Well greetings friends. This is Herbert W Armstrong with the Good News of the World Tomorrow.
Yes, it's a wonderful thing that news is going to be good, tomorrow. There's a reason why it isn't good today. And it isn't good, because we haven't made it good. It isn't good, because human beings don't know the way of peace. We are reaping exactly what we have been sowing.
Now "There is a way that seems right to a man, the ends thereof are the ways of death." (Proverbs 14:12 paraphrased)
That's the way we have been living. We are living now in a world of chaos growing up in world revolution. You look out over this world and look at the suffering, the unhappiness, the heartache, the empty lives: there is a cause for it all. And we are not going to have a world of peace and a world of real happiness and abundant living and prosperity for all, until we come to find the way into those things. And we are going to be forced to learn that way and in our time and our generation.
Now my friends, why is it that you have not heard the gospel of Jesus Christ, but a different gospel about His person? A gospel that teaches exactly the opposite of what Jesus Christ did. Why is it that you have been brought up to believe exactly the opposite of what the Bible says, exactly the opposite of what Jesus Christ taught? Why is it that you have been brought up from childhood practicing customs that are exactly the antithesis of those that Jesus practiced — setting us an example that we should follow His steps and do as He did? Exactly opposite from those that the apostle Paul taught to the Gentiles that had been converted and had become Christians. Why is it?
Now once again, get your Bible. Open it, open it up now, and open your eyes and open your hearts, and look, and behold, and be astonished, as you see in your own Bible, things exactly the opposite from what you thought was there.
Well now, in going through the New Testament to see what Jesus taught and what His gospel really was and the customs that He practiced, here we are in Luke the ninth chapter: Luke 9:43. While they were marveling at all the things that He did, Jesus said to His disciples:
"Let these words sink into your ears: for the Son of man shall be delivered up into the hands of men. But they understood not this saying, and it was concealed from them that they should not perceive it and they were afraid to ask him about this saying." (Luke 9:44-45 paraphrased)
You know they weren't converted yet, now most people, of course, think they are. Again you've been taught to believe exactly the opposite of the truth and what the Bible says. Peter, James, and John, and the apostles did not receive the Holy Spirit of God: they were not converted until after Jesus had ascended to heaven.
Jesus had said to them that, it is expedient for you that I go away. He was speaking of going to heaven. They didn't understand at that time what He meant.
He said, "...if I go not away the other comforter... [He was referring to the Holy Spirit] ...will not come unto you..." (John 16:7 paraphrased)
Then again, He had said in another place, "If you love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father and he will send you the other comforter. Even the Spirit of truth." (John 14:15-17 paraphrased)
Now let me see, let's turn and read that exactly as it is, here it is — the fourteenth chapter of John and the fifteenth verse.
"If ye love me, keep my commandments." (John 14:15)
You've been taught that the commandments were nailed to the cross, that you shouldn't keep them, do what you think is right. Do what people have said is right.
Jesus said, "If you love me keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father and he shall give you another comforter... Even the spirit of truth" (John 14:15-17). He was speaking of the Holy Spirit.
Now we do just the opposite today. Today they tell you; "Now don't keep the commandments, that law is all done away. You know that was alright for the Jews, but we are not Jews." That's what they tell you today. Did you not read that Jesus said, "...salvation is of the Jews" (John 4:22)? Did you not read that the apostle Paul said to the Romans, that he was not ashamed of the gospel of Christ? That's right over here in the book of Romans.
The Gospel of Christ Because, he said the gospel — which you don't hear today, and haven't heard, most of you anyway. You think the gospel of Christ means just talking about His person. The gospel of Christ is the message that Christ brought. And Paul said:
"...I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ [that is what Christ taught, which most of you have not heard]: for it [what Christ taught, His gospel, His message, the message God sent] is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek [or to the Gentile]." (Romans 1:16)
But it is to the Jew first — did you never read that? And today, they say, "Well we are not Jewish. That's alright for the Jews, we want a different religion. We are Gentiles". Let me tell you something, do you know that if you are a Gentile according to the second chapter of Ephesians, that you are without any hope? That you are without God, you are without Christ, and you are cut off from Israel. And a stranger a foreigner from the covenants of promise. (Ephesians 2:12 paraphrased)
Did you know that all of the covenants and that all of the promises of God pertain alone to Israel? And if you don't become an Israelite, by a beggetal through the Holy Spirit of God, you have no hope, no promise, you have no salvation. I don't care how much you brag and how much you say you have received the Holy Spirit or what you claim. You are just claiming a lot of things that originated in your own mind and a lot of empty words.
But "...if ye be Christ's [says the apostle Paul said to the Galatians, and they were Gentile born] ...if you be Christ's [he said to them] then are you Abraham's children and heirs according to the promise." (Galatians 3:29 paraphrased)
And I say to you, my friends, you think you are Gentiles. You think you want a Gentile religion, but if you be Christ's, then are you Abraham's children — which means an Israelite — and heirs according to the promises made to Abraham.
And now, if you know where God promised Abraham that he and his children would go to heaven, you write and tell me. But if you turn back, beginning the twelfth chapter of Genesis and the thirteenth and the seventeenth and on up to the twenty-second chapter of Genesis, and the different places where the promises of God are recorded, those are the promises that even the Gentiles now are heir to, if they are Christ's and the promises they shall inherit.
And Jesus will be on this earth when He will say:
"...Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit [inherit what is the promises made to Abraham, but then He shall say] inherit the kingdom prepared for you, from the foundation of the world." (Matthew 25:34)
And that kingdom is right here on this earth. And He is on His throne, the throne of His father David in Jerusalem, Palestine, when He shall say those very words. Matthew the twenty-fifth chapter.
Now, "if ye love me keep my commandments", He said. Today they say, well if you love the Lord, you mustn't keep His commandments. Just do what you please and the way that seems right to a man. That is the ways that will end up in death and death is the penalty of sin, so the way that seems right to men, are the ways of death. The ways of sin. God help us to wake up.
Jesus said, "...If ye love me, keep my commandments, and I will pray the Father..." (John 14:15-16)
Today they say, "Well no, you pray the Father. You do the praying and don't keep His commandments." But Jesus said, for us to keep the commandments and He would pray the Father, to give us another comforter, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive.
No, the world has a different spirit. Not the spirit of truth, but the spirit of error. A lying spirit of error. "...because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him, but ye know him, for he dwelleth with you and shall be in you" (John 14:17). And if Jesus Christ is in you, and if you can say like the apostle Paul did:
"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live [and this is in Galatians the second chapter and the twentieth verse]: I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live [Paul said]; yet not I..." (Galatians 2:20)
It wasn't really Paul living, he was an instrument, he had given himself to God. Jesus bought him and paid for him, with His own blood on the cross. And so Paul had given himself over to God, and he had been bought by a price. Jesus Christ paid that price. So he said he was crucified with Christ, and it wasn't Paul living, nevertheless he lived, but he said:
"The life which Christ liveth in me, and the life which I now live I live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20 paraphrased)
So it was Christ living in him. And I want to tell you something, my friends, you'll find in your Bible it says that: "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." (Hebrews 13:8)
And He has not changed. And He said He kept His Father's commandments and He taught us to keep them. And He does not change, and He hasn't changed His gospel or His teaching, or anything to this day. And if He is living in you, He will keep the commandments in you.
What The People Want Now there are some little men that like to go out, they like to argue and debate and dispute - little men. Little men that are self willed and utterly carnal. They want the soft and smooth things and they're perfectly willing to preach what they think the people want, because they are out for what they can get.
You know, my friends, one proof is you know that what you hear on this broadcast is not what the people want. It sort of rubs the fur the wrong way. Well, so does the word of God and that is what we preach.
Because "All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable to give us right doctrine [not the precepts of men, but the word of God], and for correction, and for reproof, and for instruction in righteousness." (II Timothy 3:16 paraphrased)
Men don't like to be corrected. They don't like to be reproved, they don't want instruction.
Well the disciples were carnal minded and Jesus said that it was expedient that He go away and if they would keep His commandments He would pray the Father, and the Holy Spirit would come and the Holy Spirit did come, because Jesus was crucified. But He rose again, because the Father in heaven resurrected Him from the dead. And He ascended to heaven and then the Holy Spirit came. And later they were converted, but at this time the disciples were not converted and they couldn't understand.
Now Mark's gospel illustrates this. Mark nine, beginning with verse thirty;
"And they went forth from there and passed through Galilee and Jesus would not that any man should know it." (Mark 9:30 paraphrased)
He tried to keep away from people. He never did attract crowds. He never went out and used any sensational advertising methods to draw a crowd. He avoided crowds, or tried to, but the crowds followed Him wherever He went. Because of His miracles and His miracles were only performed, nearly always, as a matter of love and compassion for others. Doing good — and setting you and me an example of doing good to others.
"For he taught the disciples, and he said unto them, the Son of man [meaning Himself] is delivered (up) into the hands of men, and they shall kill him." (Mark 9:31)
Now He meant that, that's in the Greek aorist tense there, is delivered, meaning is soon to be delivered, or shall be delivered. The particular tense I mentioned, aorist it's called, in the Greek language in which this was written is not definite as to time, whether it is past or present or future. They had translated it into the present here. But, shall be, would really be a more correct translation.
"...delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him, and when he is killed, after three days, he shall rise again." (Mark 9:31 American Standard Version)
Now notice, when He is killed, not before three days, but after three days, He shall rise again. Now we have been encountering that quite often going through the New Testament here. And this is Mark 9:31. Now just a few days ago, we were a chapter back in Mark 8:31 where it said:
"...he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders, and the chief priest, and [by the] scribes, and be killed, and AFTER THREE DAYS rise again." (Mark 8:31 ASV)
If a man borrows money to be paid after three days, he isn't going to pay it after one day and two nights. If a man borrows money on Friday night, and it is to be paid after three days, three days after he borrows it, he isn't going to pay it back on Sunday morning. He will wait at least three days, and from Friday night, one day would be Saturday night and two days would be Sunday night and the three days is on Monday night. And he probably would say, since it is Monday night, he'd like to wait until Tuesday morning to pay it. That's about what he would do.
And yet people try to tell us that the crucifixion was on a, so called 'Good Friday,' and what's good about it? The day that Jesus was crucified, the day they killed Him. The only thing good about it is that He voluntarily gave His life for you and me. They try to glorify the cross and the cross was an emblem of shame. "I love the cross that killed Him". You better love the Saviour that gave Himself, not the cross that killed Him. And yet we sing the song about how we love the cross that actually put Him to death.
If a man is a murderer and kills another man, what do you do? Love the murderer because he committed an act of murder? Do you love the people that killed Christ, or is it Christ? Do you love the cross on which He was killed, or is it the Saviour we should love and the God that gave His only begotten son?
Why don't we get things straight! Why, my friends, we are so mixed up in the things we believe and so inconsistent, we just never, we assumed these things. We were born knowing nothing and we grew up being taught these things and we just absorb them like a sponge. We soak them in and we believe them and we never stop to inquire whether they were true or whether they were false.
Stirring Up People After three days, He would rise again. You know that's stirring up a lot of people. I have had telephone calls, I've had letters, I've had people come here to try to see me, and everything else. Because, they say that they don't care if the Bible does say that Jesus would be three days and three nights in the earth, they believe that this tradition couldn't be wrong. That He was crucified on 'Good Friday' and that He rose on Sunday morning.
I tell you that's a big lie. That Jesus Christ was not crucified on any 'Good Friday' and the resurrection was not on Sunday. You can want to believe it all you want to, it just didn't happen. And your wanting to believe it can't turn time back and make it happen that way. When will we wake up? The Bible said, Jesus Himself said — HE STAKED HIS DIVINITY, HE STAKED BEING YOUR MESSIAH, YOUR SAVIOR ON BEING THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN HIS TOMB. (Matthew 12:38-40)
IF HE WAS NOT THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN HIS GRAVE, HE WAS NOT THE CHRIST. YOU HAVE NO SAVIOR.
Let me say that there a lot of people trusting in a different Jesus. One they think was in a tomb, not any three days at all, but just one day and two nights. Friday night to Sunday morning: that's one day and two nights. We have been believing a lot of things that are not true.
Now where did this name Easter come from? Did you ever look it up? Alright, let me challenge you. You get the Encyclopaedia Britannica; you get the Catholic Encyclopaedia; you get the Jewish Encyclopaedia; you get any Protestant Encyclopaedia; Encyclopaedia of Knowledge and Ethics, or Hastings Encyclopaedia or the Shoaf-Herzog Encyclopaedia, or any of those. You look up the truth and see for yourself and you will find that Easter is merely an ancient pagan goddess. And the worship of Easter is idolatry, and it always was. It was spelled I-S-H-T-A-R in ancient Assyria. It was spelled in ancient Babylon, A-S-T-A-R-T-E, but always pronounced Easter or Aster. And in the English we spell it E-A-S-T-E-R. And do you know what they did,
God Almighty says; "...learn not the way of the [heathen] nations..." (Jeremiah 10:2)
He said to learn His ways and His ways would bring us peace and we'd have good news today, if we only did it. But, we have nothing but bad news today, because we want our ways. Because we don't like God's ways, because the carnal mind, which we were all born with, is enmity against God — and doesn't like God or God's ways. That's the truth, my friends.
And so we want to learn the ways of the pagans, and what did the pagans do? Way back long before the time of Christ, they worshiped Easter, a pagan goddess, a woman. And they would go out on this time and in the spring. They were sun worshippers, and early in the morning, before the sun rose, they would all collect and gather at a certain place. And as the sun was rising, they would face the east, and they would bow down and worship that sun. And say that they were glorifying this goddess, this woman called Easter.
Worship of Christ You go through the same motions today, and say, "Well but, maybe the pagans did it, but I don't mean that in my heart. You know I'm just worshipping Christ." Listen, God Almighty tells you in His word how to worship Christ. He tells you how and Jesus said; you worship Him in vain — that's in Mark the seventh chapter again;
"...in vain do they WORSHIP ME." (Mark 7:7)
Today you are taught, "Well you couldn't worship Him in vain, if you worship Him, you are bound to be saved. Why, if you just accept Him you'll be saved", they tell you today. But He said:
"...in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines, the commandments of men [or the precepts of men. The traditions of men] ...laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men." (Mark 7:7-8)
Oh, my friends, most of you listening are doing that now. But, you can't see, can you, where it makes any difference? I tell you, my friends, there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. There is a day of JUDGMENT COMING AND YOU'RE GOING TO BE THERE. AND THESE WORDS WILL WITNESS AGAINST YOU, AND YOU SHALL BE JUDGED BY THESE WORDS THAT I PROCLAIM FAITHFULLY ON THIS PROGRAM, IN THE NAME of Jesus Christ and by His authority.
"And he said unto them, Full well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your own tradition." (Mark 7:9)
"Making the word of God [verse 13] of none affect through your tradition, which you have delivered, and many such like things you do". (Mark 7:13)
That's the words of Jesus Christ. Oh I tell you, those words are going to condemn some people, but He said "if you love me, keep my commandments". And the way we'd know whether we love God, is whether we keep His commandments. And He says that if we say we know Him, and we don't keep His commandments, we are a liar and the truth is not in us. That's I John two, four. Yes first John the second chapter and the fourth verse.
Oh my friends, let's come to our senses. We have been deceived. Either we have, or the Bible is not true. The Bible prophecy said all nations would be deceived. Now if they haven't been, then the Bible is not true.
And God Almighty is the creator. God Almighty is the one that created all force and energy, as well as dead matter. And God Almighty is the one who set all natural laws in motion that our scientists are trying to deal with and looking at. They don't know whence they came. They don't know anything about first causes or origins. They just see a few things and cut off from God, as they are, with their carnal minds, they try to reason out a lot of scientific facts and laws. Now some laws, they have discovered and some they don't know so well.
Well, Jesus said that it would be after three days, that He would be resurrected from the dead. Why can't we believe what He said? After three days, He shall rise again: there it is again in Mark 9:31. There certainly is a pile of Bible evidence.
Now, if you want the truth about it, I'd say once again, write in for our booklet on the truth about 'The Resurrection.' Just ask for the booklet, 'Resurrection.' That will tell you when Jesus rose from the dead.
Jesus Christ was three days and three nights in the grave, and the resurrection was not even on any Sunday. It was not on Easter. Easter is pagan. The resurrection of Jesus Christ was not on Sunday. The crucifixion of Jesus Christ was not on Friday. Why should that offend people? Do we want to be deceived? Do we want God just to change His laws and make the wrong ways turn out a right result? Well, God just isn't going to do it. Why should we be so stubborn? Why should we shake our fists at God Almighty? Are we too, spitting in the face of Jesus Christ, like those people did that rejected Him?
He says, "...in works they deny him, being disobedient and abominable" (Titus 1:16) Titus the first chapter and the sixteenth verse. We can deny Him in works. God help us!
Denying Christ In Works Well the disciples understood not the saying, they were afraid to ask. (Mark 9:32 paraphrased)
Now we come over here to Mark 9:33. "And they came to Capernaum [they had been there before, hadn't they]: and when he was in the house, he asked them, what were ye reasoning in the way? And they held their peace, for they had disputed, one with another in the way, who was the greatest." (Mark 9:33-34 ASV)
They didn't want to tell Him what they had been talking about, but He knew. He knew their thoughts; He could read their thoughts. So, He sat down and He called the twelve and He said to them. Now He answered them anyway, "if any man would be first." They wanted to know who was the greatest. They were carnal, they weren't converted yet. Why, He hadn't gone to heaven and sent the Holy Spirit yet. And each one of them wanted to be the head man around there. He wanted to be the biggest. It might have been a worthy ambition, but that is still not the right spirit.
Jesus said, "...If any man would be the first, he shall be the last of all, and the minister of all." (Mark 9:35 ASV paraphrased)
Jesus is the greatest man that ever lived or ever came to this earth, but He came as a servant. As a minister, and He went about doing good and helping other people. In a sense, playing second fiddle to other people. To help them, to do them good. He set us an example, that we should follow His steps. Now who is the greatest?
I have known many, so called, big men. I have known and done business with, and come into contact with many, many millionaires and multi-millionaires. I have know many executives, chief executives of some of the biggest corporations in the United States. I have known many men that are high in government. Even into the cabinets of the President. And I tell you, the bigger a man is the more humble he is and I have always noticed that. A man doesn't become really great, unless he's accomplished something. But I have always noticed that these little squirts that get a promotion into a job with a title, go around strutting like a peacock and they think they are somebody. And they are just little hirelings — that's all.
You know I use to notice, years ago, when I was a publisher's representative in Chicago, and if I went to see an advertising manager that had just recently been appointed as advertising manager, he had a new title now, and he felt he was pretty big, I found I had great difficulty even getting into that man's office to see him. And he would be rather arrogant if I ever did get to see him. But, I found I didn't even have as much trouble seeing the President. He had come up over years and years of hard work, and he had built the institution. And when I saw him he was humble and he was friendly and he didn't try to lord it over me and he didn't act as if he was more important than I at all. And he was a very pleasant man to talk to and I saw that he really had ability, and he was a man who had worked hard all of his life. That's all, he just worked hard. He used his mind about what he did, and he had built an institution and become successful.
But the little fellow was too busy strutting around to use his mind very much, or to work very hard. He was too busy thinking what a great man he was.
Well, here were these men, and Jesus said, "...If any man would be the first, he should be the last of all, and minister of all." (Mark 9:35 paraphrased)
Do you know that when I first entered the ministry, and I was ordained in a Church of God. And I was the least of the ministers, and all the rest of the ministers made me know it and I felt that way about it and I accepted that status. Yes, I was willing to start out as the least. You'll never be anything better if you don't, I can tell you that. I had to — God made me do it.
Now, Matthew, let's carry on in Matthew's account. Matthew eighteen now, verse one, where we carry on the same story thread.
"In that hour came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who then is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven [or in God's kingdom? Who is the greatest]? (And) he called a little child, and set him in the midst and said, Verily I say unto you, Except you turn and become as little children, you shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:1-3 ASV)
You won't even get in, except you become as a little child.
"Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And who so shall receive one such little child, in my name, receiveth me." (Matthew 18:4-5 ASV)
He didn't say kingdom in heaven — kingdom of heaven — there is quite a difference.
The 'of' denotes ownership. It is ruled from heaven and owned there.