touch of God's earth. That's what man has done.
I've explained how God did not create angels complete all at once. He could not create character in them all at once, and that's what He can't do in man. And the spiritual creation is the installation of Godly Holy Righteous character within us. That, of course, we have to make the decision, we have to be willing, we have to hunger and thirst for it; but it comes from God. It's not our righteousness; our righteousness is just like a lot of filthy rags to God. But it is the very righteousness of God, which by His Holy Spirit He gives, or puts into us.
Now, you can't know the things of God, and the things God has prepared for us. And that's why so much of the Bible that is spiritual knowledge is just like so much foolishness. And yet God has given us this wonderful great potential. Thank God that this is not the day when God is calling everyone and most people. Jesus Christ said:
"No man can come to me, except the Father which...sent me draw him..." (John 6:44)
And God is only drawing a few; and of those few of us He is drawing, He is drawing us for a purpose and that purpose always is preparing for the Kingdom of God that is coming. It's a wonderful thing, but oh, what a mighty God we have.
Well, that's it until next time; this is Herbert W Armstrong saying; "Goodbye friends until next time."